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Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2020: According to the newly introduced Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2020, scienttific and technological institution will be based on the support provided to the female staff in these institutions. The policy has been introduced to make such institutions more diverse and inclusive. In addition to the support extended to female staff, ranking parameters will also include the geographical location, socio-economic strata, age and language.

Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST) was quoted saying that under the new science policy, there will be a separate chapter on inclusion, equity and diversity. He also added that deliberations for the new Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2020 are underway and the policy is expected to be unveiled by December 2020 on the basis of which Government as well as Private institutions will be graded.

The framework for evaluation is being worked upon, said Mr. Sharma. Adding that different parameters such as the number of women employees recruited every year, total number of female staff in an institute and their career graph, the kind of support they are provided with along with a committee for grievance redressal are the parameters that will be taken into account, Mr. Sharma said that this will ensure the women with a level playing field.

With low representation of women in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the number being as low as 10 – 12% in top engineering institutes, the Secretary said that the DST is starting a number of initiatives to ensure that the number of women increases in STEM. Along with STIP 2020, a ‘Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN)’ Scheme is also being started by the Department to provide women scientists and technologists with various career opportunities.

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