The Hon’ble President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, on the 8th of March, 2016 conferred the Rani Lakshmibai Award (Nari Shakti Puraskar 2015) to TIFAC for its work under the scheme KIRAN-IPR for women empowerment in R&D through IPR training.
TIFAC, an acronym for Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council is an autonomous organization set up in 1988 under the Department of Science & Technology to look ahead in technologies, assess the technology trajectories, and support technology innovation by network actions in select technology areas of national importance. TIFAC continues to strive for technology development of the country by leveraging technology innovation through sustained and concerted programmes in close association with academia and industry.
The Nari Shakti Puraskar award is given every year on International Women’s Day by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to both Institutions and Individuals for their contributions towards Women Empowerment in the country. TIFAC was awarded in the institutions category for its work for KIRAN-IPR, and was received by Dr. Prabhat Ranjan, Executive Director of TIFAC at the Rashtrapati Bhavan . The Award consists of citation and a cash prize of INR 200,000.
The KIRAN-IPR scheme is being implemented by the Patent Facilitating Center (PFC) of the TIFAC. It strives to recognize the contributions of women in the field of science and serves as a catalyst to encourage more women to seek a career in science and technology. It recognizes the deep rooted social problem for women in India who cannot pursue a professional career due to a plethora of domestic reasons. And for this purpose, the training is designed in such a way that it allows women to work from their homes and thus maintain a healthy work-life balance. According to information released by the Patent Facilitating Center, about 400 women have already been trained under the scheme, out of which a total of 138 have cleared the Patent Agent Examination conducted by the Indian Patent Office. Another unique statistic, which serves only to commend the work done by the scheme is that around 10 % of the active patent professionals in the country are from this scheme.