Top women executives to head 5 NIT boards

NEW DELHI: For the first time, top women executives of technology firms have been appointed chairpersons of the board of governors of five National Institutes of Technology (NIT) in a bid to encourage enrollment of more girls and break the glass ceiling in engineering.

Kumud Srinivasan, president of Intel India, has been made chairperson of the prestigious NIT Trichy; Vanitha Narayanan, managing director of IBM India Private Limited, NIT Suratkal; Aruna Jayanthi, CEO of Capgemini India, NIT Calicut; Vasantha Ramaswamy , founder director of Aprameya Associates, NIT Rourkela and Jaya Panvalkar, formerly head of NVIDIA's Pune design centre, NIT Surat.

Eleven NITs did not have chairpersons.

"Getting women to head NIT board of governors will have an impact in making these institutions more attractive for girls," highly placed sources said. "Since many of the new chairpersons went to technology institutes and have worked at the highest levels in technology firms, they are best placed to break the stereotype that engineering is essentially a male profession. The HRD ministry expects that with so many women heading the board of National Institutes of Technology , the NIT Council, the supreme governing body, will help to increase the enrolment of girls in these institutes.

"The HRD ministry is focused on increasing the enrolment of girls in engineering institutes. CBSE has already launched `Udaan', a scheme to attract girls to engineering," sources said. Kumud Srinivasan (appointed to board of NIT Trichy) has worked with Intel for over 25 years and made India the company's largest non-manufacturing site outside the US. Vanitha Narayanan (NIT Suratkal) is also in IBM's integration and values team.

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