Core Groups of SEED, DST connecting science to society

Core Groups of SEED Division of DST provide support for scalable and affordable technological advancement in rural areas for areas like housing, lighting and clean fuel, agricultural and animal husbandry, food processing and build local capacities in rural as well as remote areas.

Around 26 NGOs are supported under the Science for Society program of the DST, which helps develop relevant skills, innovations, products and grass-roots technologies in areas like clean energy and green habitat; agriculture and value addition; technologies for arid region; rural engineering and innovative products and technologies in forestry & food processing sector.

More than 50,000 women SHG members and more than 51,000 farmers are directly benefited from this programme. It also created various green jobs and develops micro enterprise in rural areas for sustainable livelihood.  

Science for Equity Empowerment and Development (SEED) Division of Department of Science & Technology, is instrumental in addressing well identified, location specific challenges mostly targeting deprived and underprivileged sections of society and communities living in rural as well as remote and tough terrains. It primarily focuses on Science and Technology (S&T) interventions at the grassroots level to address location specific challenges in rural and remote areas.

The Technological Advancement for Rural Areas (TARA) Scheme is one of the initiatives of the SEED Division that aims to develop and deliver innovative workable technology packages/models through adaptive research, primarily for rural application and societal benefits.

To access the progress as well as look at the future DST organized two days Core Group monitoring workshop during 5 Feb – 6 Feb, 2019 at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, in which all these groups came together along with a variety of experts from academia, industry and from other stakeholder communities.

In this annual meeting all the groups which are working in science for society, got together and looked at the technology and products which have been developed. The Groups spoke to each other, learnt about the problems and their optimal solutions.

The focus of this meeting was on the strategies for the scale-up and diffusion of several innovations out there.

An exhibition was also organized to showcase the need based innovative and affordable technologies for rural areas, appropriate and adoptable for livelihoods gain and social enterprises.

Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST mentioned that DST is fully committed to support quality science which is competitive both in India & globally. “This is a very interesting programme, because it not only looks what technology needs to be devloped, but appropriate technology for our needs. It also provides solutions for those problems and does so by working with independent organisations NGOs which have dedicated people, resources and interest in using science to solve society problems,” he added.

Professor Sharma emphasised the need of scaling the ideas, motivate local entrepreneurs and access of market linkages to provide technology led sustainable livelihoods in rural areas. He stated that in this endeavour the Core Groups of SEED, DST may play an effective role.