A large number of women in India are highly qualified in science. Many of them are not able to pursue career in science due to domestic and social reasons. India cannot afford to miss out the skills and talent of such highly educated women. If she aspires to remain competitive in the knowledge society, S&T as a development indicator cannot be identified only with laboratory research. Many lateral and vertical issues need to be addressed for it to become truly a development indicator. The Women Scientists Scheme (WOS-C) has been evolved by the Government of India, Department of Science & Technology (DST) for providing opportunities to women scientists who desire to return to mainstream science and work in the area of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). WOS-C scheme aims to train women having qualifications in science/ engineering / medicine or allied areas in the area of IPR and their management for a period of one year. The training will allow them to work from their homes and thus maintain a good balance between professional and domestic demands. The scheme is being implemented by Patent Facilitating Centre (PFC) of Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC) on behalf of DST.
About 500 women have already been trained under this scheme, out of which 200 have cleared the Patent Agent Examination conducted by the Patent Office of India. Sixty percent of these women are pursuing their career in the area of IPR. Some of them are self employed and have become entrepreneurs.