India sets up science technology and innovation hubs for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes


India has begun setting up science, technology, and innovation hubs, especially for people of the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) to promote scientific acumen and boost their socio-economic status.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has said in a statement: “The Department of Science and Technology is setting up 75 Science Technology and Innovation (STI) hubs in different parts of the country, exclusively for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) to promote scientific talent and uplift the socio-economic status of these communities.”

The STI hubs will benefit over 30,000 people of the SC and ST communities through various interventions spreading across the farm, non-farm, and other allied livelihood sectors, and various livelihoods assets like energy, water, health, and education.

Union Minister of State for Science & Technology, Jitendra Singh informed on Tuesday, August 23, that 33 such STI hubs have already been established by the DST and, seven more are going to become operational soon. Singh made the revelation at the inaugural session of a two-day international conference on “Significance of Technology in Empowering Tribal Community of India” at the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s convention center in New Delhi.

The Science for Equity Empowerment and Development (SEED) division of the DST is also providing grant-in-aid support to several Knowledge Institutions (KIs), and Science and Technology (S&T) based Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) for the holistic development of SC and ST communities.

Singh said that after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed charge in May 2014, the country’s tribal community was given a “new deal” and efforts were made during the last eight years to give them more representation in the government and empower them through different schemes and interventions in education and skill development sectors. The minister also pointed out that Modi had enhanced the budgetary allocation for the welfare of tribal communities from Rs 21,000 crore to Rs 78,000 crore.