Dr. Jitendra Singh has announced the launch of an exclusive women’s portal for research grants and funds, which will be functional from April 1st, 2023. This announcement was made during the International Women’s Day celebration programme organized by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). Under the CSIR-ASPIRE program, only women scientists across India will be eligible to apply for research grants to carry out R&D in various disciplines of science and engineering – Life Sciences, Chemical Sciences,
Physical Sciences, Engineering Sciences, and inter/transdisciplinary sciences. The funds will be provided for staff (JRF/SRF/RA), contingency, and minor equipment, and the total budget of a research proposal, including the research fellow’s stipend, should generally not exceed 25-30 lacs.
Dr. Jitendra Singh stated that this initiative aligns with Prime Minister Modi’s efforts to promote ‘Nari Shakti’ and empower women in India. He added that PM Modi considers women-led development a central dimension of India’s progress and necessary for strengthening the country. The government has launched several welfare schemes in the last nine years to empower women, such as 68% of 2 crore PM Awas-Gramin beneficiaries being women, over 23 crore MUDRA loans being granted to women beneficiaries, and the improvement of thesex ratio to 1,020 women per 1,000 men, according to the NFHS-5 survey.
Dr. Jitendra Singh also highlighted the significant increase in women’s police personnel, the landmark decision to allow Permanent Commission for Women in the Armed Forces, and women breaking the glass ceiling in every sphere. For instance, Group Captain Shaliza Dhami became the first woman officer to command a missile squadron in the Western sector facing Pakistan. Women CRPF combatants have been inducted into the elite anti-Maoist COBRA Unit. Women officers have also started taking command of various Army units, and the Navy has started inducting women officers on frontline warships.
The CSIR has been taking several initiatives towards women’s empowerment, such as offering a 15% discount on CSIR technologies for women entrepreneurs by CSIR- Central Leather Research Institute and providing a slew of training programs across the whole spectrum of the CSIR domain. The proposal for inviting research grant proposals from Women Scientists under Extramural Research Scheme was approved during the 200th meeting of the Governing Body of CSIR on 17th December 2022, under the chairmanship of Dr. Jitendra Singh.
CSIR ASPIRE Women Research Grant