Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that StartUps in India grew 300 times in the last 9 years.
Dr Jitendra Singh was speaking at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan where “National Innovation Awards”, instituted by the Union Ministry of Science & Technology, were presented to “Grassroot Innovators” by the President of India, Droupadi Murmu.
The Minister said that there were just around 350 StartUps before 2014, but after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the clarion call from the ramparts of the Red Fort in his Independence Day address and rolled out special StartUp scheme in 2016, there has been a quantum jump in StartUps to more than 90,000 with more than 100 Unicorns.
Dr Jitendra Singh further added that simultaneously Prime Minister Modi opened up the Space sector for private participation leading to more than 100 StartUps in the Space sector within just about three years. Similarly, Biotech StartUps went up from around 50 to nearly 6,000, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that India had no dearth of talent, capability, innovation and creativity in the youth, but they were lacking a favourable milieu and proper patronage from the political leadership which was provided by Prime Minister Modi, and it is also now evident that we have so much of innovative talent even in our rural youth and there is no linkage between formal education degree and innovation capabilities which is evident from the awards given today. He added that this issue was also sought to be addressed by Prime Minister Modi by bringing in National Education Policy 2020 which gives emphasis to skill and not only to the academic degrees and prepares the individual for earning livelihood according to his or her aptitude and skill.
The Minister mentioned that the nature of the awards given today and the profile of the awardees proves that a large number of “Grassroot Innovators” are available in India who may not have a very high formal education but who are capable of creating success stories and also generating attractive means of livelihoods for themselves.
Dr Jitendra Singh appreciated the efforts of the Department of Science and Technology and National Innovation Foundation (NIF) for organising the “Festival of Innovation & Entrepreneurship” (FINE) and noted that it is a unique effort to promote Science, Technology and Innovation even among those who may not be highly educated in the formal sense or may have not even be science students but who possess inherent talent and inborn aptitude for innovation and entrepreneurship, which also may become a source of livelihood for them.
The awards were presented in different categories, namely national level, State level and student category. Two of the recipients today had already been awarded Padma Shri for their innovations.