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Science & tech dept to take 50,000 girls under its wing

PUBLISH DATE 19th November 2017

 

Next year onwards, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) will mentor thousands academically proficient girls to help them gain admission into the National as well as Indian institutes of technology.

Around 50,000 girls currently in Class X, who will achieve top ranks in their respective boards, will be chosen under this programme, DST secretary Ashustosh Sharma said at the 57th Prof S P Agharkar Memorial Oration at Agharkar Research Institute on Saturday.

Sharma said pilot projects were already running in small clusters across the country, and rued the less-than-10% strength of girl students in IITs and said India needs more women in leadership roles. “This will not be a typical coaching class method. Instead, science camps will be held for the chosen students. These camps will help them strengthen their basics and also guide their preparation. There will be regular, almost monthly camps, so by the time they have to appear for entrance exams, the maximum number of girl students get through,” Sharma said, adding that students will be selected purely on merit.

Meanwhile, Sharma said the department will write to the HRD ministry to revise its technology curricula to include machine learning, big data et al. “We write to the All India Council of Technical Education and University Grants Commission to include topics like machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, big data, etc in the syllabus. We will be setting up various centres in this regard, and will work closely with the HRD ministry for better manpower and research and development,” Sharma further said.

Predicting cyber warfare as the thing to watch out for, Sharma stressed on the need to increase manpower and improve R & D and technology in this field. “Cyber physical systems is the next big thing, and we cannot miss that,” he said Sharma also touched upon need for scientific manpower, resources, centres of knowledge, basic and translational R & D. “Instead of just learning about the systems,” Sharma said, “there is a need to look at commercialization too.”

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