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Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST)

7th September, 2022 Science and Technology

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Context

  • Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST), a new I-STEM (Indian Science Technology and Engineering facilities Map) initiative called “Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST)” was launched by the Government of India.

Details

  • The WEST programme will cater to women with a STEM background and empower them to contribute to the science, technology, and innovation ecosystem.
  • I-STEM is a national web portal for sharing research equipment/facilities and is the umbrella under which many programmes for promoting collaborations in R&D and technological innovation among and between academia and industry, especially startups, are underway.
  • Through the WEST initiative, I-STEM shall provide a separate platform to scientifically inclined women researchers, scientists, and technologists for pursuing research in basic or applied sciences in frontier areas of science and engineering.
  • Women may join the WEST program and explore opportunities to become stakeholders in various domains and pursue careers in R&D at various levels: technicians, technologists, scientists, and entrepreneurs.
  • Opportunities range from operating scientific equipment and maintaining them, to designing and manufacturing them.
  • The Skill Development programmes under the WEST initiative will provide training for women with S&T backgrounds to brush up on their abilities and become engaged “in the field” as lab technicians and maintenance engineers, filling crucial gaps in the R&D infrastructure of the country. This initiative will also help bring women back into S&T domains after a career break.
  • With this experience, women can become entrepreneurs to serve as consultants for the operation and maintenance of sophisticated equipment/instruments through the I-STEM platform. This would go a long way towards filling a “skills gap”, and putting publicly-funded equipment to good use.
  • Under the WEST initiative, the current support being provided to S&T startups by women entrepreneurs by I-STEM will be enhanced. The access to R&D facilities and R&D software platforms (COMSOL, MATLAB, LABVIEW, AUTOCAD) available through the I-STEM portal will form a strong support network for women entrepreneurs in S&T.
  • I-STEM shall provide a platform/forum for women researchers to deliberate on achievements, issues, and exchange ideas on taking the country forward through advances in science, technology, and innovation. In addition, a digital consortium “Connect Quickly” for online discussion and immediate support has also been established through the I-STEM WhatsApp and Telegram platforms.

 

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1857175

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