In a move to bring the downtrodden into the mainstream by making them familiar with the latest technology, the Union government plans to set up 30 science, technology, and innovation (STI) hubs in different parts of the country for Scheduled Tribes (STs) by the end of 2022 to promote scientific talent among the tribal communities and for their overall socio-economic development.
“Out of the 75 proposed STI hubs for SCs/STs, 20 have already been established by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which will directly benefit 20,000 people through various interventions spreading across the farm, non-farm and other allied livelihood sectors,” Union minister of state for science and technology, Jitendra Singh said, while inaugurating the ‘Tech [email protected]’ as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
The minister was interacting with the successful startups, including those from the tribal communities, on the occasion of Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas to mark the birth anniversary of tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda.
According to Singh, India’s rising trajectory in the Global Innovation Index (GII) was backed by new tech-based initiatives and that despite the crippling effects of Covid-19, improvement in GII to 46th rank consolidates India’s place among the most innovative economies with growing investments in innovation, scientific output, and expenditure in research and development (R&D).
The minister said that scientific departments like the Department of Space, the Department of Atomic Energy, the Department of Science & Technology, and the Department of Biotechnology have played a pivotal role in improving India’s global ranking, a release from the Science & Technology Ministry said.
Singh said that on a broader front, ‘Tech NEEV @75’ should lead to opportunities for land to lab research and building synergies with traditional, local, and indigenous knowledge leading to new scientific developments that contribute to building resilient communities.
While emphasising the theme of ‘Vocal for Local’, Singh said that while science is universal, technology must be local for providing solutions relevant to local needs and conditions for addressing problems of affordable healthcare, housing, clean air, water and energy, agricultural productivity and food processing, etc. for improved quality of life and ease of living for the common man.
He said there is an urgent need for building the capacities and capabilities of the community in harnessing the potential of science, technology, and innovation for sustainable development.