More and more young women should be encouraged to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in curriculum to foster individual as well as national growth, said Suchitra Ella, Co-founder and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech. 

She was delivering the special address at the 95th founding year ceremony of Andhra Chamber of Commerce (ACC) here on Monday. 

Inaugurating, Women of STEAM forum in Chennai, Ella said, whatever progress the country has achieved so far right from vaccine development to the recent lunar exploration mission (Chandrayaan-3) was possible only because of the pivotal role played  by the STEM. STEAM stands for STEM plus Arts.

The Padma Bhushan Awardee also said, by including women in the STEM journey, one can ensure more diversity, inclusiveness and development in different industries.

“India became the pharmacy of the world. We have supplied vaccines and pharmaceutical products to over 150 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Ella recalled, adding, “our strength in pharma and life sciences could not have been better demonstrated.”

Ella said, India is currently ranked as the fifth largest economy in the world and that the country offers abundance of opportunities for women to contribute and lead from both within the country and across the globe.

In her welcome address, VL Duttt, ACC President, said India is showing signs of growth in STEAM careers. “In 2016, India ranked as a top global leader in the number of university graduates with around 78 million students. However, this number had only 2.6 million new STEAM graduates, around 3.3 percent. However, by 2018, India had a share of almost 32 per cent of students picking up STEAM learning and continues to grow.” 

Established in 1928, ACC has regional chamber offices in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with a pan-India membership of over 1,200 companies.