OTHERS

`Equal opportunity level high in Tamil Nadu'

COIMBATORE, MARCH 11. Tamil Nadu is better than many other States in providing equal career opportunities for men and women, the Vice-Chairman, Science City, A. M. Raman, told presspersons here recently.

Asked about the outcome of the three-year research project on `Gender parity in science and technology' being carried out by the Gender Cell of Science City, Mr. Raman said that the researchers would consolidate the findings and send a report by the end of April to the Union Department of Science and Technology.

He was here to attend a regional meeting of women scientists, to gather views that could be included in the report. The Gender Cell had conducted a similar meeting in Tiruchi some days ago, and would organise another in Madurai shortly.

Information collected

"During the three-year study, we collected information from all organisations, to see if men and women had equal opportunities in science and technology, find out in which areas the gap was wide, and also come up with ways to remedy the lacunae. Sometimes policies can be the reason, and sometimes it can be economics," he said.

Through meetings with senior scientists, the researchers wanted to find out if empowerment was only in the form of numbers on paper. "Women can be treated as dummies and not allowed to lead the organisation. We will know the real issues only when we meet people," he observed.

He said that Tamil Nadu had been chosen because it was an `advanced State' with regard to `gender parity.' Researchers would also collect data from `backward States' in the country, produce a comprehensive report and send it to the policy makers.

Award

Mr. Raman said more numbers of talented school children should apply for the Young Scientists Award that would allow awardees to attend a science camp at Chennai and meet top scientists.

Estimating that there would be at least 10,000 candidates who could apply for the award, he said that the organisers had received only a handful of applications and had to choose from among them. Similarly, there were not many takers for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Women.

Science City was an autonomous organisation created by the Government of Tamil Nadu, to promote science and technology. Its office is at Planetarium Campus, Gandhi Mandapam Road, Chennai - 600025. More details are available on tamilnaduscientists.com, the official website.