Name: Tabassum Jamal
Theme: Women Empowerment
Dr. Tabassum Jamal is working as Chief Scientist at National Institute of Science Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), an establishment under Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, New Delhi. Dr. Jamal with her long experience with CSIR-NISTADS has contributed significantly in the area of Technology and Social Change. She has worked in the areas of National Innovation System, State Science & Technology Councils and Human Resource Development, particularly Technical and Vocational Education and training to promote employable skills. She has done several projects on evaluation and impact assessment of governmental promotional schemes in organized and unorganized sector. Also worked extensively with the state S&T Council of Uttar Pradesh and few other state councils in the area of S&T Policy making, Regional Innovation Systems, Cluster Development programmes and promotion of innovation capabilities. She has been working in the area of public provisioning of skill development, mapping of government initiatives & other agencies and capacity building in skill development. Currently her focus area of research is Science, Technology and Innovation in manufacturing by analyzing the institutional arrangements in the country for innovation and capacity building in MSMEs selected sectors based on primary survey and case studies.
Holding a PhD in Economics, she has published widely in reputed journals beside two books in her credit focusing on Economic and Technical Co-operation in developing Countries. As a faculty of AcSIR, Dr. Jamal is currently teaching a course on Science and Technology Systems: India and the World at CSIR-NISTADS.
Rightly known as the engine of economic growth, MSMEs play a very important role in India in terms of employment. MSMEs are more than just GDP earners as they are instruments of inclusive growth and gender equity. The importance of MSMEs is all the more significant in the North East India where large scale industries haven’t come up yet due to several inherent constraints. Moreover, it is relatively easier to promote and develop MSMEs in the region due to intrinsic advantages of MSMEs such as flexibility, inexpensive labour and low overheads, owner management and favourable capital-output ratio, diverse natural and cultural settings of the region, low skill profile of the people, government support, etc.
In the NE region, MSMEs (both registered and unregistered) provide employment to 13.26 lakh people. Out of these, 2.99 lakh are women, constituting 22.55% of the region’s against 14.40% all India. Of the total employment generated, 9.48 lakh people are in the rural areas. The employment per registered working enterprise is 11.28 in rural against 6.34 in urban. It is thus seen that MSMEs cater to the employment needs of women and rural areas largely. To explore the potentials of establishing and promoting new types of MSMEs keeping in view the natural and cultural endowments of the region, the upcoming industries in North East Region could be such as organic Farming, food Processing, Coir Industries and Raw food processing industries. The present paper will elaborate how this potential may harness the entrepreneurial spirit among the women in the region and creating the scope of optimum utilisation of rich traditional knowledge and natural resources of the region. Revamping the existing institutional arrangements in the area of education and vocational training for agriculture and related areas and introducing modular training courses in emerging skill requirements remain a major concern and challenge for women empowerment.