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Education across levels is the best form of empowerment that can be extended to women to positively impact the state of their being, their status and position in the society and build a solid foundation for their holistic growth and development. With an aim to create an ecosystem that empowers women and equip them with knowledge, skills and self-confidence, UPES has declared the year 2020 as the Year of Girl Empowerment. To further equip girls with quality education and training to boost their participation across levels, the University has, among other key initiatives, also announced an unconditional 25% scholarship to all girl students applying for all under-graduate and post-graduate courses starting with the session of 2020. The University has always been committed to empowering girls by ensuring their holistic growth and development by extending support in their education and providing them with relevant exposure.
With the vision to provide a fillip to women empowerment through formal higher education, UPES through Project Shakti will offer 25% scholarship on tuition fees to all girl students for the complete program duration seeking admission starting with academic year 2020. This initiative will provide a holistic atmosphere to girl students, and help the academia make relevant interventions to develop and refine their professional and personal skill sets.
UPES has been undertaking similar such internal projects to foster and nurture women working in UPES for leadership roles through sustained training modules. The advancement of women’s rights and the education of girls are critical preconditions for effective and sustainable development.
The launch event for Project Shakti took place on February 4, 2020 at the Hotel Ashoka, New Delhi. With the theme ‘Accelerating the gender equality journey: Empowering women from classroom to boardroom’, the event brought together change-makers from the government, industry and academia.
The event that was inaugurated by Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament, leading actor Ms. Tisca Chopra, Mr. Sharad Mehra, Chairman – Hydrocarbons Education and Research Society and Dr. S.J. Chopra, Chancellor, UPES witnessed an engaging discussion on women empowerment. Moderated by Ms. Dipti Nair, Editor, YourStory the discussion had Dr. Renu Batra, Additional Secretary, UGC, Ms. Talish Ray, Founding Partner, TRS Law Offices, Ms. Rajashree Rao, Head of Partnerships & Ecosystem (APAC), R² Data Labs, Rolls Royce, Ms. Vidhu Goyal, Founder & Partner, WONK App, Ms. Meenakshi Gupta, Co-Founder, Goonj and Dr. Vijay Kumar Singh, Dean, School of Law, UPES as panelists.
While sharing her thoughts on the importance of gender equality in today’s world, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament said, “I congratulate UPES on the launch of Shakti that will create equal prospects for women all across. There is a strong need to not just provide opportunities but also recognize the efforts and results throughout their journey. And it is equally important for men to be equal partners. Initiatives like Shakti is a step forward in addressing this issue and bridging the gender gap by empowering women in the real sense.”
The discussion focused upon the narrative of women empowerment in the present era and how the change needs to be initiated at the grassroots levels. It reiterated on the importance of education for women to bring the change that the society seeks for today and break the glass ceilings to achieve their dreams.
Commenting on the initiative, Ms. Tisca Chopra, actor said, “Education is an important aspect in the overall development of an individual because it provides unanimous power to analyse and question. I congratulate UPES for their initiative to provide 25 percent scholarship exclusively for all female students. Discussion around gender disparity is still new in India and initiatives like Shakti are playing a vital role in bridging the gender gap and addressing the matters that are of major concern.”