While in India the female share of graduates in STEM was 42.72 per cent in 2016, that of the United States was 33.99 per cent, Germany 27.14, United Kingdom 38.10, France 31.81 and Canada 31.43 per cent. The trend continued in 2017 and 2018 when the percentage of women in STEM in India was 43.93 and 42.73.
Compared to developed nations like the US, UK, Germany and France, percentage-wise there are more Indian female graduates in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at tertiary level.
In India, while the number of males in STEM is gradually declining in the last three years, there is an increase for females.
This was revealed in the Union education minister’s reply to a Lok Sabha question.
To a question seeking details of the number of STEM graduates over the last three years and whether there are more men than women in STEM, the ministry of education shared the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) data for past three years which show that while the number of males has decreased from nearly 12.9 lakh in 2017-18 to almost 11.9 lakh in 2019-20, the number of females grew from 10 lakh to almost 10.6 lakh during the same period.
According to World Bank data, percentage-wise there are more Indian female (43%) graduates in STEM at tertiary level than developed nations like the US (34%), UK (38%), Germany (27%) and France (32%).
In his reply, education minister Dharmendra Pradhan pointed out schemes to encourage women to pursue STEM, “This includes implementation of schemes exclusively for women like ‘Knowledge Involvement Research Advancement through Nurturing (Kiran)’ to encourage women in the field of science and technology.
The ‘Mobility’ programme has been introduced to address relocation issues of working women scientists.
Further ‘Indo-US Fellowship for Women in STEMM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) was launched to provide opportunities to Indian women scientists, engineers and technologists to undertake international collaborative research in premier institutions in the US for 3-6 months,” the minister said.
He also spoke about other schemes like Consolidation of University Research through Innovation and Excellence in Women Universities (Curie) and Vigyan Jyoti for meritorious girl students of classes IX to XII in order to increase participation of women in STEM.
Answering to a question on action taken incentivise women to continue education in STEM, Pradhan said the department of science and technology has launched various schemes to incentivise continued education in STEM.
The news has made Indians across the globe proud who are now taking to social media to express their happiness.
Read More Reports: STEM Learning – India CSR Network