The role of science and technology in sustainable human development has been receiving considerable international and national attention, particularly after the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Science and technology have been central to poverty alleviation and economic development. However, the large chunk of the benefits of science and technology has not reached the majority of poor both in developing and developed countries. This hard truth has been assertively acknowledged by the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD). Science and technology has also been misused to the disadvantage and risk of the society including for the development of weapons of mass destruction, growing population and environment degradation. Another bitter truth is that a pea nut of international R & D is the devoted to the need of the global poor. There have been technological gaps among and within the nations. Many developing countries lack the capacity to access and utilize advances in science and technology.
In India which is one of the scientifically proficient country, science and technology has been used in wide ranging activities form promoting high and basic research and development to cutting edge technology on one hand as per the claim of the Government of India (Department of Science and Technology), to serve the technological requirement of the common man through development of appropriate skills and technology. However, in India like other scientifically proficient countries, the benefit of science and technology has not reached the socially excluded and marginalized population groups, who are on the flings and margins of science and technology development benefits.
In India, the 5 areas (water, energy, health, agriculture, and bio diversity) as identified by the United Nations as critical areas of progress needs to be further developed, transmitted and defused to enhances the out reach and impart of S&T.
Science and technology education which pervert all the priority themes in S&T for development, should be vertically and horizontally as well as qualitatively and quantitatively expanded to provide greater human capacity, trainings, research and application. Sankalp has been working towards creating a greater awareness to buildup a broad-based, people-centered, and multi-stakeholder policy and programme for science and technology for the development. The Organisation has been underling the need to strengthen indigenous scientific and technological capabilities, through increased involvement in science education, research and innovation and infrastructure. The emphasis has been put on effectively harnessing simple and mature technology, particularly in agriculture sector as well as developing and accessing new and emerging technology.
The Organisation has been recognizing the importance of S&T on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal with its resultant sustainable impact on the national development. The critical areas being covered by the Organisation as strategic policy and programme intervention; making science and technology relevant to society;
- ensuring interaction between scientific research and industries;
- strengthening school science and mathematic education;
- promoting gender science and technology;
- fostering greater youth involvement in S&T; and
- ensuring wider dissemination and greater utilization of scientific result.
Science and technology as crucial contribution to the sustainable development needs to be pro-poor, pro-nature, pro-jobs and pro-women its diffusion, production, transmission, use, adaptation and selection should be universal in its target groups particularly to provide social inclusion and enhancement of the socially and geographically excluded and marginalized groups.
Gender science and technology has been one of the frontal area of SANKALP’S activities related to science and technology for development it has been widely excepted that and fully acknowledged by the UN Commission Science and Technology of Development (UNCSTD) that women suffer disproportionately in comparison with men and in fact women constitute to be almost entirely over looked in science and technology for development. This contrast gets further reemphasis by the facts that women play a central role, both their production and reproductive capacities in the developmental process. In fact the share the largest burden of the underdevelopment in their varies roles in the family and society as well as where ever they are jobs.
SANKALP has been strongly espousing the integration and implementation of the Seven Transformative Action Areas" identified by the Gender Working Group of the UN Commission on S&T for Development
- gender equity in science and technology education;
- removing obstacles to women in scientific and technological careers;
- making science responsive to the needs of society: the gender dimension;
- making the science and technology decision-making process more gender aware;
- relating better with local knowledge systems;
- addressing ethical issues in science and technology: the gender dimension; and
- improving the collection of gender disaggregated data for policy makers