Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that January 16 would now be celebrated as National Startup Day in order to help percolate the startup culture to the grassroots level. Modi made the announcement during an interaction session with over 150 startups through video conference on January 15 as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Startups from various sectors including agriculture, health, enterprise systems, space, industry 4.0, security, fintech, and environment, among others, took part in the event.
Modi said, “In the pre-2014 era, only big businesses in the metros were prospering, today there is at least one start-up in 625 districts of the country. Of them, half are in tier-2 and 3 cities where youth from poor and ordinary families are engaged in developing start-ups. As a result lakhs are getting employment which is demonstrated by the speed and scale at which start-ups grew in India even during the global pandemic."
"The golden era of start-ups has begun,” proclaimed the PM at the Start-Up India Innovation Week, while urging innovators and entrepreneurs to not keep their dreams local. “You would also be feeling that different government departments and ministries are in touch with the youth and start-ups, encouraging their new ideas such as new drone rules or the new space policy. The government’s priority is to give as many youth as possible the opportunity for innovation,” he added.
"We are witnessing the benefits," the PM remarked, noting that, compared to 4,000 patents registered in 2013-14, the figure for last year (2020-21) was 28,000. Last year, nearly 2.5 lakh trademarks were registered, up from 70,000 in 2013-14. India's ranking on the Global Innovation Index has improved from 81 to 46 as a result of the innovation movement.
In order to aid this process, the government extricated entrepreneurship and innovation from the web of bureaucratic silos. At the same time, the government set up institutional mechanisms to ensure hand-holding of young innovators. ‘Start-Up India, Stand-India’ type of programmes are part of such attempts, he said, while stating that “start-ups are changing the rules of the game and will be the backbone of new India”.
The government was helping them convert ideas into business. After the new drone policy, the army, air force and navy have placed orders worth Rs 500 crore on many innovators in this segment. The government would also deploy drones on a large scale for mapping village properties. The rapid urbanisation can also be a big focus area though the PM did not mention ‘smart cities’.