Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST) Initiative

Recently, the central government launched a new i-STEM (Indian Science Technology and Engineering Facilities) initiative named “Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WEST)”.

Key Points

  • The WEST program is aimed at women from STEM backgrounds and will empower them to contribute to the science, technology and innovation ecosystem.
  • Under the WEST initiative, the existing support being provided by I-STEM to S&T startups of women entrepreneurs will be enhanced and a dedicated team of women will ensure the successful implementation of this initiative.
  • Access to R&D facilities and R&D software platforms (Comsol, Matlab, LabVIEW, AutoCAD) available through this portal will create a strong support network for women entrepreneurs in science and technology.
  • In addition, a digital group “Connect Quickly” has also been set up through I-Stem’s WhatsApp and Telegram platforms for online discussion and immediate help.

Significance of WEST

  • i-STEM will provide a platform for women researchers to discuss achievements, issues and exchange ideas to take the country forward through advances in science, technology and innovation.
  • Women with this experience can become entrepreneurs to serve as consultants for operation and maintenance of sophisticated equipment/equipment through i-STEM platform.
  • This initiative will also help in bringing women back into the science and technology domain after a career break.
  • This will go a long way toward filling the “skills gap” and putting publicly funded tools to good use.

I-STEM Portal

I-STEM is Indian Science, Technology Engineering Facilities Map. The portal will act as a gateway for the researchers and users to locate facilities that are required for their research and development work. Also, after locating the facility, the researcher can make an online reservation in order to use the facility. With this, the start-ups can leverage public and private investments and come up with successful services and products.

Initially, similar facility was operating at IISc Bengaluru and IIT Bombay. The I-STEM portal is a replica of these facilities. The facility at IISc Bengaluru was called the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE).

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