We are entering an era of science-based startups: Dr Jitendra Singh

India is poised to enter world stage with strong start-ups ecosystem due to ‘Startup India’ initiative, said Union Minister of State for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh

New Delhi: While addressing the first of its kind programme on ‘Industry participation in Startups’ organized by various Industry organisations of Jammu to promote local StartUps, Union Minister of State for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh said that India is poised to lead the world’s startup ecosystem but regretted that Jammu & Kashmir is lagging behind.
He said, ever since PM Modi had announced “StartUp India, StandUp India” from the ramparts of Red Fort in his Independence Day address of 2015, it picked up in a big way in across the country, but for certain reasons did not receive the same impetus in J&K even though things have begun to change after the new arrangement was introduced over here from 5-6 august 2019.
The Union Minister said, India with its vast unexplored potential and immense innovative, is destined to a frontline role in the world and emphasized sustainable startups for sustainable future growth. For this, he stressed the need for a wider integration and for industry and government to work as equal partners. He said, the demarcation between the public sector and private sector is fast becoming extinct and it has to be a partnership based on equal respect, equal stakes, equal participation and equal investment.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, greater integration and synergy among industry, Government departments, academia and independent institutions was crucial to create an enabling environment for growth of startups. He added that sustainable Startups would sustain the future economy of the India and give it a global visibility in the years to come.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon after taking oath as Prime minister said that minimum Government maximum Governance would be the basic principle for delivering governance to people. PM Modi also said ‘government had no business to be in business and that the Government intends to create an enabling environment for various kinds of industries to flourish, he added.
True to this spirit the Government launched the Start-Up India and Stand-Up India Initiative in that spread a movement from Metros to various States and UTs. He added that due to this initiative the number of Start-ups in India have increased from 1100 in 2014 to 40,000 today, a huge jump, said the Minister
While talking about the pace of increasing Start-ups in the country Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Startup movement in Jammu and Kashmir has been slower compared to the rest of India due to various reason but now its impact can be seen through various agri-based startups, Purple Revolution and through startups in other fields like Pharma etc. The Minister said that youth from various parts of the UT were voluntarily giving up govt and corporate jobs to start their own ventures thereby increasing their income manifold.
While addressing the audience Dr Jitendra Singh said that repeated references to ‘Startups’ in many of PM’s speeches at regional, National and international stage is the declaration of the intent of the Government and the priority it attaches to startups.
While laying special emphasis on science-based startups the Minister said that science has today entered every household and every individual’s life. He said that Science based startups are the future of national and global economy. He added that there was no necessary correlation between the growth of startups and literacy rates and that the science based startups will grow regardless of the literacy rates. He further said that Indians have a scientific temper that can be instrumental in furthering startup movement in the country and that this capability only needs to be channelized in the right direction through greater awareness and change in mind-sets of various stakeholders.
While elaborating the need for Industry in the sustainable growth of Startups Dr Jitendra said that Industry needs to be partners with equal stakes and equal investment in the movement. He said that any partnership with the industry has to be meaningful and not just cosmetic that should include support, research, funding, training, hunt for ideas and taking up larger responsibility. He said that this was also a part of Social responsibility and provides the industrialists and opportunity to play a major role in Nation Building.
While talking about the challenge of creating sustainable start-ups Dr Jitendra Singh said that the start-ups need to be linked to livelihood. He said that Science based sectors, non-science sectors and academic institutions need to work together to link start-ups with livelihood. This he said could be done by exploring the unexplored local industry. He gave various examples of such local industries like Lavender in Doda, Bamboo- clusters being developed in Samba, Kathua and Reasi, Tele-medicine initiative called ‘Doctor on Wheels’,etc. He added that providing industry and Government support and constant capacity building were other important steps to create links for startups with livelihood.
This change in mindset, he said, can be made possible through synergy of Industry, Government and Institutions and through awareness initiatives in form of workshops, capacity building initiatives, brainstorming sessions and local camps.
The programme was addressed by stalwarts of Industry in J&K and officials of Technology Development Board, Union ministry of Science & Technology and Department of Industries, J&K, including Rajesh Pathak, Anita Gupta, Satish Koul, Lalit Mahajan and others.