Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has today launched the ‘Challenge’ – Next Generation Startup Challenge competition to further promote startups and software products with special focus on India’s Tier-2 cities. The government has kept a budget of Rs 95.03 crore for this program for a period of three years. The objective of this program is to identify about 300 start-ups working in the identified areas and provide them with an initial amount (seed fund) of up to Rs 25 lakh and other facilities.
Under this challenge competition, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will invite startups in the following areas of work:
- Edu-Tech, Agri-Tech and Fin-Tech Solutions for the general public
- Supply Chain, Logistics and Transportation Management
- Infrastructure and Remote Monitoring
- Medical Health Care, Diagnostic, Prevention and Psychiatric Care
- Jobs and skills, linguistic tools and technologies
Startups selected through the Challenge program will be provided various assistance from the government through software technology parks spread across the country. They will be consulted in incubation facilities, mentorship, security testing facilities, access to venture capitalist funding, industry involvement as well as legal advice, human resources (HR), IPR and patent matters.
Apart from an initial amount (seed fund) of up to Rs 25 lakh, the startup will also be provided with cloud credit from leading cloud service providers. At the level of provenance, start-ups can also be selected under a pre-incubation program and are advised up to six months to develop their business plan and solution around the proposed idea. Each intern (under pre-incubation) will be given Rs 10,000 / – per month for a period of 6 months.
Startups can apply by visiting the STPI website.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also laid the foundation stone for the Digital Training and Skills Center of National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. The center will be developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India at a cost of Rs 9.17 crore.
The Bihar government has allotted one acre of land for this institution. The center will be equipped with a state-of-the-art training facility and digital laboratory. Various courses like O Level, CCC, BCC, Programming and Multimedia Training will be offered from this center.
In a virtual program in the presence of Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said,
“I urge the young, talented innovators of India to go ahead and take advantage of the‘ Challenge ’Challenge competition of India and create new software products and apps. He said that the launch of this competition is a bold initiative under the clear call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s self-reliant India. “