Annual Report 2006-2007
Technologies, products, processes and development models
have a tremendous capacity to address the problems facing
women both in the farm and non farm sector. To harness the
potential of technology to address the issues relevant to
women, the department has been implementing schemes exclusively
for women since the 6th plan. Gender initiatives of the department
have now been expanded to providing special opportunities
to women scientists for reentry after a break through gender
sensitive initiatives through fellowship schemes, gender budgeting
exercise and Awards to recognize efforts to empower women
and setting up a task force to ensure that the interests of
women practitioners in science are protected, and suggest
appropriate measures required to promote women to take up
the scientific profession.
Science and Technology for Women -
Empowering Rural Women through S&T
The scheme "S&T for Women" is a pioneering
gender initiatives of the department The broad objectives
of this scheme are to promote development and adaptation of
appropriate technologies, transfer of proven technologies
and demonstration of live technology models to benefit women.
Due to the efforts of the last two decades this programme
of DST has made a distinct impact through its innovative approach,
gender sensitivity and involvement of S&T based voluntary
organizations having strong linkages at the grass root. During
the year under the scheme, 44 projects have been sponsored
in technology areas such as natural resource management, bio
attractants for honey bee, production and fabrication techniques
of optical components for scientific/optical instruments,
paper recycling technology, root mat production and other
modern agricultural practices, nursery techniques for aromatic
and medicinal plants cultivation, rural dairy, watershed based
soil and water conservation, preservation, processing and
post harvest technology of off seasonal vegetables, tissue
Technology Development and Transfer
During the course of the year technologies developed were
transferred to user groups one such cost effective technology
for production of sanitary napkins was based on waste rayon
has been developed at Shriram Institute of Industrial Research,
New Delhi. Fifteen groups have been trained in the technology
on a pilot scale production plant. The technology package
is now ready for field trials after location specific adaptation.
Concurrently R&D project on standardizing technology for
production of sanitary napkins based on waste cotton from
hosiery manufacturing and other non traditional substrates
has also been taken up.
In a project on standardizing agro technology for plants
and trees used for preparation of "Dashamool" an
important Ayurvedic preparation. Cultivation trials of Ashwagandha
(Withania somnifera), Sonamukhi (Cassia angustifilia), Lendi
pippali (Piper longum), Isabgol (Plantago ovata), Shatavari
(Asparagus recemosus) and Kawachbeej (Mucuna sp.) have also
been taken up at Amba, Patnadevi, Kesri (Danoli), Nangartas,
Pabal and Koyna areas of Maharashtra. Apart from agrotechnology
for cultivation, basic marketing support was also provided
to the women farmers, some of them have taken up cultivation
in the successive season on their own. Complete "Dashamool"
plating material of 10 species is available for medium scale
plantation due to efforts of farmers involved in the project.
A series of mixed "Dashamool" plots have been established
in more than 6 different areas. Some of the root material
harvested from cultivated sources has been processed into
"Dashmoolarishtha" and "Dashmool Siddha Taila"
and is being used by Ayurvedic practitioners and has already
shown very promising results.
The pulses of mountain have always been in high demand because
their unique taste and quality. In a project in five villages
namely Bon, Malla, Tukhar and Mukhva of Uttarkashi district
and Ambiwala village of Dehradun district of Uttaranchal have
been developed as pulse villages with trials of improved varieties
of seeds and improved agriculture practices. About 120 women
(25 from each village) have been trained in cultivation practices,
grading and packaging and value added products from pulses.
- Twelve Enterprise Incubators for Rural Women or "Udyamita
Suvidha Kendra" are being established in Datia, Madhya
Pradesh for transferring various technologies like Pre-Fab
VSBK Gasifier, Mechanized pottery, MCR tiles to provide
women an opportunity of enhanced livelihood opportunities.
A well articulated development strategy evolved has ensured
the total involvement of women in design and development,
implementation and post project sustainability of the programmes.
The programmes are formulated in response to felt needs and
based on local resources potential available in rural areas
such as manpower, artisanal skills, land, water, forest, and
livestock. To sustain activities started in the Women Technology
Park set up at Dehradun, women have been encouraged to set
up a cooperative under Women's Initiative for Self Employment
'WISE'. WISE has a membership of more than 2500 women in Uttrakhand
who are involved in S&T based livelihood generation in
both farm and non farm activities and micro credit.
Projects completed successfully during
A model of rainwater harvesting and recharging system to
combat groundwater salinity in coastal aquifers and solving
drinking water problem, micro enterprise of rural dairy for
empowerment of women, In vitro mass clonal propagation of
endangered medicinal plants and their organic cultivation,
floral craft for mentally retarded children and cut flower
Rural Women Technology Parks act as windows for providing
information, creating awareness, giving training for appropriate
technologies leading to skill up gradation and also help establish
the all important forward and backward linkages for income
generation through micro enterprises for women. These Technology
Parks are set up for special terrains such as coastal, hill
and arid zone. Eighteen Women Technology parks have been facilitated
in the States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam,
Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharahtra, Pondicherry,
Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. Technology areas,
which will be addressed in these WTP's, are post harvest processing,
soil fertility management, medicinal plant cultivation and
semi processing, nursery techniques, aquaculture, energy.
