Women in higher education especially STEM continue to be under-represented, much as campuses like IIIT Bangalore have risen to the occasion to support the girls by offering scholarships and special initiatives to encourage girl students to pursue higher education. Scholarships are a great way to fulfil the aspirations of young promising women. In addition, scholarships for girls are also meant to create an ecosystem of change and gender inclusivity. In an interview with Naviiina, Prof. Meenakshi D’Souza, who chairs the Gender Cell of IIIT Bangalore shares unique initiatives by IIIT Bangalore to create a conducive atmosphere for girl students.
“The Gender Cell of IIITB, recognizes the dwindling ratio of female students to male students in the iMTech programme. We started working on a series of interviews with our successful iMTech alumna. The interviews are available under two categories: “Taking Wing for Research” and “Coding Dreams Coming True”. All the interviews are by faculty who were the supervisors/mentors of our alumna and they discuss how the institute helped them achieve their career dreams.
We also have a LeanIn Club that promotes coding and computing activities amongst our girl students. Our girl students have attended (and won) several events that are organized by the corporate firms exclusively under the gender diversity initiatives and have also obtained scholarships/fee waivers to attend events like the Grace Hopper Celebrations India, ACM India Grad Cohort etc. We also actively seek out scholarships for our girl students with the aim of increasing the number of girl students,” says Prof. Meenakshi.
CGI Scholarship is a Welcome Change
In the previous academic year, three of our iMTech girl students won the prestigious Micron scholarship. This is a very competitive scholarship given to female students from various IITs, NITs and IIITs and we are happy that three of our students received their scholarships.
Recently, CGI announced scholarships to support the top 20 girl students pursuing an integrated programme, which includes both graduate and post-graduate programmes, at the institute. As part of the scholarship, CGI will fully fund their tuition fee for the first semester. Commenting on this key support, Prof. Meenakshi, says, “CGI has been very generous in offering scholarships to female students and we are very thankful to them for this help. The scholarships will definitely help the institute and our prospective female applicants to consider IIIT Bangalore as their place of study. We will strive to use these scholarships to increase the number of girl students in our iMTech programme.