The recent trend shows more and more girl child are enrolling in higher education courses than ever before. Even the class 10th exams conducted by a national education board depicts a trend where girls have a more successful passing rate than boys. A trend that has held steady for over seven years now. But strangely enough, the female population in the Indian workforce has shown a considerable decline. A study conducted by the International Monetary fund in 2015 showed that although the enrollment of girl student in higher education increased by 7 percent that is it went from 39% to 46% from 2007 to 2014. Which raises the question for reasons of their absence from the workforce? However, let's focus on the solution rather than pondering over the problems. And in circumstances like these, what these girls need is a suitable role model. Someone that they can look up to and feel inspired to join the workforce and be a part of the nation's growth. Hence, in this article, we have talked about some the greatest Indian women scientists who went against the norms and conventions of the society setting an example for generations to come.
1. Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi
Anandibai was one of the first Indian female physicians. She was the first female of Indian origin to study and graduate with a degree in medicine in the United States. She is also believed to be the first woman to have set foot on American soil from India. Born into a typical Brahmin family of the 1880s, Anandibai was married at the young age of 8. At the of 14, she became pregnant and gave birth to a boy, who couldn't live too long due to unavailability of proper medical assistance. This proved to be a turning point in her life as she decided to help others by becoming a physician. She was supported in her journey by husband Gopalrao Joshi, who always encouraged her to get educated and help the society. She graduated with an MD on 11 March 1886 and the topic of her thesis was 'Obstetrics among the Aryan Hindoos'. On her graduation, Queen Victoria sent her a congratulatory message. She died one year after she returned to India having completed her education in New York because of poor health and tuberculosis.
2. Janaki Ammal Edathil Kakkat
Janaki was an Indian botanist who conducted scientific research in cytogenetics and phytogeography. Her most notable work involves her work on sugarcane and eggplant. She had collected various valuable plants of medicinal and economic value from the rain forests of Kerala. She had six brothers and five sisters in her family, where girls were encouraged to engage in intellectual pursuits and in the fine arts. Ammal, however, chose to study botany. After schooling in Tellichery, she moved to Madras where she obtained the bachelor's degree from Queen Mary's College, and an honours degree in botany from Presidency College in 1921. Under the influence of her teachers at the Presidency College, Janaki Ammal acquired a passion for cytogenetics. She conducted chromosomal studies in England and reorganized the botanical survey of India and later became the Director-General of the organization.
3. Rajeshwari Chatterjee
Rajeshwari has the distinction of being the first woman engineer from Karnataka. She was born in 1922 in Karnataka. She had her primary education in a school founded by her grandmother. After finishing her schooling she got admitted into Central College of Bangalore where she earned B.Sc (Hons) and M.Sc degrees in Mathematics. In both these exams she ranked first in the Mysore University. In 1943, after her M.Sc, she joined the Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bangalore as a Research Student in the then Electrical Technology Department in the area of Communication. In 1946, she was selected as a 'bright student' by the Government of Delhi and was given a scholarship to go abroad to pursue higher studies and she decided to the United States.
4. Aditi Pant
Aditi has the distinction of being the first woman to reach Antarctica. Along with Sudipta Sengupta, she was a part of the Indian expedition to Antarctica in 1983. Aditi was inspired to take up oceanography as a profession when she came across the book The Open Sea by Alister Hardy while she was doing her BSc at the University of Pune. She got a US government scholarship to study an MS in marine sciences in the University of Hawaii. She did her PhD in Westfield college, London University. Her PhD thesis was about the physiology of marine algae. After completing her studies, she returned to India to join the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa.
5. Asima Chatterjee
Asima Chatterjee is an Indian chemist noted for her work in the fields of organic chemistry and phytomedicine. Her most notable work includes research on vinca alkaloids, and the development of anti-epileptic and anti-malarial drugs. She also authored a considerable volume of work on medicinal plants of the Indian subcontinent. She joined the Lady Brabourne College, of the University of Calcutta in 1940 as the founding head of the department of chemistry. In 1944, Chatterjee became the first woman to be conferred a Doctorate of Science by an Indian University.
These women did things which were unimaginable even for the men at that time. They are and will continue to be the truest inspiration for women around the world. If women could achieve such extraordinary thoughts at that time what's stopping the girls of today in a time where one has a lot more opportunities and access to better amenities. For more, such articles please visit, https://www.jagranjosh.com/college.
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