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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

‘DST working to increase, extend support to start-ups,’ says Prof Ashutosh Sharma

Sharma was speaking at the NIDHI Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) meet of over 200 beneficiaries organised by city-based Venture Centre on Monday.

By: Express News Service | Pune | August 25, 2020 12:02:56 am
NIDHI scheme, Support start-ups, Department of Science and Technology, Pune news, Indian express newsProf Ashutosh Sharma (Right), Secretary, Department of Science and Technology.

The government was mulling to extend support, including financial aid, to existing start-ups that began under the NIDHI programme, said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology.

Sharma was speaking at the NIDHI Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) meet of over 200 beneficiaries organised by city-based Venture Centre on Monday. The centre, an incubation hub operating under CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), is the implementation partner for this programme.

Presently, under the NIDHI scheme, each start-up receives a monthly stipend of Rs 30,000 lasting for one year, and in some cases extendable up to 18 months.

“We are thinking of ways to further support start-ups and, if need be, extend the fellowship period. This will help the them get better support, especially at the time when they are getting established,” said Sharma, adding that the government was thinking on increasing the number of start-ups.

The number of start-ups is approximately 4,000. Since 2015, there have been several government-initiated programmes, along with financial support offered in order to cultivate a start-up culture, promote entrepreneurship, and innovation. StartUp India was one such umbrella initiative by the central government.

In its four-year journey, NIDHI-EIR has helped establish 146 companies, bagged 129 Intellectual Property (IP), earned 65 patents, and created 711 jobs.

“It is heartening to note that a part of the funding is going towards employment generation,” said A K Nangia, director, NCL.

Officials from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) said the total number of incubators in the country stood at 150 presently, out of which 70 had been established in the last five years.

Sharma also stressed on the need to strengthen the start-up culture, experiment with newer models and people, and the need to study different stages that act as roadblocks in the growth of start-ups.

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