- Minister launches a special programme of DST for “Accelerated Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups”
- Department of Science and Technology (DST) had established 10 “Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Hubs” in different parts of the country for holistic development of Scheduled Tribe (ST) Communities; 15 more such Hubs will be established in the next one year
- DST also supported a 50 Crore rupees R&D project to develop a permanent cure for Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) using gene editing technologies
On the eve of “Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’ to be observed on 15th November, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today informed that the Department of Science and Technology (DST) had so far established 10 exclusive “Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Hubs” in different parts of the country for holistic development of Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities. 15 more such Hubs will be established in the next one year for inclusive socio-economic development through creation of sustainable livelihoods for the ST population in tune to their growing aspirations.
He said that 4 out of 10 such STI Hubs had been established in the Northeast, in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura to create sustainable livelihoods for the ST population of North-Eastern States.
The Minister was delivering the inaugural address of a programme to commemorate “Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’ at IIT, Guwahati along with Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda.
On the occasion, he also launched a special programme of Department of Science & Technology (DST) for “Accelerated Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups” as a part of “Azadi ki Amrit Mahotsav”.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the theme of the conclave “Science and Technology Empowerment of Tribal Empowerment”, echoes the thoughts of Prime Minister’s Jai Vigyan-Jan Anusandhan. Vision. He said, this is the first time in the country, on such a large scale, the contribution of DST for empowerment of tribal communities in different walks of their life and livelihoods is being showcased and thanked the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and other organisations of the department and ASTEC for being a part of this conclave.
Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi, in November 2021 had declared 15 November as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas to remember the contribution of tribal freedom fighters, as part of the year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of Indian independence. November 15 is the birthday of the great tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda, who is revered as Bhagwan by tribal communities across the country.
Dr Jitendra Singh elaborated that the nationwide celebrations of Janjatiya Gaurav Divas were led by the Prime Minister himself, who has consistently highlighted the invaluable sacrifices of the brave tribal freedom fighters towards the cause of India’s freedom struggle, were marked by a large number of important programmes, cultural events, social activities etc.
Dwelling on his Ministry’s measures for more focused attention on the integrated socio-economic development of the Tribal Community through various Schemes and Programmes, Dr Jitendra Singh said, about 100 new projects were supported during the last three years in diverse technology areas and these projects are expected to benefit more than 50,000 ST population in various regions of the country.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, DST had also supported a 50 Crore rupees R&D project to develop a permanent cure for Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) with extensive benefits of improving the standard of life of such patients using gene editing technologies. He also added that Heritage Food and Beverage Research Centre for research on Ethnic Foods of Tribals of NE and ST community Centre of Bio resources for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship has been established at Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology, Guwahati at a cost of Rs. 12 Crore.
Listing out other series of measures for upliftment of Tribal communities, Dr Jitendra Singh said, DST has provided 700 fellowships to ST students and scholars to pursue a career in Science through INSPIRE fellowships in the last three years. Similarly, Inspire-Manak Awards were given to 12,500 ST school children having potential ‘Original ideas’ to address societal needs through Science & Technology especially in context of National flagship Programmes. The Minister informed that more than 200 scientists belonging to ST community were offered financial support for implementing projects in the frontier areas of Science and Engineering under the Scheme “Empowerment and Equity Opportunities for Excellence in Science”, thus creating an opportunity in the National Science and Technology development process.
Dr Jitendra Singh hoped that the conclave will bring out strategies and recommendations for strengthening the Institutional and Human Capacity (both at community and individual level) for comprehensive development of Tribal Communities through Science & Technology. He thanked the different stakeholders from Central and State Governments, Knowledge Organisations, R&D Labs, Civil Society, Social Entrepreneurs, Grassroots Innovators, Beneficiaries and change makers from Tribal Community for being a part of the conclave and wish them all the success in their endeavours for making this conclave a grand success by their participation in different events.