India has a rich heritage of architecture, we were the inventors of 'zero' and the decimal system. In a world of discoveries and the journey towards a sustainable, developed future, Indian women emerged the leaders by being exemplary in many fields. Science is just one of the many. On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, here are a few women that made our nation proud with their contribution to the field of science, innovation, and development.
Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi
Anandibai was the first woman in India who graduated with a two-year degree in Western Medicine in the United States. She is also the first Indian woman physician. She was married at the age of 9, and had her first child at the age of 14, who had later died. The pain she faced as a young mother led her to take up medicine. She had studied at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1886; this was the first women’s medical program worldwide.
Dr. Indira Hinduja
Dr. Hinduja is an Indian gynecologist, obstetrician, and infertility specialist who developed the Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) technique that led to the first birth of GIFT baby in 1988. She holds a doctorate degree in Human In Vitro Fertilisation and Embryo Transfer’ from Bombay University, and she had also delivered India's first test-tube baby. Her advancements in science were credited for developing an oocyte donation technique for menopausal and premature ovarian failure patients, giving the country’s first baby out of the technique on January 24, 1991.
Ranadive was a visionary in the field of cancer research, who had first identified the links between cancer susceptibility and viruses. She published a report on the correlation between breast cancer and heredity that led to the most developments in the field of cancer research. She was conferred with India's second-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 1982 for her contribution towards medicine. She also is responsible for the country's first tissue culture research lab establishment at the Indian Cancer Research center.
Chatterjee is an exceptional Indian organic chemist who graduated in chemistry from the Scottish Church College of the University of Calcutta in 1936. Her research on vinca alkaloids (derived from the periwinkle that is known for its anti-cancer properties) is noted amongst many fields. She had investigated the chemistry of almost all principal types of indole alkaloids and was the first to suggest stereo-configuration of sarpagine. She also elucidated the structure of luvangetin isolated from Luvanga scandens. For her exemplary work, she was conferred with the C.V Raman award, P.C Ray Award, and the S.S Bhatnagar award.
Ammal, the first Indian scientist to be conferred with the Padma Shri Award in 1977, had occupied the reputed post of the director-general of the Botanical Survey of India. She obtained an honors degree in botany from the Presidency College in 1921. She had scientific research in cytogenetics — a branch of genetics that is concerned with how the chromosomes can relate to cell behavior and phytogeography — concerned with the geographic distribution of the plant species. Ammal’s most renowned work is on sugarcane and Brinjal.