India is in top startup-friendly countries’ club with bigger focus on innovation: PM

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on September 30, 2019 Published on September 30, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India has emerged among the top three startup-friendly ecosystems in the world due to greater focus on innovation and modern technologies in the recent years, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said here.

During the last five years, we have given great emphasis to encourage innovation and incubation, he said after distributing prizes to the winners of Singapore India Hackathon 2019 at the IIT Research Park, Chennai.

Modern technology

Modi said an ecosystem was being created for innovation from school to research in higher education. “We are now trying to give exposure to modern technology like machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain to our students as early as in 6th grade,” he added.

He highlighted that programmes like Atal Innovation Mission, PM Research Fellowships, Start-up India Abhiyan formed the foundation for promoting a culture of innovation in India.

In India innovation and incubation is encouraged for two big reasons – Firstly, to develop easy solutions to solve India's problems, thereby making life easier for common people. Secondly, to come out with solutions for the whole world.

“Indian solutions for global application - this is our goal and our commitment. We would also like our cost effective solutions to be available to serve the needs of the poorest countries - Indian innovation in support of the poorest and the most deprived, no matter where they live,” he added. Modi said he was of the view that technology would unit people, even across countries, across continents. In this context, he welcomed Singapore Education Minister’s suggestion of having a Hackathon programme involving other Asian countries that may be interested in participating.

Ong Ye Kung, Minister of Education, Government of Singapore, said his country was trying to link up the start-ups and SMEs with Indian counterparts and it was also working on the internationalisation of Indian technology behind Aadhar programme.

Payment system

“The most exciting part for me is to link up our payment system (NETS) with India’s (National Payments Corporation of India). With that, we hope some time next year, RuPay cardholders of India can use our NETS terminals for payments when they are in Singapore. Similarly, NETS cardholders of Singapore could use Indian systems here when they come to India. This seamless linking of payments systems will draw two countries much closer,” he said.

Organised jointly by the Union Ministry for Human Resource Development, All India Council for Technical Education and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, Singapore India Hackathon 2019, second edition in this series, brought together 120 university students from Singapore and India to develop innovative solutions to shared challenges in education, healthcare, and green energy. Teams with most innovative solutions won S$10,000, while the second and third prize-winners presented S$6,000 and S$4,000 each.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mooted the idea of the Hackathon and participated in the inaugural edition in Singapore last year.

Published on September 30, 2019
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