Mumbai, India, April 7, 2022: BASF Chemicals India Private Limited (BCIPL) has signed an agreement with the Pune Knowledge Cluster (PKC), an initiative facilitated by the Office of the PSA, to launch WEnyan, a research scholarship program for women in Maharashtra. WEnyan (विज्ञान) represents Science; ‘WE’ stands for Women in Education while ‘Nyan’ (ज्ञान) is knowledge.
WEnyan is a holistic scholarship program where women in leadership positions from scientific fields will play an active and important role in selecting, mentoring, and monitoring other women candidates in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility commitments, BCIPL will provide financial support for research projects, to women candidates from marginalized backgrounds in the state of Maharashtra. These women will be selected by PKC. The areas of research will include Applied Natural Sciences, Specialty Chemicals, Agri-Chemicals, New Materials, and Sustainability.
Through this initiative, PKC aims to increase enrollment and retention of women in scientific streams creating a more gender-equal workforce. Key beneficiaries of the program would be women from marginalized communities and low-income groups in Maharashtra, who are either pursuing or have completed undergraduate degree (BSc / BTech / BE) or Master’s degree (MSc / MTech / ME) and want to explore entrepreneurship.
Research indicates that STEM-related jobs as well as science-based entrepreneurship have grown in the past few years in India. An increase in enrolment of women in higher education coupled with lower dropout rates at the undergraduate and graduate levels is a crucial step towards reducing gender gap in the organized workforce.