When the Mangalyaan blasted off into space in November 2013, it also launched into orbit a pioneering group of space scientists, who captured the popular imagination as India’s rocket women – exemplified by a viral photo of scientists laughing and celebrating the event.Young scientists such as Moumita Dutta, Ritu Karidhal and Minal Rohit spawned numerous articles and even a book, all while working diligently towards India’s next big space project: the second lunar mission or Chandrayaan-2.Dutta, who was part of the team of 500 scientists that launched the frugal mission, worked at the Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre. She was a student when she read in the newspapers about India’s maiden moon mission, and was inspired to work for the space agency – just like her colleagues who came from myriad backgrounds and worked for months to make the mission a success. Then, in 2017, renowned medical researcher Soumya Swaminathan made global headlines when she was appointed deputy director general at the World Health Organisation. Swaminathan, who was working as a secretary in the health ministry and was the director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (the second woman to hold this post), pioneered tuberculosis research… Read full this story
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