Monday, November 28, 2005

Is science woman friendly?
Even after the 100 years of Einstein’s formulation of ‘theory of relativity’, the under representation of women in this field is relatively higher. Though there are frequent spark offs regarding this issue, the conclusion remains the same: “women are not competitive enough to swim across the field of science”.
These are the same women who outsmarted the so-called “researchers and techies” back at their school. These are the same women who topped the board examination in both arts and science. What happens to them after that? Though the percentage of drop-out among girls after XII standard is high, that doesn’t answers the whole question of under representation of women in this field.
In fact, in 2000, when a well-known all-women's college in the United States, Smith College, announced that it was offering a degree in engineering, an electronics magazine ran an article with the title, "Is Female Engineer an Oxymoron?" The author claimed that in his 32 years as an engineer in power electronics, he had never worked with a woman engineer. He concluded that women did not have a love or aptitude for "real" technical work.
In India, the department of Science and Technology has initiated special fellowships to facilitate women to get back to science after a break in career. L'Oreal has started in Mumbai in 2003, a special fellowship for girls to pursue science, based on merit and need. But still, the number of applications is very low is what L’Oreal complains.
The Union government and science academies said they will scout for women scientists who will act as role models like Marie Curie or Rosalind Franklin to younger women keen to pursue careers in science. The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics said it will start a work group for women to create an ‘interest’ among them in science. The blame is again on women. World says that women have a loathing for science. But what do the women say?
Science is being looked as a field of research and studies. But research and projects are not all individuality and privacy. Group work and working area is what bothers women a lot. Women say, in reality, the workplace for them is quite different. The woman scientist leading government-funded research institute was quoted as saying: "This is one Institute where cheap `gendered' jokes are in order at every meeting organised officially. There is the added disadvantage of some male colleagues who openly insult or abuse the women scientists. The few who speak up against them (like me, for instance) have to face difficult work conditions — a work place that is an impending threat all the time, regular (and now quite predictable) disruption at work, and of course direct punishment by manipulating our performance report and granting low grades or denying assessment opportunities."
Science which is known to be a profession of innovation and creativity leaves less space for women’s originality and ingenuity. Unlike other profession, where women can shift their places, researches are meant to be done in one research organisation which will be mostly government-run. Women are left with no other choice but to work with them. A physics professor who has recently admitted her daughter in a professional course said, “Women have to face too many difficulties to complete Ph.D. if their guide is a male, then it is almost impossible. I feel software profession is very secure for girls.” This is a common conception even among the researchers. They don’t want their successors to face the difficulties they have faced. No wonder the number of female students applying for IISc has been drastically reduced from 20,000 to 12,000. And experts predict further declination in future. Sooner or later, the word ‘scientist’ will be ascribed to the dominant sex.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

hey folks,
enough of blowing my own trumphets.. now a bit of serious stuff... this is about the recent media's scapegoat -Natwar Sing and volcker report... some basic stuffs.. so check out n don't forget to comment....

Disclosure by the Volcker report that external affairs minister Natwar Singh and congress party are ‘non contractual beneficiaries’ in Iraq Oil Voucher scam had made BJP breathe easy. But the Congress is still hopeful of clearing its name. It is waiting for a word from Paul Volcker of Eponymous Committee for the documentary evidences.
Volcker’s allegations are based on the documentary evidences of the Iraq government’s State Oil Manufacturing Organisation that was taken over S after its Iraq invasion. The report, which was produced on Oct 27, says Mr.Singh was allotted two million barrels each in the contract.
Volcker was reported saying that all the names in the paper are personally informed while Natwar refused any such information. Later, Volcker said that he was doubtful whether Natwar Singh was informed about it, which made congress to heave a sigh of relief. Congress said it would ask for a ‘comprehensive apology’ if its names were cleared.
Another reason for Natwar’s suspicion is his son, Jagat singh’s contacts with Andy Sehgal who played a key role in Volcker report allegations. He is alleged to have close contacts with Jagat Singh. Enforcement Directorate is questioning Jagat Singh and his disclosure regarding these allegations is expected to be the name of the game.
Meanwhile, congress party has decided to play safe. The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a core group meeting that included defence minister Pranab Mukherjee, Union Home minister Shivraj Patil, Union finance minister P.Chitambaram and law minister H.R.Bharadwaj to discuss the appointment of an independent inquiry committee into the allegations made in the Volker Committee report. The congress party is divided about Natwar’s resignation with one section insistent that this was necessary to prove the impartiality of the party and save the skin of the party.
Another major tempering in the party is the growing importance of Pranab Mukherjee. Of late, he has become the most sought-after personality of congress. In fact, he formulated the government view on these allegations. He was expected to take over the external affairs soon but he made it clear that he would not move to external affairs as he was contented with the defence portfolio. The reasons for this may be because of Arjun Singh’s disposition, Natwar’s alleged private practise or doubts over Shivraj Patil’s ability.
Unless Natwar clears his name and proves that his son has nothing to do with Sehgal, the congress has to tough time ahead. No doubt Natwar’s allegations are a Gordian knot for the committee. But if the knot is untied, many big guns of many political parties will be hornet’s nest.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

after joining acj, things have changed in many ways. one thing worth mentioning is my attitude towards my writing. in my graduation days, i carried quite a lot of attitude due to my writing style which i thought was excellent. wn i came to acj, the first lesson (which is a fact) i learnt was that my writing is way below the 'so-called' decent work. then came the worst part... wnever i write my report i never give a second glance to that. it was not because, i was too confident of my command over my language but it was because i knew it doesn't deserve a second look. i was cruel enough to leave my 'raw' ( a decent synonym of junk) copy to the editor, be it was my classmate or my prof. but then today, i happened to sit with my prof while she was editing my copy. everytime she deleted some sentence, i felt a pain in my heart. afterall, its my brain child. i can't tolerate if some one tamper my child even for its betterment. it really takes a hell lot of time to write a readable article which incredibly everyone can. anyone who knew the basics of grammar is fit enough to write a report about something he/she knows, provided that person is ready to put heart n soul into it. the problem with people is they don't start.
To whomsoever it may concern: start writing about anything and everything. it may be about india's foreign policy or about the 20bucks u lost yesterday. as far as u take initiatives, u are sure to be the owner of good writing which many people in our country yearn for.