In a bid to encourage more women into taking the tech entrepreneurship route, Dr. Harshvardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology recently inaugurated Women Bio-tech Incubator at Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women Society during the recently concluded International Science Congress, 2017 in Chennai.

The inauguration took place during the Women Scientists Conclave organised on the theme “Women Scientist and Entrepreneurs – Game Changers Driving Science for New India.” It was held as a part of India IISF.

Taking the podium at the conclave, Dr. Harshvardhan said, “In the field of Science and Technology and Entrepreneurship, Indian women have had a major presence over the last 100 years. The DST and DBT have special schemes to attract women scientists and to provide employment opportunities to the unemployed women scientists. Women Entrepreneurship is a very important activity that has been growing rapidly in last few years. “Start up India”and “Stand up India” announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister are initiatives which offer tremendous opportunities to the women entrepreneurs.”

Talking about the talented women at the incubator, he added, “The women scientists would contribute significantly to the growth of the country and fulfill the dream of Hon’ble Prime Minister of “Making a New India”. Women scientists and Entrepreneurs definitely are the Game Changers Driving Science for “Making a New India”

Despite being the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, the sorry state of gender equality in the Indian startup ecosystem reflects the ages old discrimination and backwardness that the South Asian country has been fighting since time immemorial now. The second report of “Startup India- Momentous rise of the Indian Startup ecosystem” presented by Nasscom along with Zinnov revealed that only 9 per cent of Indian founders or co-founders are women. In fact, the year saw 'Women Business Ownership' index by Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs ranking the Indian subcontinent among the lowest in the 54 economies it evaluated globally.

India, which has the second largest population in world out of which 48.17 per cent are women, scored a lowly 41.7 points on the index, which made it occupy the 49th rank among the 54 global economies that the index took into account.

The index explained India's poor performance by stating that the country presents much lesser opportunities to women to participate in the workforce, engage in entrepreneurial activities or even assume leadership roles in general.

This development was first reported in BioSpectrumIndia.

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