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Sunday, October 25, 2020

DST to impart skills to woman workforce hit by Covid-19 for earning better livelihoods

The scheme is based on imparting skills suited to earning a better livelihood and providing access to complementary technologies to the migrant women workers who have lost their jobs in recent months.

Written by Anjali Marar | Pune | September 26, 2020 12:03:45 am
covid-19, dst, dst women technology park, women technology park scheme to backward states, UN Women, indian express newsThe WTP programme is aimed at providing women with easy access to latest technologies and fine-tuning their skill set for improving income generation capability. (Representational)

THE DEPARTMENT of Science and Technology (DST) is planning to expand its women technology parks (WTP) scheme to backward states, now home to displaced labourers due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme is based on imparting skills suited to earning a better livelihood and providing access to complementary technologies to the migrant women workers who have lost their jobs in recent months.

World over, 740 million women work in the informal sector and their income fell by 60 per cent in the first month of the outbreak, stated ‘From insight to action’, a special report by UN Women released in the backdrop of Covid-19.

There are 40 WTPs established in the country and this network will be strengthened as new parks are soon to come up in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, northeastern states, among other places. Majority of these states experienced a sizable reverse migration in the last six months.

“On an average, 200 to 250 women benefit from every park. The skill training will be designed to help enhance livelihoods and health of women across age groups, that too, in a sustainable way,” said Debapriya Dutta, Head, Science for Equity, Empowerment and Development (SEED) division of the DST.

The UN report found women workforce is at a 19 per cent higher risk of job loss than the male workforce. In Asia and Pacific, half of the total working women reported a drop in working hours as compared to 35 per cent men who experienced the same, and 21 per cent and 25 per cent self-employed men and women, respectively, reported job loss due to Covid-19.

The WTP programme is aimed at providing women with easy access to latest technologies and fine-tuning their skill set for improving income generation capability.

Covid-19 has pushed learning and working to the virtual medium and the same will be adopted under DST-supported projects for its upcoming leg of the WTP scheme, DST officials said.

Scientific, academic, research and development organisations, science and technology based NGOs working in these states can send online proposals to the DST before October 31. The training proposals compliant with National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) will be supported by the DST.

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