Women Start-Ups leading India’s innovative success stories: Dr Jitendra

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Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that women Start-Ups are leading India’s innovative success stories.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the 12th batch of the Women scientist Scheme-C, WISE-KIRAN IPR of DST training programme here today, Dr Jitendra Singh said that many of the big scientific projects, including that of Gaganyaan, are being led by women scientists. He said, even during the COVID pandemic, it was the Women Self Help Groups from the Northeast who led from the front in providing a bulk supply of face-masks in different innovative designs and colours to match the attire, and big-branded houses picked up the cue from them to manufacture the same. He said one of the critical pillars of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s New India is the success story phenomenon of women innovators in the country.

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The Minister said that soon after taking over as Prime Minister in 2014, Narendra Modi took several steps to institutionalize women participation in scientific endeavours. He pointed out that all the women welfare schemes rolled out after 2014 have a solid scientific basis, be it Swachh Bharat Mission to address health hygiene challenges or Ujjawala free gas cylinders to fight the menace of toxic smoke impairing the lungs of rural womenfolk.

Dr Jitendra Singh highlighted that the Women Scientist Scheme-C (KIRAN IPR) scheme alumni contribute to 10% of active patent agents in-country. He said DST is actively engaged in creating an enabling environment for women in the science and technology domain, with the ‘Wos C scheme making a significant impact on the IPR ecosystem in India. It is not only empowering the women but also creating human resources for strengthening the S&T ecosystem of the country, the Minister added.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the WoS-C scheme or the WISE KIRAN-IPR’ supported by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) is being run by the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), a technology and policy think tank, to bring back women who could not pursue their career in science and technology field due to domestic compulsions into a professional lot.

Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that the women scientist scheme was conceived in 2002 under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Referring to the New IPR Policy of 2016 introduced under the supervision of Prime Minister Modi, which has many components like creating IP awareness, IF facilitation and capacity building, the Minister said women could pitch in large numbers and give their contribution to society by way of their assistance in nurturing and exploiting the Patents.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the WOS-C scheme is a part of the bigger scheme in DST, which aims to train women in IPR and related matters. He said, when the scheme started, only 20 women were trained in one year; however, seats have increased to 120. The Minister informed that under the scheme, the government is providing a stipend to women for one year for getting training in IPR, which is not putting any pressure on the family while women are being trained.

Dr V.K. Saraswat, Member NITI Aayog and Chairman TIFAC Governing Council, praised TIFAC for continuing the excellent work in Technology Foresight, hand-holding with innovators, implementing Tele Diagnostics programme, seaweed programme etc. He said the Women Scientist Scheme has contributed to enhancing the quality of drafting patents as they are highly qualified in their respective technology domains and have intense training on IPR and patents.

Dr S Chandrasekhar, Secretary of DST, expressed happiness about the outcome of the scheme and assured all support from DST to TIFAC in this regard. IN HIS ADDRESS, DG CSIR, Shri Shekhar Mande, lauded the collaboration of TIFAC and CSIR for hands-on training and contribution of these trainees at IPU of CSIR. Dr Nisha Mendiratta, Head KIRAN IPR, also deliberated on the importance of the WoS-C scheme.

Prof. Pradeep Srivastava, Executive Director, TIFAC, welcomed all the delegates of the programme and briefed them about the selection process of trainees of the scheme through an all-India entrance examination (55 centres in 45 cities).

On this occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh also launched TIFAC Mobile App and said that through this App, all the services of TIFAC will be a click away for the public. In addition, women scientists of the 11th batch of WOS-C, popularly known as KIRAN IPR, received Certificates for completing the one-year hands-on training on IPR from the Minister of Science and Technology. A total of 110 trainees completed their training in this batch, and about 27 trainees received certificates and others in absentia.