Girls make up only 15% of student population at technical colleges in Punjab. For every 3 male engineers, Indian tech companies have only 1 female engineer. Only 26% of India’s engineering roles are held by women, while overall representation of women in tech companies stand at 34%. With an estimated 13.3 crore emerging tech jobs by 2022, it is evident that technology is the future and the cost of leaving women out of shaping the future is way too high. There is a dire need to close the gaping differences in female representation in the tech industry in Punjab. These were the views expressed by Sh. Rakesh Kumar Verma, Principal Secretary, Science, Technology and Environment at the occasion of signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala and Girls X Tech Foundation, a not for profit organization and one of the first partners that the revolutionary American company Girls Who Code has in India.
An MoU was signed by Dr.Neelima Jerath, Director General, PGSC and Sh. Param Singh, Founder, Girls X Tech Foundation in the presence of Sh. Rakesh Verma, Principal Secretary, STE here at Chandigarh. The MoU had been signed with an objective to establish ‘Girls X Tech-PGSC Coding Clubs’ in schools and colleges for girl students, to provide computer literacy programs especially in rural and semi-urban areas leading them to technology based livelihoods. Elaborating the objectives of the MoU, Mr.Param mentioned that he goal of this program is to connect 10,000 Punjabi girls to tech-related education programs by the year 2021. This will ensure their increased participation in and access to technology education and future employment. The program will also encourage and support women in realising their ideas to completion in the form of potential startups in the region.
Dr.Jerathinformed that in addition to setting up clubs in rural and semi urban areas for impoverished girls, we shall alsoinvolve girls fromAtal Tinkering Labs (ATLs), Punjab in this program. She furtherinformed that we shall also implement Mobile Computer Literacy Program for rural girls and women in Punjab.