The Astronomical Society of India which is the leading association of professional astronomers in the country recently elected its first woman president. Dr. G C Anupama, a senior professor and Dean of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bengaluru, is also the second person from Karnataka to hold this honor after ISRO’s former Chairman Professor U R Rao.
Dr. Anupama is also a recipient of the Karnataka government’s CV Raman Young Scientist Award for the year 2001. At present, she is part of an international team engaged in setting up a Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) which would enable astronomers to conduct research infeasible with current instruments.
“The TMT is designed for near-ultraviolet to mid-infrared (0.31 to 28 μm wavelengths) observations, featuring adaptive optics to assist in correcting an image blur,” says this description of the telescope. It will be built at an estimated cost of over USD 1 billion.
She has presented numerous papers on Astrophysics (supernovae) at international conferences, besides leading the charge for the design and construction of the famous Himalayan telescope at the Hanle Observatory in Ladakh. It is one of the world’s highest sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes—which studies supernovas.
UNESCO notes that women comprise just 14 percent of 2.8 lakh scientists, engineers, and technologists working in R&D institutions across India — versus the global average of 28.4 percent. But, according to Dr. Anupama, this dynamic is changing, particularly at IIA.