Nation Celebrates the National Girl Child Day

New Delhi: Nation celebrated the National Girl Child Day today. The day is celebrated every year on 24thJanuary. The day is an initiative of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The objective behind celebrating the National Girl Child Day is to provide all support and opportunities to the girls of the country. It also aims towards promoting awareness about the rights of the girl child and to increase awareness on the importance of girl’s education, and their health and nutrition.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has saluted the daughters of the nation on National Girl Child Day today. In a tweet, Shri Modi said “On National Girl Child Day, we salute our #DeshKiBeti and the accomplishments in various fields. The Central Government has undertaken many initiatives that focus on empowering the girl child, including access to education, better healthcare and improving gender sensitivity.”

Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister for Women and Child Development said in a tweet, “On National Girl Child Day, we reiterate our commitment towards ensuring equal rights for every girl child and empowering them with opportunities. Let us take pride in our daughters and spread awareness about the importance of girl child using #DeshKiBeti”.

Various ministries of the government of India like Ministries of Education,Sports, Skill Development and Department of Science and Technologyhave undertaken various initiatives and programmes for progress and empowerment of the girls.

National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 has introduced “Gender Inclusion Fund for targeting the development of girl child. The GOI will constitute a “Gender Inclusion Fund” to provide quality and equitable education for all girls. The fund will focus on ensuring 100% enrollment of girls in schooling and a record participation rate in higher education, decrease gender gaps at all levels, practice gender equity and inclusion in society, and improve the leadership capacity of girls through positive civil dialogues.Funds will also enable States to support and scale effective community-based interventions that address local context-specific barriers to girls and  transgender students.

NEP 2020 will focus on the safety and security of school-going girls both inside and outside of the campus. The schools have to ensure harassment, discrimination, and domineer free campus before enlisting for yearly accreditation. This will increase the attendance number of girl children in the class. The policy will identify social mores and gender stereotypes that prevent girls from accessing education and causing regular dropouts.

Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education (MoE) is implementing Samagra Shiksha – an Integrated Scheme for School Education (ISSE) under which various interventions have been targeted for Girls’ Education. Bridging gender and social category gaps at all levels of school education is one of the major objectives of the Samagra Shiksha.

In order to ensure greater participation of girls in education, various interventions under Samagra Shiksha have been targeted.  These interventions include:

  • Opening of schools in the neighbourhood as defined by the State,
  • Provision of free text-books to girls up to Class VIII,
  • Uniforms to all girlsSC,  ST  children  and Below  Poverty  Line  (BPL)  children up to class VIII,
  • Provision of gender segregated toilets in all schools,
  • Teachers’ sensitization programmes to promote girls’ participation,
  • Provision for Self-Defence training for the girls from classes VI to XII,
  • Stipend to CWSN girls from class I to Class XII,
  • Residential Schools/Hostels,
  • Construction of residential quarters for  teachers  in  remote/hilly  areas/in areas with difficult terrain.

In addition to this, to reduce gender gaps at all levels of school education and for providing quality education to girls from disadvantaged groups, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) have been sanctioned in Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs) under Samagra Shiksha.

Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports in recent years have promoted inclusivity, created an ecosystem of awareness towards women in sports and inspired a generation of young girls to actively take part in sports. An exclusive component of the Khelo India Scheme focuses on barriers faced by girls & women to take part in sporting activities, and creating mechanisms to overcome these andincrease participation. There is 161% increase in women participation at the Khelo India Games from 2018 to 2020. From 657 identified female athletes being supported under the Khelo India scheme in 2018, the number has now gone up to 1471 (223% increase). 86 women athletes were a part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) program in September 2018 and today we have 190 of them (220% jump).

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has launched ‘Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN)’ Scheme to provide various career opportunities to women scientists and technologists. It is primarily aimed to bring gender parity in Science & Technology sector by inducting more women talent in the research & development domain through various programmes.

At a glance overview of Outcome of Women specific Programmes of DST

Sl. No. Programmes Outcome
Women Scientists Scheme including WOS-A, WOS-B and WOS-C More than 2200 women scientists & technologists in last five years and current year
Indo-US Fellowship for Women in STEMM (started in 2017) 40 women scientists in two batches
Consolidation of University Research for Innovation & Excellence in Women Universities (CURIE) 8 Women Universities supported with Rs. 40 crore (approx.) benefitted approx. 25000 students
CURIE-Artificial Intelligence facility (started in 2019) 6 Women Universities supported with Rs.9.20 crore
Vigyan Jyoti (started in 2019) 100 Districts (including 12 Aspirational  and approx. 2500 girls
National Training Programme for Women Scientists & Technologists (started in 2012-13) 1359 Women Scientists working in Government sector (since 2012)
S&T for Women 82  Projects in last 3 years
Women Technology Parks (WTPs) 42 (since inception)
SERB Women Excellence Award 57(since inception)

 

The Department is running various programs and schemes for empowering women in science and technology. Program for Gender Advancement in S&T Institutionswhichstarted in 2020, aims to develop a Charter for Gender Equality in STEM with a focus on bringing about transformational changes at institutional level. The project aims to create a new ecosystem based on building competencies of institutions and provide them with ongoing mentoring support to achieve transformation. A new portal for S & T for women will be developed in the current year where all information to scholarships, fellowship, career, related to women will be placed. It will be a one stop information point for women students, phd student, post doc fellows, early career academic with list of mentors.

Ministry of Skill Development is making efforts for building conducive ecosystem for skilling women in India.Out of 33 National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs), 19 NSTIs are providing skill training exclusively for women. In NSTIs 3,400seats have been sanctioned under Craftsman Training Scheme and 2,225 seats have been sanctioned under Crafts Instructor Training Scheme(CITS). 421 women have been trained in AdvancedDiploma in IT Networking and Cloud Computing.

In the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS), the percentage of female apprentices has increased from 4% in August, 2016 to 12% in December, 2020.  The female enrollment percentage in STRIVE-assisted ITIs has increased from 15.5% to 19.1%.  Out of 23 lakh RPL certifications awarded during FY 2019-20 under PMKVY, over 5 lakhs were women.  271 Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS) have been sanctioned out of which 227 JSSs are active in  States/UTs.  Out of 4 lakh beneficiaries (per annum) 85%  are women.