Showcasing drudgery reduction devises and women's health are
also a major focus of these centres.
Fodder and Animal feed
A need based programme to ensure availability of fodder round
the year to rural women engaged in animal husbandry is being
implemented in 12 different agroclimatic regions of the country.
The salient feature of this programme is the tie up between
technology development agencies and S&T based Voluntary
Organization's, technology back up, field visits by experts,
midcourse suggestions and constant monitoring Technology areas
include (a) Year round fodder production technology- cultivation
of cereals and legumes in rotational manner (b) Up gradation
of poor quality roughages (c) silage preparation (d) preparation
of silo pits (e) silvipasture development (f) fodder production
bunds (g) cultivation of perennial grasses. The technology
for preservation of fodder has now been standardized. Ten
women at each site have been trained in profitable usage of
this technology. As an outcome of this project: (i) a simple
low cost chara cutting device has been developed women (ii)
training has been conducted for all project partners at BAIF,
Pune to impart modern techniques of preservation and management
Coordinated programme on women's health
Women of postmenopausal age group suffer from multiple problems
such as-poor nutrition, cardiovascular disorders, osteoporosis,
malignancies, and depression. Many of these are related to
old age exacerbated by decline in the hormonal levels due
to menopause. A multicentric study on Development of prevention
and intervention strategies for nutrition related non-communicable
disorders among post reproductive period women has been launched
at 8 locations of the country involving medical doctors and
nutritionist. The programme is being coordinated by AIIMS,
New Delhi. Data collected is being documented and location
specific intervention programmes are being implemented.
National Award for Women's Development
through Application of Science & Technology
This award was instituted in the year 2000 with an aim to
recognize the contribution of individuals/ organizations who
have worked at the grass root level for women's development
through application of science and technology. The award carries
a cash award of Rs.1.00 lakh along with a citation. The award
is open to the resident Indian citizens / institution that
have a minimum of 10 years contribution through application
of S&T at the grass root level for women's development.
In the year 2005 the award was conferred on Dr. Pushpa Gupta,
Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology,
Udaipur and Dr. Shobha Suryaprakasa Rao, Scientist F, Agarkar
Research Institute, Pune
Programme to be started shortly
A coordinated programme on "Large scale employment generation
in coastal India through sustainable utilization of marine
bio-resources" is planned to be initiated soon. A brainstorming
workshop to design the programme was organized. Subject experts
and potential partners from selected States were invited for
the workshop. The focus of the meeting was to discuss potential
in cultivation, processing and value addition of seaweeds
with direct benefits for coastal women. Discussion was held
on priority species (keeping in view of environmental considerations),
locations having greatest potential for implementation, economics
post harvest technologies, ecological sharing and post tsunami
effects on cultivation potential.
A coordinated programme on soil fertility management through
use of PROM (Phosphate Rich Organic Manures) is also being
planned to be initiated. This new technique developed involves
co-composting high grade rock phosphate in very fine size
with organic waste to become an alternative to costly chemical
fertilizers. The technology package will involve multidisciplinary
approach that covers mineralogy, granulometry and size reduction,
soil science agronomy microbiology biochemistry and engineering.
Fellowship Scheme for Women Scientists
The 'Women Scientists Scheme (WOS) of the Department of Science
and Technology is aimed at providing opportunities to women
scientists and technologists for pursuing research in frontier
areas of science and engineering. A special provision has
been made under this Scheme to encourage those women scientists
who have had break in their careers. It provides a launch
pad for them to return to mainstream science and work as bench-level
scientists in the field of science and technology. This Scheme
became operational in 2003.
Under the WOS-A scheme a total of 74 projects were sanctioned
during this year. The subject-wise distribution of sanctioned
projects was: life sciences - 38; chemical sciences - 15,
physical and mathematical sciences - 6; earth and atmospheric
sciences - 6; and engineering sciences - 9. The age-wise distribution
of selected candidates indicated that maximum number of selected
candidates were in the age-group of 35-45 years which seemed
to justify the aim of the Scheme. A total of 390 new proposals
were received (life sciences - 245, chemical sciences - 66,
physical and mathematical sciences - 34, earth and atmospheric
sciences - 25, and engineering sciences - 20) during the year.
Fifty six (56) of these projects were approved for financial
support. The overall success rate was 18%.
The monitoring exercise for the projects funded under the
Scheme has been initiated. During the year, the Department
monitored 170 ongoing projects. Out of these, 2 were graded
excellent, 8 - very good, 55 - good, 99 - satisfactory and
6 were graded poor. This indicated that the technical selection
of these projects had been quite good.
