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300 Women Scientists to Receive Research Grants under CSIR-ASPIRE Scheme

New Delhi: Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, announced today that 300 women scientists will be awarded research grants under the CSIR-ASPIRE scheme. This announcement was made during a review meeting of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR).

The CSIR-ASPIRE scheme, launched on International Women’s Day last year, received around 3,000 proposals. Following a rigorous screening and independent review process, 301 research proposals were selected for support. This initiative is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to empower women scientists and promote gender equality in the field of scientific research.

Dr. Singh emphasized the importance of innovation in science and technology to empower citizens and improve their quality of life, aligning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of promoting ease of living. He praised the success of the ‘One Week One Lab’ (OWOL) initiative, which showcases the achievements and innovations of the 37 CSIR labs across India. Dr. Singh urged the team to expand this initiative and work towards a ‘One Week One Theme’ model to foster stronger connections with industries, MSMEs, start-ups, and other stakeholders.

During the meeting, Dr. Singh also highlighted the importance of scaling up the Seaweed Mission for sustainable green economy and commercial cultivation. He lauded CSIR’s efforts in transforming biomedical waste into value-added soil additives, significantly contributing to environmental sustainability.

Dr. Singh expressed his satisfaction with CSIR’s innovative projects, such as the E-Tiller, 108-petal lotus, and the purple mission. He directed the scientists to integrate the Phenome India-CSIR Health Cohort Knowledgebase (PI-CHeCK) with artificial intelligence and machine learning models to develop targeted diagnostic and prognostic technologies, paving the way for precision medicine in India and globally.

In addition, Dr. Singh inquired about the progress of a comprehensive database on Indian women’s foot anthropometry and gait, which aims to identify defective gait patterns early and develop supportive footwear to prevent osteoarthritis and other complications.

Biomanufacturing and Bio-foundry to Drive India’s Future Bioeconomy

In a separate review meeting of the Department of Bio-Technology (DBT), Dr. Jitendra Singh emphasized the crucial role of biomanufacturing and bio-foundry in driving India’s future bioeconomy and promoting “Green Growth.” He noted that India’s bio-economy has grown 13-fold over the past decade, from $10 billion in 2014 to over $130 billion in 2024.

Dr. Singh highlighted the scheme to promote biomanufacturing and bio-foundry, which aims to transform the current manufacturing paradigm into one based on regenerative principles. This scheme will provide environment-friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals, and bio-agri-inputs, supporting bio-start-ups and the broader bio-economy.

He encouraged scientists and officials to maintain momentum and empower farmers and agri-entrepreneurs, aiming for a BIO E3 framework – Bio-economy, Environment, and Employment. Dr. Singh stressed the importance of developing indigenous technologies and products and urged DBT to harmonize research integration between research institutions, industrial R&D, and the start-up ecosystem.

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