NEW DELHI: 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 today that Industry stake is important for “sustainable” StartUps.
Addressing the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) event organised by NITI Aayog here titled, “Celebrating 75 years of India’s Innovation Journey”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Atal Innovation Mission has ignited the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in our schools and colleges thus motivating them to become confident self-employers. He informed that the Mission through its various programmes has been supporting more than 2,200 StartUps in all the major fields of innovation like Health Tech, Fin-tech, Agri-tech, AI-ML, IOT and other sectors of public importance.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, our greatest asset is Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who not only has a natural predilection for science but is also forthcoming in supporting and promoting science and technology based initiatives and projects. He said, India’s scientific prowess is going to have a major role in the making of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat ”.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that from inculcating innovative mind-set in school children through Atal Tinkering Labs to supporting StartUps and innovators through its programmes like Atal Incubation Centres, Atal Community Innovation Centres and ANIC challenges, AIM has been transforming innovation and entrepreneurship landscape in the country holistically and comprehensively. He said, Atal Innovation Mission, which recently completed its 6th year since inception, is complementary to the government’s vision of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, Sabka Prayas”.
Apart from referring to the Mentorship programme of DST, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Atal Tinkering Lab with the mantra of “Catch them Young” needs further development and widespread reach to capture grassroots innovation. He said, with a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million Children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, AIM is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India. The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Science & Technology and Innovation go hand in hand and a country with a good scientific temper and R&D structure will excel in innovation and entrepreneurship. The Minister recalled that in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 106th Science Congress, emphasised the importance of Research by adding “Jai Anusandhan” to the famous slogan “Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisaan, Jai Vigyan”.
Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that in the past few years, India has covered an appreciable distance in the innovation landscape and today India has more than 60,000 registered start-ups and around 90+ unicorns. He said, this has been possible through the consistent efforts from our start-ups and innovators and support by the government through various initiatives like Atal Innovation Mission, DST, BIRAC, Start-up India, MeitY etc and this also shows innovative and entrepreneurial prowess of the country.
The Minister expressed hope that in the coming years, Innovation in India will play a vital role in achieving the goal of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy. He added that the country will need a structured and planned strategy towards innovation and in this regard, Atal Innovation Mission will have to transcend into an umbrella organisation in terms of its scope and size in order to fulfil the aspirations of a growing innovation ecosystem.