With time the status of Indian women has changed. Today, women have achieved success in almost every field and have made India proud with their achievements. They have been proving their capabilities time and again in every field. The first time Indians started visualizing women as scientists, it was when the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) of India was successful and it was a woman scientist in ISRO, who was rejoicing the success. However, there are several women scientists who have made India proud with their achievement in the different field of science. Here is a list of 10 smart Indian women scientists, who have brought glory to India with their work.
Anandibai Joshi was born in the year 1865 as Yamuna in Kalyan in an orthodox Marathi Brahmin family. She was the first Indian women, in fact the first South Asian women to achieve a degree in Western Medicine in the year 1886. She was married at the age of 9 years and at the tender age of 14 years she gave birth to a son, but could not survive for long and died soon after his birth owing to lack of proper medical care. The death of her son as well as her poor health motivated her to study medicine and even her husband encouraged her to follow her dreams. She was also the first women of the country to visit America, where she completed her studies. She worked in Albert Edward hospital in the princely state of Kohlapur upon her return to India. Even though her achievement was short lived as she died at the age of 22 in the year 1887, she has been an inspiration for many young women who want to follow their dreams.
Janaki Ammal, an Indian botanist, who researched on cytogenetics and phytogeography. She was born in the year 1897 in Tellichery, Kerala in a Thiyya family. It was the time when women in India were kept inside the four walls of the house and were bejeweled as adornment in the society; she went on to conduct research. Most of her research involved sugarcane and the eggplant; however, she also conducted research on chromosomes using a wide variety of garden plants, while in England. She was designated as Director General of the Botanical Survey of India upon her return from England. In the year 1957, she was conferred with Padma Shri and until her death in the year 1984; she worked and stayed in worked in the Centre’s Field Laboratory at Maduravoyal near Madras.
Anna Mani, a women physicist and meteorologist, who was born in the year 1918 at Travancore, Kerala, was known for her contribution in the field of meteorological instrumentation. She worked under the guidance of the famous Indian scientist Prof CV Raman and retired as Deputy Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department. She carried out research and published numerous papers on solar radiation, ozone and wind energy measurements, even during the time when Indian society was conservative and women were not allowed to work outside their homes. In the year 2001, at the age of 82, she left for her heavenly abode. She has definitely made the nation proud with her work and achievements.
Another Indian woman scientist who has made the nation proud with her achievement is Asima Chatterjee. She was noted chemist, who made her mark in the field of organic chemistry and phytomedicine. She was born in the year 1917 in a Bengali Brahmin family in Kolkata. After completion of her doctoral work in Calcutta University, she joined Lady Brabourne College in the year 1940 as the founding head of the department of chemistry. She is better known for her development of cancer medicine, anti-malarial and anti-epileptic drugs. She was the first Indian woman to get the title of Doctor of Science by an Indian university. In the year 1975, she was conferred with the Padma Bhushan award as well as she was the first lady scientist to be elected as the General President of the Indian Science Congress Association. She was also nominated as the member of Rajya Sabha by the President of India. She is definitely an inspiration for many young women, who want to make a mark in the field of science.
Kamala Sohonie was an Indian biochemist, who was the first woman in the country to get Ph.D degree in the field of science. She was born in the year 1912 and got her graduation degree from Bombay University. After much persuasion, she got admission in the prestigious IISc on condition that she would be on probation for 1 year of her research and she will be allowed further research only if she performs well. Prof. C.V Raman, who was the Director of IISc during that time was impressed with her performance and allowed her to continue with the research. She went to Cambridge University in London for her PhD. She was conferred with Rashtrapati Award for her work on the drink ‘Neera’, an essential food for malnourished children.
Dr. Indira Hinduja
Dr. Indira Hinduja has made a mark in the field of Medical science, who is the pioneer of Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) technique. She is a practicing gynecologist, obstetrician and infertility specialist in Mumbai. She is the one who delivered India’s s first test tube baby at KEM Hospital in the year 1986 and in the year 1988, with the application of GIFT technique, she delivered India’s first GIFT baby. In addition, she also gets the credit of developing an oocyte donation technique for menopausal and premature ovarian failure patients, which resulted in the birth of the first baby in the year 1991 using this new technique. Her contribution towards the field of medical science is remarkable and has without any doubt made India proud.
Sunetra Gupta, a Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford as well as a novelist, is one of the Indian woman scientists who have made the country proud with her contribution. She is the recipient of Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award and Scientific Medal by the Zoological Society of London for her scientific research, which involves study of infectious diseases like malaria, flu, bacterial meningitis, etc. using mathematical models.
Dr. Suman Sahai
The founder of Gene Campaign and an activist, Dr. Suman Sahai is the one who has forced the Indian Government to take notice of the effects of genetically-modified crops and address the issues faced by the farmers of the country. She has been conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri award as well as the outstanding woman achiever and the Borlaug awards. Her name has also been enumerated in the list of successful women scientists of India. She has achieved her PhD from Indian Agricultural Research Institute and also worked at the University of Heidelberg and the University of Alberta, University of Chicago, where she achieved her habilitation in human genetics. She has made the country and the people of the nation proud with her work.
Maharani Chakravorty is also among the Indian women scientist, who with her contribution in the field of science has made the country proud. She is a molecular biologist, who is known for organizing the first laboratory course on recombinant DNA techniques in Asia and Far East in the year 1981. She completed her post-doctoral studies in USA and returned to India and joined the Bose Institute in Kolkata. She is the recipient of Professor Darshan Ranganathan Memorial Award in the year 2007.
Dr. Aditi Pant
The first Indian woman to visit Antarctica as a part of the Indian expedition to Antarctica in the year 1983, Dr. Aditi Pant is an oceanographer. She is the recipient of Antarctica award for her contribution to the project. She studied MS in marine sciences in the University of Hawaii with the scholarship she received from the US government. She did her PhD in Westfield College, London University and returned to India. She joined the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa. She also worked in the National Chemical Laboratory. She is an inspiration for all those girls who want to pursue their career in Oceanography, which is not a very common career among Indian women.