S&T for Women
This special scheme of the Department of Science & Technology (DST) is focused on women as a specific target group. The Objectives of the Scheme are to promote research, development and adaptation of technology to improve the quality of life, workings conditions for women, provide newer opportunities for gainful employment of women especially in rural areas and increase the contribution of women scientists to technology-based development. The Scheme primarily identifies the following priority areas:
- Specific science and technology application program to solve the problems of women in different regions such as hill, coastal and arid;
- Research and development on post-harvest technology and agricultural implements used by women to improve productivity and reduce drudgery;
- Research, development and demonstration program to minimize occupational hazards of women in domestic, agricultural and organized and non-organized industries;
- Design, fabrication and improvement of equipment, accessories, tools and machinery used by women in different occupations in formal and non-formal sectors;
- Up-gradation of traditional skills for utilization of available local resources and providing means for women to enter into the organized sector or for starting entrepreneurial production or service units.
- Enhancing capability of women in modern industries particularly in electrical and electronic technologies;
- Women's Health issues: - Nutrition, non-communicable diseases, prevention strategies for communicable diseases; and
- Selective studies on issues concerning women scientists and engineer
WOMEN TECHNOLOGY PARKS
Women Technology Park is a technology modulation and a training center to showcase livelihood and scientific technologies for women. The objective of Women Technology Park is to promote the development and adaptation of appropriate technologies, transfer of proven technologies and demonstration of live technology models to promote women's employment. It recognizes the likely remuneration of an improved and structured mechanism for showcasing technologies to the rural areas. The scope of concern of Women Technology Park is as a “linkage” between rural women farmers/entrepreneurs and the innovators/ researchers/ scientists.
It is a center established in the women farmer’s community to create an environment and attitude so that the scientist-cum-technologist can extend the recently developed methodology that can be adopted and practiced by rural women at their own work farm/place to establish their own micro-enterprise to become an entrepreneur and self-reliant. The Women Technology Parks showcase the proven technology on profitable dairy farming, profitable poultry farming, profitable sheep and goat farming, profitable fish farming, vermicomposting, floriculture, mushroom cultivation, smokeless chullah, biogas technology, floriculture, vermiculture, compost preparation, bee-keeping, fisheries, soil management, low-cost bio-fertilizer production, coir mat preparation, fruit and vegetable processing, herbal cosmetics, etc. It improvises rural women farmers on the processing of value-added products of the things which grown more in their cultivated land or area. Processing of raw material (milk, meat, egg, fish) into products (dairy products, meat products, egg products and fish products) can not only increases the cost multiple times but also enhances the shelf-life and functionality of the products.
The aim of Women Technology Park is to create awareness among the rural farming communities and give training of proven technology to obtain maximum benefits from their existing resources. Its objective is to make them aware of “processing” that can enhance their income multiple times. It will also facilitate rural women in providing backward as well as forward linkages that ensure the marketability of their produces. Based on their keen interest and they can able to join hand-on training programmes where these trainees get start-up grants to start their following activities and can set up their own micro-enterprises to become self-reliant and entrepreneurs with the help of village panchayat and other known government schemes.
Need of Women Technology Parks
India is a growing country with the contribution of science and technology intervention. India consists of different states with different geographical and topography levels. Many states in this country is a tribal inhabited state where there is no huge factories, building and laboratory where an individual can engage in work which uplift their source of income and livelihood pattern. They only depend on traditional cultivation which becomes hard to sustain nowadays due to climatic conditions. Inaccessibility, illiteracy and absence of technological development are the other factors that add to the backwardness of the state. Land is a major resource in the economic sector considering the fact that agriculture is the epicenter of development in the country. It is the greatest source of income in rural states. According to the Indian State of Forest Report, India covers 24.56 percent of the geographical area of the country. Area-wise, Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. In terms of forest cover as a percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (85.41%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.63%), Meghalaya (76.33%), Manipur (75.46%) and Nagaland (75.31%). These states also contain rugged topography. So the life of the people is very hard, they even can’t shift the cultivation.
Though the social status of males and females are almost the same, females share the major responsibility of the family. Besides heavy domestic works like cooking, pounding of rice, collection of firewood and wild vegetable, weaving for family, tending animals, fetching water, females share the major work in the field, like clearing off the forest, weeding, sowing, harvesting, etc. Climbing hills with heavy loads, collecting firewood and vegetable from deep forests are risky and taxing tasks for vegetables from deep forests are risky and taxing tasks for females. So here, the life of the woman is made more pathetic. Women empowerment is the necessity of the hour as no community will be developed if both genders of the population are not moving at equal pace. To overcome this difficulty, the government is making an attempt through Women Technology Parks to empower women through inputs of science and technology and to promote development and adaptation of appropriate technologies, transfer of proven technologies and demonstration of live technology models to benefit women and upgrade their livelihood status.