The fellowship scheme for Women Scientists
for Societal Programmes (WOS-B)
Considers applications in the challenging inter disciplinary
field for the development of the society. Applications for
the fellowship are invited from all over the country once
in every year in different subject areas. After thorough scrutiny
by the Secretariat, valid applications are screened in by
an internal Expert Committee. Screened scientists are then
invited for presentation before an Expert Committee. 47candidates
were selected for awarding the scholarship for the year.
Achievements in some projects supported
under this scheme are:
Optimization of process for juice extraction from fresh flower
and standardization of methodology for development of nutraceutical
products and their analysis has been achieved. Shelf life
study and sensory evaluation test of the products developed
has been studied. Value added collection of the underutilized
nonwood forest products (Mahua) for their industrial utilization
and transfer of technology package to set small scale industries
for rural employment generation has been developed and the
information is being patented.
- In a project on study of Lichens as bio-indicators for
air pollution has demonstrated that a luxuriant growth of
lichens (Crustose, Foliose & Fructicose) in a pollution
free area while at urban sites where the air quality is
not suitable for the growth of sensitive lichens (like Usnea
sp.) has lower lichen diversity.
- Development of standard operating procedures for different
Ayurvedic formulations. Three popular and more frequently
used indigenous formulations for ladies viz. Ashokarishta,
Suparipak and Kumariasava were selected as test formulations
for the development of SOPs. Formulation for them has been
- A women friendly direct four row paddy seeder with ergonomic
design features including enhanced performance and efficiency
of man-equipment system along with comfort and safety of
farm women has been developed. The design features include
four row paddy seeder with plastic material of 200mm diameter
hyperboloid shape filled to half of its capacity with 9
numbers of 10mm seed metering holes.
- Standardization of technique for producing seed materials
of seaweeds by tissue culture and demonstration of seaweeds
farming technology to socio-economically people in Goa.
The process of filing the process patent has been initiated.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) package against mealy
bug for Tukra infestation in their mulberry gardens and
Training to 35 Women Seri culturists on Mass production
of mealy bug Predators in H. Kodihalli and Bommandoddi in
Karnataka has been carried out.
- Under capacity building and economic upliftment of rural
women through integrated livestock fish-crop farming project
a model system has been developed at village - Basoli.
Fellowship Scheme for Creating Self-Employment
Opportunities in IPR (WOS-C)
27 women scientists have been selected by Patent Facilitating
Centre (PFC) after an all India competition comprising of
a written test and a rigorous interview. The training exercise
started in January 2006. They have been given a one year on-the-job
training in patent searches, patent interpretation and drafting,
laws including patent laws, preparing technology scan reports
based on patent searches and other data using different patent
databases, international treaties related to IPR, IP licensing.
On the job training was provided at attorney firms and government
agencies dealing with IP matters. The candidates have been
placed for training with the leading IP firms of the country
such as Anand and Anand, Lakshmikumaran & Shridharan,
K & S Partners, S. Majumdar and Co., Lall Lahiri and Salhotra
and Subramaniam, Natraj & Associates, PFC, CSIR, ICMR
and Patent Information Center (PIC), Punjab.
As a part of the training all the candidates have been given
a solid foundation in IPR through a 3 weeks orientation programme
with the help of national and international experts in all
areas of IPR. Hands on training on patent searches was one
important component of the programme.Two workshops were conducted
for the candidates. One of them held in July 2006 was exclusively
on "Drafting of the patent applications" and the
other one on "Trademarks, Copyright and Designs"
was held in January 2007.
Many candidates who have completed the training have found
employment in law firms and other places. The selection procedure
for the next batch of women scientists has already begun.
About 30-40 women candidates have been planned to be trained
in the third batch in 2007-2008.
It is hoped that this initiative of PFC would help building
up a large work force of women scientists having expertise
in different domains of knowledge to handle conceptual, operational
and management issues related to IPR in days to come.
National Task Force for Women in Science
A Task force for Women in Science under the Department of
Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology
was set up in on December 26, 2005. The main purpose of the
Task Force is to ensure that the interests of women scientists
are protected, and that appropriate measures required to promote
women to take up the scientific professions are taken up.
Since its constitution, the Task Force has had three meetings
at Delhi on March 10, 2006, Hyderabad on June 22, 2006 and
Jaipur on November 2-3, 2006. In these meetings a brain storming
meeting with group of women scientists, college teachers and
PG students is also held to record their views. The interim
recommendations of the TF have been sent to the Planning Commission
steering committee on Science and Technology. Some important
decisions on which action is being simultaneously initiated
are: A website and a directory of women scientists is being
operationalized, data pertaining to women scientists to be
collected, questionnaire on steps pertaining to reduction
of stress on women scientists, articles on achievements of
women Steps to chronicle life histories of successful past
and present women scientists is being done.