Vigyan Jyoti programme spreads to 100 districts in 2nd phase
The second phase of Vigyan Jyoti programme commenced on the occasion of International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11, 2021, which will spread the programme for encouraging girls to take interest in science and build a career in STEM to 50 more districts adding to the existing 50 districts across the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST hoped that this programme would improve by learnings of the past one year and expand to more and more districts of the country to empower women and help increase number of women in top science institutes.
Vigyan Jyoti programme, a new initiative to encourage girls to take interest in science and build career, was launched by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) to create a level-playing field for the meritorious girls to pursue STEM. It had been running successfully in 50 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV) since December 2019 and has now been expanded to 50 more JNVs for the year 2021-22.
Vigyan Jyoti activities include student-parent counselling, visit to labs and knowledge centres, partners role model interactions, science camps, academic support classes, resource material distribution and tinkering activities. Online academic support to students includes streaming of video classes, study materials, daily practice problems and doubt clearing sessions.
The programme addresses the under-representation of women in certain areas of STEM. As a first step, the programme has been started at school level for meritorious girls of Class IX to Class XII to encourage and empower them to pursue STEM courses in reputed institutions of the country.
DST is working proactively to bring gender parity in Science & Technology (S&T) domain through various women-centric programmes. Apart from Vigyan Jyoti, it runs other women-oriented programmes like Women Scientists Scheme to help women with career-break, Indo-US Fellowship for Women in STEMM (WISTEMM) program where women scientists can work in research labs of USA, Consolidation of University Research for Innovation and Excellence in Women Universities (CURIE) programme for improving R&D infrastructure and establishing state-of-the-art research facilities in order to create excellence in S&T in women universities and Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) program in pilot mode. Further, DST has also additionally established Artificial Intelligence (AI) labs in women universities with the goal to foster AI innovations and to prepare skilled manpower for AI-based jobs in future.