The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has created a new draft of a policy called the Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP) which aims to enhance more inclusivity across all genders in both the private and public sectors.

The draft aims to achieve self-reliance and with efforts position India among the top three scientific superpowers in the world for the decade to come. It also aims to double the FTE(Full-Time Equivalent) researchers, create individual and institutional excellence in science, technology and innovation, and to achieve the highest amount of global recognition in the coming decade.

Here are some of the takeaways of the new STIP:

More Inclusiveness

To promote more inclusiveness to the marginalized the STIP has proposed that the LGBTQ+ community should be included in conversations around pressing matters of gender equality and that provisions be made to safeguards their rights to boost their representation in the science, innovation, and technology sector. The STIP also says that partners of individuals from the LGBTQ+ community will be entitled to spousal benefits irrespective of gender.

Spouses Can Now Work In the Same Department

Among the proposals in the STIP, married couples that are enforced not to work in the same department are also given relief. The STIP proposes the removal of bars on married couples employed in the same laboratory or research department. Currently, married couples are not employed in the same department which leads to several cases of loss of employment and even transfers.

“Academic Age” In, “Biological Age” out

The policy also states that for age-related cut-offs regarding selection, promotion, grants, etc the “academic age” of an individual will be considered and not their “biological age”. This provision is for everyone that works in the sector, irrespective of their gender.

New Repository for Scientific Data and Info

The draft of the STIP policy says that an “Open Science Framework” will be created to provide access to the crucial data, information and resources to every Indian citizen that is operating in the STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) sector.

STI Units at Startups, Private Sector Companies, Govt Departments

With the aim to help people engage more in the STI ecosystem, the departments in the central, state and local governments, private sector companies, and startups will set up an STI unit with a designated budget.

The draft says, “Each state will earmark a percentage of the state allocation for STI-related activities under a separate budget head. Foreign Multinational Companies (MNCs) will collaborate with domestic private and public sector entities on projects aligned to national needs and priorities.”