Study of Women Technology Parks in the country
Vigyan Prasar (VP) is a national-level organization, dedicated to communicating and popularizing science and technology in the country. The organization caters to different stakeholders and reaches out to different target groups at the grass-roots level with science and technology communication intervention through various media. Focusing on Women as a target group, VP aims to study WTPs by capturing the status and the best practices of the WTPs and create awareness about them. The documents will be in the form of a compendium and also in the audio-visual medium can help leverage the programme to become a national level movement and expand the network of beneficiaries. It will have a multiplier effect in empowering women at the grassroots level.
It will also help develop the Women Technology Parks to act as centers for dissemination to spread the success of WTPs. The documentation would help create awareness about the programme so that the success stories can be replicated, exchange of knowledge can take place and more women can benefit from the programme and lead to one step ahead of women empowerment. The study would focus on standard practices to be adopted for WTPs and do an impact assessment for the projects. The Study aims to synchronize the workings of the WTPs with the achievement of SDGs in India.
A large number of women including SHGs have been benefitted directly through biotech packages for floriculture, horticulture, cultivation of mushrooms, medicinal and aromatic plants, bio-fertilizers, organic farming, vermicomposting, sericulture, aquaculture, animal husbandry, poultry farming and the making of bio-crafts. Several training modules have been prepared by the Department of Biotechnology for creating awareness on health, nutritional food preparations and agricultural practices.
1. Agri-biotechnologies - The women beneficiaries were trained on organic farming covering nutrient management through vermicompost, NADEP & other organic manures, use of bio-fertilizers, pest & disease management through bio-pesticides etc.
2. Aquaculture - Development of mangrove-based agro aqua farming for restoration of Mangrove ecosystem and providing livelihood was supported at the Andaman Islands. Five crab fattening pens were installed at three project sites and two farm model fish feed units were installed at two sites. Four value-added fish product development units were also established.
3. Animal Feed - At Kanyakumari, women were provided with the Azolla kit consisting of Azolla seeds, Silpaulin sheet minerals etc and were extensively trained on the production of Azolla-based feed for poultry & livestock. This technology of Azolla feed production for poultry and cattle has been transferred to a dozen local/state agencies.
4. Hybrid Seed Production - Women farmers were trained in TNAU, on hybrid maize seed production covering parental line sowing methods, detasseling, crossing, harvesting F1 seeds, processing and marketing.
5. Prasad Kit - A unique programme was developed around major shrines by utilizing local bio-resources for the preparation of items of offerings at these places. A total of 15 projects were supported under this programme benefitting around 7000 women.
6. Rural Bio-resource Complex - Seven projects were supported through State Agricultural Universities to establish various technology packages in an integrated manner forming a bio-resource complex for women. Such a bio-resource complex has been established at Udaipur, Bikaner, Dharwad, Jorhat, Wayanad (Kerala), Ludhiana and Coimbatore.
KIRAN (Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing) embraces women-exclusive schemes of the Department of Science & Technology (DST) with the mandate to bring gender parity in S&T through gender mainstreaming. Different programs and components of KIRAN presented below deal with various crucial issues (break in a career primarily due to family responsibilities, self-employment, part-time career, relocation, etc.) faced by women scientists in their career path.
1. Women Scientist Scheme-A (WOS-A): WOS-A is aimed to provide opportunities to women scientists and technologists for pursuing research in basic or applied sciences in frontier areas of science and engineering.
2. Women Scientists Scheme-B (WOS-B): WOS-B is focused on S&T solutions of challenges/issues at the grassroots level for social benefit. Under this segment, women scientists are required to work in the domain of lab-to-land technology development, its adaptation, transfer and scaling up and is primarily location-specific interventions.
3. Women Scientists Scheme-C (WOS-C): WOS-C aims to create opportunities of self-employment and/or also sustainable careers for women scientists. The scheme provides a one-year internship in the domain of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) which includes theory as well as hands-on training in law firms.
4. Mobility: To address the relocation issue of women scientists/academicians working in a permanent position in Government organizations ‘Mobility’ component has been initiated by DST under KIRAN. Mobility’ here is referred to geographic mobility for sustenance and career advancement of Women working in S&T domain.
5. S&T for Women: The program “Science and Technology for Women”, under KIRAN was initiated in 1981-1982 with a mandate to promote gender equality and empower women at the grassroots level with inputs of S&T through development, adaptation, adoption, transfer, demonstration and replication of appropriate and successful technologies. Since its inception, more than 2000 projects have been sponsored and more than 500 technologies have been developed through individual projects, coordinated programmes and Women Technology Parks.