National Conclave to Empower Tribal Community through S&T Innovation

The event commemorates Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas (National Tribal Day), observed on 15 November.

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IIT Guwahati is hosting a two-day National Conclave on 11-12November to showcase various ways of empowering tribal communities through Science & Technology interventions. The event commemorates Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas (National Tribal Day), observed on 15 November.

The conclave was inaugurated in the presence of Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda. The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences, Minister of State PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, virtually presided over the inaugural ceremony.

The National Conclave on ‘Science & Technology Empowerment of Tribal Community’ conclave will bring out strategies and recommendations for strengthening the institutional and Human Capacity (both at community and individual levels) for the comprehensive development of Tribal Communities through Science and Technology.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, “This is the first time in the country, on such a large scale, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) ‘s contribution to the empowerment of tribal communities in different walks of their lives and livelihoods is being showcased. I am happy to declare that DST is launching a special programme for “Accelerated Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups” as a part of AzadikiAmritMahotsav.

“While science is universal, technology must be local to provide solutions relevant to local needs and conditions. DST has developed, deployed and disseminated many locally relevant, proven technologies to solve the problems of economically weaker Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities, especially in rural areas, through the application of science and technology,” said Dr Singh.

“It is the need of the hour to incorporate scientific and technological interventions to empower the tribal community. DST is spearheading around 75 such science, technology and innovation hubs in different parts of the country that directly benefit the students from the tribal communities, providing techno interventions in agriculture, resource management, and micro enterprises development, among others. I hope this national conclave will build a strong foundation for further development of the tribal communities through science and technology”, said Arjun Munda, the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs.

The two-day event will showcase DST’s various initiatives in empowering tribal communities through science, technology and innovation while deliberating on the challenges and opportunities for empowering their lives and livelihoods.

The conclave is attended by stakeholders from knowledge organisations, research & development labs, civil society, social entrepreneurs, grassroots innovators, beneficiaries, and change-makers from tribal communities. The highlights of the conclave include a roundtable discussion by Vice Chancellors of Tribal Universities, technical sessions, a change-makers conclave, and an exhibition on S&T Innovations.

Prof. T.G. Sitharam, Director of IIT Guwahati, said, “The theme of this National Conclave aligns with IIT Guwahati’s mission to provide technological solutions for challenges faced by a diverse population of the North East region.

“As part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan’, we are working towards making a social impact by providing developmental solutions in niche areas to enhance the life quality at all levels,” Prof Sitharam stated.

The conclave is being organised by DST, and Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Govt. of India, in collaboration with IIT Guwahati; North-East Centre for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR), Shillong; Assam Science & Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC), Guwahati; Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology, Guwahati; and Vigyan Prasar, New Delhi.  (India Science Wire)