“Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST)” initiative
⇒ “Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST)” initiative was launched by Dr. Parvinder Maini, Scientific Secretary, Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India on 5th September 2022.
- Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST) is a new I-STEM (Indian Science Technology and Engineering facilities Map) initiative.
I-STEM is a national web portal for sharing research equipment/facilities and is the umbrella under which many programmes for promoting collaborations in R&D and technological innovation among and between academia and industry, especially startups, are underway.
- The WEST programme will cater to women with a STEM background and empower them to contribute to the science, technology, and innovation ecosystem.
- Through the WEST initiative, I-STEM shall provide a separate platform to scientifically inclined women researchers, scientists, and technologists for pursuing research in basic or applied sciences in frontier areas of science and engineering.
- Women may join the WEST program and explore opportunities to become stakeholders in various domains and pursue careers in R&D at various levels: technicians, technologists, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Opportunities range from operating scientific equipment and maintaining them, to designing and manufacturing them.
- The Skill Development programmes under the WEST initiative will provide training for women with S&T backgrounds to brush up on their abilities and become engaged “in the field” as lab technicians and maintenance engineers, filling crucial gaps in the R&D infrastructure of the country.
- Under the WEST initiative, the current support being provided to S&T startups by women entrepreneurs by I-STEM will be enhanced. The access to R&D facilities and R&D software platforms (COMSOL, MATLAB, LABVIEW, AUTOCAD) available through the I-STEM portal will form a strong support network for women entrepreneurs in S&T.
- I-STEM shall provide a platform/forum for women researchers to deliberate on achievements, issues, and exchange ideas on taking the country forward through advances in science, technology, and innovation. In addition, a digital consortium “Connect Quickly” for online discussion and immediate support has also been established through the I-STEM WhatsApp and Telegram platforms.
⇒ Shri Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Housing and Urban Affairs, led an official and business delegation to Milan, Italy, from 5th – 7th September 2022, to attend the Gastech Milan-2022.
During the visit, the Minister participated in the select Ministerial Panel of the Opening Ceremony along with Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Egypt and State Secretary of Energy of Portugal.
Gastech, the World’s largest gathering focussed on LNG as an abated bridge fuel, brought together leading Ministers and CEOs to discuss the evolving energy landscape; assess post-pandemic economic recovery and navigate a route to a just energy transition.
He also took part in Ministerial Panel discussions titled “Energy Security and Transition” and “A just energy transition for developing nations”.
Shri Puri chaired the “India Spotlight: Powering India’s energy industry – new avenues for a sustainable future” panel discussion.
Further, during the visit, the Minister held bilateral meetings with his counterpart, Ministers and with CEOs of global energy companies, who attended in the Gastech Milan-2022.
» The Ministry’s flagship event, India Energy Week, scheduled from 5th-8th February 2023 in Bengaluru, launched by the Minister during this visit.
1st Khelo India Women’s Judo Tournament
⇒ The 1st Khelo India Women’s Judo Tournament was held across four zones in India, which began on August 27, 2022.
» The Judo tournament is another initiative taken by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to support sports competitions for Women via the Government of India’s flagship program, Khelo India.
- The Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, allocated a total of Rs 1.74 Crore for the conduct of the tournament, which includes prize money of Rs 48.86 Lakh.
- The tournament, held across four zones before a National Round, was an open Zonal level ranking tournament.
- The competitors range across four age groups: Sub-Junior (12-15 years), Cadet (15-17 years), Junior (15-20 years) and Senior (15+ years).
- The East Zone Competition was held from 27 August to 31 August, 2022 at SAI centre Guwahati, Assam.
- The South Zone Competition was held from 01 September to 05 September, 2022 at VKN Menon Stadium, Thrissur, Kerala.
- The North Zone Competition was held from 05 September to 09 September, 2022 at Pestle Wood School, Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
- The West Zone Competition was held from 11 September to 15 September, 2022 at Sardar Patel Sports Complex, Gujarat.
- Following competition across all the four Zones, the National Round was held on October 20-23, 2022 at the KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.
International Day of Clean Air for blue skies 2022
⇒ The International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is observed globally on 7 September every year.
The United Nations General Assembly has designated it with an aim to raise awareness and to promote actions to improve air quality.
The theme of the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies 2022 was “the air we share”.
It focuses on the transboundary nature of air pollution highlighting the need for collective accountability and collective action. It also highlights the need for immediate and strategic international and regional cooperation for more efficient implementation of mitigation policies and actions to tackle air pollution.
On November 26, 2019, the Second Committee of the 74th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 7 September as the “International Day of Clean Air for blue skies”.
Celebration in India:
Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change organized 3rd International Day of Clean Air for blue skies as ‘Swachh Vayu Diwas (“Swachh Vayu Neel Gagan”)’ to raise awareness and facilitate actions to improve air quality under National Clean Air Programme.
- National Clean Air Programme aims at improving air quality by reducing Particulate Matter concentrations by 20-30% in 131 cities in the country.
- It includes 123 Non-Attainment Cities (NAC) which exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for 5 consecutive years and 42 Million Plus Population Cities/Urban Agglomerations. 34 cities are common in both categories.
- 131 cities of the country have developed City Action Plans and Micro Action Plans to address various sources contributing to poor air quality such as vehicles, road dust, construction, industries, thermal power plants, burning of waste, Construction and Demolition Waste, etc.
- There has been an overall improvement in Particulate Matter concentration in 95 cities including 20 cities conforming to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards in the year 2021-22 compared to 2017.