Tireless efforts of motivated entrepreneurs, in combination with government support, have made India the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world. The second National Startup Awards, a part of the Prime Minister’s Startup India initiative, was held earlier this month. Edtech company Square Panda was recognised for upskilling educators in alignment with the objectives of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
The National Startup Awards recognise Indian startups that exhibit social impact and high potential of employment generation or wealth creation. In 2021, the committee saw over 2,177 applications from startups across 15 sectors and 49 sub-sectors.
Out of the thousands of entrants, 46 startups were recognised for their contributions in their respective fields. Parameters such as innovation, scalability, economic impact, social impact, environmental impact, inclusiveness and diversity were considered while selecting the winners.
With the goal of a self-reliant nation in mind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constantly encouraged Indian startups. He offered his thoughts on the thriving startup ecosystem in India, “I congratulate all the innovative startups that are flying India’s flag high. It is my wish that India’s startup culture reaches every corner of India, which is why we have decided to establish January 16 as National Startup Day henceforth.”
Addressing the award recipients, Union minister of commerce and industry, consumer affairs, food and public distribution and textiles Piyush Goyal resonated the Prime Minister’s message. “Today, India is rapidly moving towards hitting the century of unicorns. I believe the golden era of India's start-ups is starting now. The Government is standing with our innovators, and so is the entire country. Let's Innovate for India, innovate from India!” Goyal said.
For its technology-based solutions such as teacher training programmes, Square Panda was awarded in the Education and Skill Development for Teacher Training category. Square Panda had been recognised for its efforts in improving learning outcomes through well designed and contextualised programmes aimed at the skill development of educators.
“We are humbled and honoured to be given this award in recognition of our education interventions across India’s grassroots. We thank our diverse partners that have been an integral part of this journey of ours and pledge to continue furthering India’s growth story through comprehensive and innovative tech solutions that help every stakeholder realise their full potential. Through this, we envision driving better learning outcomes for children across the nation and building India anew,” said Ashish Jhalani, managing director of Square Panda India’.
Square Panda, along with a few other National Startup Awards 2021 winners, was offered the opportunity to present policy recommendations leveraging education and skill development to the Prime Minister.