The total number of recognised startups in India rose from 471 in 2016 to 72,993 as on 30th June 2022, helped by proactive government interventions, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash said on Friday.
Startups and the entire technology ecosystem are the engines of growth for any country.
Recognising this aspect, the Government launched the Startup India initiative on 16th January 2016, intending to build a stronger ecosystem for nurturing India’s startup culture that would further drive our economic growth, support entrepreneurship, and enable large-scale employment opportunities, the minister said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has recognised startups which are spread across 56 diversified sectors. More than 4,500 startups have been recognised in sectors relating to emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence, analytics, etc.
Department of Science and Technology (DST) launched an umbrella programme called National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) in the year 2016 to nurture ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.
Under NIDHI, different programmes range from providing fellowships to the students opting for entrepreneurship.
Through the Entrepreneurs-In-Residence (EIR) programme to Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring Innovators and Startups (PRAYAS) programme by providing financial support for converting ideas into prototypes, availability of early-stage Seed support to incubated ventures.
This provides mentoring and investment readiness support through Accelerators, and creating Centres of Excellence (CoE) in incubation.
To promote innovations in the biotechnology sector, the Department of Biotechnology, through Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), supports and nurtures startups in the Biotechnology sector.
The major schemes are BioNEST Scheme (Bio incubators Nurturing Entrepreneurship for Scaling Technologies) and Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) schemes.
To promote innovation and agripreneurship by providing financial support and nurturing the incubation ecosystem Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana- Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation (RKVY-RAFTAAR) scheme has launched “Innovation and Agri-entrepreneur development” programme, as a component.
Startups under the programme are taking up projects in various fields of agriculture and allied sectors like Agro-processing, Food Technology & Value Addition, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Block Chain Technology (BCT), precision farming and Digital agriculture, and Block Chain technology among others.
The Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) was launched by the Department of Defense Production, Ministry of Defense, to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation and technology development in Defense and Aerospace by engaging Industries, R&D institutes and academia and providing them grants to carry out R&D.
The startups receive up to Rs 1.5 crore as a grant for the development of innovative prototypes. They also receive enormous support from iDEX’s partner Incubators at IITs, IIMs, and other private incubators spread all over the country.
Under the Atal Innovation Mission, the Government has set up Atal Incubation Centres (AIC) to incubate startups in various sectors.
It has also launched Atal New India Challenge (ANIC) program to directly aid startups with technology-based innovations that solve sectoral challenges of national importance and societal relevance.
The Government has also operationalised 26 Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in diverse areas of national interest for driving self-sufficiency and creating capabilities to capture new and emerging technology areas.
These domain-specific CoEs are being established pan India with the participation of the Central Government, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), State Government(s), industry partnership and venture capital firms. These CoEs act as important enablers to promote innovation in emerging technologies.