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Leveraging Public-Private Commitment for Women’s Greater Access to Technology and Education

March 13, 2023


Statement by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj

Permanent Representative of India to the UN





Esteemed Panelists and

Distinguished Participants,


We are delighted to partner with UN Women India in organizing today’s event on this important theme.


I deeply appreciate your presence today in the effort to deliberate and share views on leveraging public-private commitment for greater access by women to technology and education.


Let me emphasize that in India we recognize the transformational capacity of technology to provide impetus to women’s empowerment and sustainable development. The Prime Minister of India has said that he sees “technology as a means to empower and as a tool that bridges the distance between hope and opportunity”. He has also said that India can move forward only by raising the levels of respect for women and by enhancing a sense of equality. He has called upon all of us to move forward with the determination to remove every obstacle coming in the way of all women.


You might ask me what the Government of India has done.


The Government of India has taken numerous citizen-centric digital initiatives with a greater focus to enable access for women to finance, credit, technology and employment. These initiatives have focused on providing immediate assistance to women in distress, preventing violence against women, and promoting women’s full and equal participation in every sphere of society.


Under its Digital India programme, multi-pronged targeted interventions have been introduced that have transformed India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy, with a particular focus on the rapid upliftment of the socio-economically weaker sections of society.


The Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) trinity has proved to be a game-changer and helped in reaching out to citizens living in the farthest corners of the country. During the unfortunate pandemic, this initiative was more than a ray of hope, facilitating direct benefit transfer to nearly 200 million women.


These were but two examples. Since the focus today is on the role of the private sector, and how it can take a frontal role to bolster the process, let me turn to that. Needless to say, forging public-private partnerships between educational systems, governments and private sector organisations working in emerging technologies such as 3D technologies, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, robotics and gene therapy is of vital importance.


And some good work has already been done!


Under the Vigyan Jyoti programme of the Government of India, we have partnered with IBM to encourage women tech experts as role models, actively interacting and inspiring girls to plan for a career in STEM.


Microsoft has partnered with the National Skills Development Council of India to provide digital skills to over 100,000 youth in the country under their Corporate Social Responsibility Programme.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has collaborated with the Grand Challenges India Partnership to accelerate research and innovation for global health needs.


Dr. Reddy’s Foundation has provided opportunities to Indian Women Scientists, Engineers & Technologists to undertake international collaborative research in premier institutions in the US for a duration of 3-6 months under the Sashakt Scholarship.


There are other collaborations with Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, the Newton Bhabha Fund etc. These examples reflect what a Public-Private-Partnership can do for promoting women’s livelihood in non-conventional sectors.


Clearly this should continue, with both strength and focus.


I will be available in the panel to respond to some questions. Meantime, I much look forward to our deliberations with all of you wonderful women in this room, who have chosen to be a part of the digital era and who have also chosen to carve a new future for yourselves, even as you continue to inspire women and girls globally, in this beautiful journey.


Thank you!