Modi exhorts start-up innovators not to keep dreams local but go global

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with representatives of start-ups, through video conferencing, in New Delhi on January 15, 2022.

Modi exhorts start-up innovators not to keep dreams local but go global

New Delhi, January 15, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today exhorted young innovators in the start-ups not to keep their dreams local but go global.

During an interaction with representatives from the start-ups via video-conference, Modi singled out India’s diversity as a key strength and the cornerstone of the country’s global identity.

“Indian unicorns and start-ups are the messengers of this diversity. Start-ups from India can easily reach other countries of the world. So don't just keep your dreams local, make them global. Remember this mantra -- let's Innovate for India, innovate from India.”

The innovators gave presentations to the Prime Minister on six themes -- Growing from Roots; Nudging the DNA; From Local to Global; Technology of Future; Building Champions in Manufacturing; and Sustainable Development. More than 150 start-ups were divided into six working groups for these presentations. For each theme, there were presentations by two start-up representatives, who spoke on behalf of all the start-ups selected for that particular theme.

They shared ideas and inputs on a variety of sectors and areas including robust data collection mechanism in agriculture; making India the preferred agri-business hub; boosting healthcare through the use of technology; tackling the issue of mental health; promoting travel and tourism through innovations like virtual tours; ed-tech and job identification; space sector; connecting offline retail market with digital commerce; increasing manufacturing efficiency; defence exports; promoting green sustainable products and sustainable means of transport, among others.

Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Mansukh Mandaviya, Ashwini Vaisnaw, Sarbananda Sonowal, Parshottam Rupala, G Kishan Reddy, Pashupati Kumar Paras, Dr Jitendra Singh and Som Parkash were among those present at the conference.

Speaking after the presentations, Modi announced that from now on, January 16 will be celebrated as National Start-up Day to take the start-up culture to far-flung areas of the country.

"Holding this Start-Up India Innovation Week is all the more important in this year of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ as the role of the start-ups will be critical when Indian freedom reaches its centenary year," he said.

“I congratulate all the start-ups of the country, all the innovative youth, who are raising the flag of India in the world of start-ups. For this culture of start-ups to reach the far-flung parts of the country, it has been decided to celebrate January 16 as National Start-up Day,” he said.

The Prime Minister listed three important aspects of the massive changes that the government was making in this decade to strengthen innovation, entrepreneurship and the start-up ecosystem. First, to liberate entrepreneurship and innovation from the web of government processes, bureaucratic silos. Second, creating an institutional mechanism to promote innovation. And third, handholding of young innovators and young enterprises.

He listed programmes like Start-up India and Stand Up India as part of the efforts. Measures like removing problems of "angel tax", simplification of tax procedure, arranging for government funding, allowing self-certification of 9 labour and 3 environment laws and removal of more than 25 thousand compliances have taken the process further. The start-up runway on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) platform is facilitating the provision of start-up services to the government.

Modi said the Government’s effort was to institutionalize innovation in the country by creating attraction for innovation among students since childhood. More than 9000 Atal Tinkering Labs were giving children a chance to innovate in schools and work on new ideas.

“Whether it is new drone rules or the new space policy, the priority of the government is to provide opportunities for innovation to as many youths as possible. Our government has simplified the rules related to IPR registration too,” he added.

The Prime Minister noted the exponential rise in the indicators of innovation. In the year 2013-14, 4000 patents were approved. Last year, more than 28,000 patents were granted. In the year 2013-14, about 70,000 trademarks were registered, in 2020-21 it rose to more than 2.5 lakh. In the year 2013-14, where only 4000 copyrights were granted, last year their number has crossed 16,000. India’s campaign for innovation has resulted in the improvement of India’s ranking in the Global innovation index from 81 to 46 at present.

The start-ups were working with 55 industries and the number of start-ups has increased from less than 500 five years ago to more than 60,000 today. “Our start-ups are changing the rules of the game. That's why I believe start-ups are going to be the backbone of new India.” He noted that last year, 42 unicorns came up in the country. “These companies worth thousands of crores of rupees are the hallmark of a self-reliant and self-confident India. Today, India is rapidly moving towards hitting the century of unicorns. I believe the golden era of India's start-ups is starting now,” he added.

Modi underlined the role of empowerment by entrepreneurship in addressing the problems of development and regional-gender disparities. At present, there was at least one start-up in each of the 625 districts of the country and more than half of the start-ups were in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. These were converting ideas from ordinary families into businesses and lakhs of young Indians were getting employment.

The Prime Minister suggested many areas where the start-up ecosystem can play a major role. The extra space on the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan can be used for EV charging infrastructure. Similarly, areas like defence manufacturing, chip manufacturing offer several possibilities.

Many investors have been putting their money into drone startups after the introduction of the new drone policy. The Army, Navy and Air Force have given Rs 500 crore worth of orders to drone startups. In urban planning, the Prime Minister touched upon "walk to work concepts", integrated industrial estates and smart mobility as potential areas.

“The millennials today are the cornerstone of both the prosperity of their families and the self-reliance of the nation. From rural economy to Industry 4.0, both our needs and our potential are limitless. Investment in research and development related to future technology is the priority of the government,” he added.

“As of now only half of our population is online, therefore future possibilities are immense. Whether it is mobile internet, broadband connectivity or physical connectivity, aspirations of villages are rising and rural and semi-urban areas are waiting for a new wave of expansion,” he said.


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