Union Minister of Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ presented the AICTE Lilavati Awards 2020 on women empowerment to the winners in New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Pokhriyal congratulated all the 456 teams who participated in the contest. The Minister said that India is a country where ‘Nari Tu Narayani’ has been an integral part of our ethos and culture. “In line with the vision of our Prime Minister, the Government has launched several welfare schemes for the overall development of girls and women in various fields, including Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao Yojana, etc.”, he added.

Shri Pokhriyal also informed that Government launched Udaan Scheme which aims to enable girls of weaker socio-economic status at school level to gain access to higher education. “We also started Pragati Yojana to give young women opportunity to further their technical education”, he added. He highlighted that the new National Educational Policy has greatly emphasised on gender equality and students should participate in such initiatives to promote women empowerment.

He welcomed the initiative of AICTE for instituting the Lilawati Awards and stressed that such innovative steps shall be great motivation for girls to join higher education. This initiative will pave a path towards equality in education and innovation, for women.

AICTE Chairman Professor Anil Sahasrabudhe said: “I thank Honorable Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ for attending the event. AICTE is so happy to present this year’s Lilawati Award aimed at empowering womanhood in the nation. Moreover, I congratulate all the teams who submitted the entries. India is a country known for respecting and celebrating the glory of womanhood, and with initiatives like these, AICTE is also contributing its bit to empower the women in our country,” he said.

Based on the theme ‘Women Empowerment’, AICTE finalized the winners from a total of 456 entries who competed across 6 sub themes, which include, Women’s Health, Self-Defense, Sanitation and Hygiene, Literacy, Women Entrepreneurship, and Legal Awareness. After analyzing the initial entries, the top 10 entries under each sub-theme were invited for presentation before the two committees headed by Prof Sushma Yadava, Vice-Chancellor, B.P.S. Mahila Vishwavidyalaya Khanpur Kalan, Haryana, and Dr. Vinita S. Sahay, Director, IIM Bodh Gaya.

SWEAT (Sona Women Entrepreneurship and Training) from Sona College of Technology, Tamil Nadu, won the contest in the ‘Women Entrepreneurship’ sub theme. Under the ‘Digital Literacy’ sub theme, Bharatiya Vidyapeeth won the contest. Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship Development Pune won the award under the ‘Literacy’ sub theme. WIT Women Health Coalition from Walchand Institute of Technology, Maharashtra, won the award under the ‘Women’s Health’ sub theme. Radiant Seetha from Thiagarajar Polytechnic College won the contest in the ‘Legal Awareness’ sub theme. Finally, Paritrana from St. Joseph’s College of Engineering, Tamil Nadu, won the award for the ‘Self Defense’ sub theme.

Bharatiya Vidyapeeth, who won the award under the digital literacy subtheme suggested that internet revolution that has happened in India post-2014 has played a crucial role in empowering women in the nation. “Post-2014, the internet revolution happened in India, and it has helped women in the country to grow, as information is accessible at their fingertips. However, even now, there are several women in the country who do not have sufficient digital literacy, and we should bring them too to the forefront of the society,” said Bharatiya Vidyapeeth.