I-STEM INITIATIVE

  • Recently, a new Indian Science Technology and Engineering facilities Map (I-STEM)initiative called “Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST)” was launched.
  • The WEST programme will cater to women with a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) background and empower them to contribute to the science, technology, and innovation ecosystem.
  • 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 equipments 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.
  • The access to R&D facilities and R&D software platforms (COMSOL, MATLAB, LABVIEW, AUTOCAD) will be available through the I-STEM portal.
  • 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.
  • A dedicated team of women will ensure the successful implementation of the WEST initiative.

I-STEM

  • I-STEM is a National Web portal for sharing R&D (Research and Development) facilities.
  • The portal facilitates researchers to access slots for the use of equipment, as well as to share the details of the outcomes, such as patents, publications and technologies.
  • Launched in January 2020. It is an initiative of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviserto the Government of India under the aegis of Prime Minister Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) mission.

Way Forward:

  • I-STEM must monitor the impact of the initiative by obtaining feedback.
  • Steps must be put in place to increase the wider participation of women in WEST and I-STEM.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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