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IIT Madras raised $ 2 million to nurture female faculty, students, researchers

Under the ‘Women Leading IITM’ program, a grant will be provided each year to accelerate the careers of women technologists

The Indian Institute of Technology – Madras (IIT-M) plans to arrange $ 2 million by the end of the year to recruit, develop and nurture projects for female faculty, researchers and students.

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

Every year a grant will be provided to accelerate the careers of women technologists. The Endowment Fund will provide annual grants to support programs raised by female students, faculty and researchers. In the first year, the endowment fund aims to give ₹ 70 lakh to various initiatives.

Corporate organizations and alumni who wish to contribute can do so through: https://joyofgiving.alumni.iitm.ac.in/endowmens/other/women-leading-iitm-endowment

The institute aims to increase the percentage of female faculty in assistant professorships to 20%: it is currently 15% and aims to generate 30% of all faculties from female candidates. Grantees are expected to graduate in leadership roles within the institution and to be the next of ambassadors to enable a gender-balanced institution. The institute also plans to institute an for women faculty in leadership.

IIT-M director Bhaskar Ramamurthy said that the institute has made good progress in the last several years in increasing the student population from UG level to doctoral programs. “We are doing everything possible to close the gap in terms of faculty. The WLI program will be a powerful catalyst to enable IIT Madras the barriers faced by female students, faculty and staff.

According to the institute, in 2020, women constituted 18% of students at the undergraduate level. In 2017 it was 8%. Likewise the percentage of Ph.D. Students are currently up 22.5% to 30% in 2017. About 30 programs have been implemented to encourage women in STEM.

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