University of Kashmir, Hazratbal Srinagar has been selected as one of the Pilot institutions for participation in the 'Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI)’ Pilot project,a Government of India, Department of Science and Technology (DST) concern, for promoting gender equity in Science and Technology. The programme, initiated by WISE (Women In Science & Engineering) KIRAN (Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing) Division of DST, is being undertaken in partnership with the British Council, which will facilitate collaboration between selected institutions under GATI with Athena-Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN) accredited universities and research institutions in the UK. The aim is to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
GATI pilots a sustainable self-assessment and accreditation model, based on the principles that articulate a commitment towards overcoming systemic and cultural barriers to women’s academic and professional advancement at all levels. GATI draws inspiration from the Athena SWAN Gender Equality Charter and accreditation framework operated by Advance HE, UK since 2005 when the Charter was officially launched,with the first awards conferred in 2006. A growing number of universities, science departments and research institutes in UK are a part of this programme and have been recognized for their accomplishments. Recognizing the framework’s evidence-based approach to analysis, action and demonstrable impact, several countries have been inspired to join the Athena SWAN collaborative international network and launch similar initiatives. With the launch of GATI, India joins the list. The participating institutions will diligently work towards peer recognition as beacons of gender equity. Successful completion of the pilot would provide insight for nation-wide implementation of the GATI Charter. In time, all institutions would be expected to demonstrate continuous and sustained progression towards transformative change over several cycles of accreditation.
GATI being a community-based project that brings together a large number of stakeholders, will create a peer network of participating institutions where contribution of each institution to the mission will be valuable. The defining feature of GATI is that it will not just assess, accredit and recognize institutions through certification and awards but will also engage, mentor, partner and support institutions as they work towards reaching the global best practices of gender equality. Participating organisations will be provided with the requisite training and support at every stage as they undertake to work towards institutional recognition and GATI Award implementation.
A group of 30 institutions is participating in this programme. The selected institutions include top research and higher educational institutions like IITs, IISERs ICAR institutes, several DBT, DST, DRDO and Mo&CF sponsored research institutes, AIIMS and select Central, Deemed and State Universities. University Kashmir, Srinagar is one of the only two State/UT Universities figuring in the list of selected institutions. The scheme will cover the University’s main campus and satellite campuses. The award was announced on April 23, 2021 and stands listed on the official Website of DST, GoI.