IIT Madras to raise $2 million to nurture women faculty, students, researchers

A view of IIT Madras in Chennai  

The Indian Institute of Technology - Madras (IIT-M) has planned to raise a $2 million endowment by the end of the year to fund projects, recruit, develop and nurture women faculty, researchers and students.

The ‘Women Leading IITM’ (WLI) programme will receive the inaugural grant on Monday, International Women’s Day. The Institute proposes to raise the amount through its alumni and CSR grants.

Each year, grants will be provided to accelerate women technologists’ careers. The endowment fund will provide annual grants to support programmes taken up by women students, faculty and researchers. In the first year, the endowment fund aims to grant ₹70 lakh for various initiatives.

Corporate organisations and alumni who wish to contribute, may do so through:

The institute’s goal is to increase the percentage of women faculty in assistant professorship to 20%: it is currently at 15% and to generate 30% of all faculty applications from women candidates. The grantees are expected to graduate to leadership roles within the institute and be the next-generation ambassadors for enabling a gender-balanced institute. The institute also plans to establish an award for women faculty in leadership.

IIT-M director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said the institute had made good progress in the last several years in increasing the student population from the UG level to doctoral programmes. “We are making every effort to close the gap in the case of faculty. The WLI programme will be a powerful catalyst to enable us to reduce the hurdles faced by women students, faculty and staff at IIT Madras,” he said.

According to the institute, in 2020, women constituted 18% of the students at the undergraduate level. In 2017 it was 8%. Similarly the percentage of Ph.D. students currently stands at 30%, up from 22.5% in 2017. Around 30 programmes to encourage women in STEM have been implemented.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 11:17:27 PM |

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