NEW DELHI: To mark the International Women’s Day, 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 announced an exclusive women’s portal for research grants and funds.The portal will become functional with effect from 1st of April.
The Minister was addressing the International Women’s Day celebration programme organised by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) here. He informed that the Council CSIR has decided to start exclusive Research Grants for Women Scientists under CSIR-ASPIRE and an exclusive portal in this regard will be available from April 1, 2023. The Special Call inviting proposals from Women Scientists will open the same day.
Pertinent to mention that the proposal for inviting research grant proposals from Women Scientists under Extramural Research Scheme, was approved during the 200th meeting of the Governing Body of CSIR on 17th December, 2022 under the chairmanship of Dr Jitendra Singh.
Only women scientists across the country will be eligible to apply for research grants to carry out R&D in major disciplines of science and engineering viz Life Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering Sciences and inter/trans disciplinary sciences.
The funds will be provided for staff (JRF/SRF/RA), contingency and minor equipment. The total budget of a research proposal including research fellow’s stipend should generally not exceed the limit of 25-30 lacs.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, this initiative is aligned to the Government of India’s initiative to empower women and promote ‘Nari Shakti’ in the country.
“As we move towards Amrit Kal, this is another visionary step towards the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s efforts to put Nari Shakti at the forefront of India’s development journey,” he said.
CSIR has been taking several initiatives towards Women empowerment, including 15% discount on CSIR technologies for women entrepreneurs offered by CSIR- Central Leather Research Institute and a slew of training programmes across the whole spectrum of CSIR domain. In August last year, for the first time in the history of CSIR, senior electrochemical scientist Ms. Nallathamby Kalaiselvi became the first woman Director General to head the premier scientific R&D body that constitutes 38 research institutes across the country.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said Prime Minister Modi considers women-led development a central dimension of India’s progress and necessary for strengthening India.
“In the last nine years, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has launched numerous welfare schemes that have aimed to empower women and make them lead India’s development journey. His efforts are enabling women to overcome social barriers and fulfil their aspirations,” he said.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said 68% of 2 crore PM Awas-Gramin beneficiaries are women and over 23 crore MUDRA loans have been granted to Women beneficiaries. For the first time, sex ratio in India has improved to 1,020 women per 1,000 men, according to the NFHS-5 survey, he said.
“PM Modi has made unshackling women and freeing them from the drudgery of everyday life a key objective of policy making. Every flagship welfare scheme launched by the Modi government has improved the lives of women across the country,” he said.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, in the last 9 years, there has been a massive increase in Women Police Personnel. In 2018, PM Modi announced a landmark decision to allow Permanent Commission for Women in the Armed Forces. There are more than 10,000 Women Officers serving in the Armed Forces, the majority in the Medical Services.
“Now Women are breaking the glass ceiling in every sphere. Only recently, the Indian Air Force posted Group Captain Shaliza Dhami as the first woman officer to command a missile squadron in the Western sector facing Pakistan. Women CRPF combatants have been inducted into the elite anti-Maoist COBRA Unit. Women officers have also started taking command of various Army units. The Navy has also started inducting Women Officers on frontline warships,” he said.