Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science and Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Earth Science; MoS of Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that the North East Region of India offers unexplored potential for StartUps.
Speaking as a Chief Guest at the 2-day "International Conference on StartUps, Sustainability, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in North East India" organised by North East Regional Research And Resource Centre Miranda House, Dr Jitendra Singh said that North East is inherently a land of innovation.Women have always been at the forefront of the Startup culture in the North East and have been taking a leading role in the Startup ecosystem ever since it has been institutionalised by the Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Minister further said that North east, Startups and women have always been the priority for the Government. North east as a region was neglected by the previous governments but now the region has been brought on par with others by Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, because of the impetus given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which began with his call for "StartUp India StandUp India" from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day, the number of StartUps in India has grown to over 90,000 from about 300 to 400 in 8 years from 2014 to 2022 and there are more than 100 Unicorns.He further added that 36 out of 100 unicorns from India have women as founders or co-founders. Women have shifted from participatory to leadership roles, he added.
The Minister said that the Indian startup ecosystem stands at number 3 in the world. India ranks in the top 50 countries in the Global Innovation Index (GII) and is one of the most startup-friendly countries in the world (leading in Asia).
Dr Jitendra Singh mentioned that in the recent past various stakeholders in the Start-up ecosystem such as incubators, accelerators and other venture funds have emerged in the North Eastern Region (NER), leading to a large number of Start-ups.
The Minister said that the Government has taken various important initiatives for the development of the region since 2014-15 and improved connectivity thereby accelerating the development of the region. Non-exempted Central Ministries/Departments required to spend at least 10% of their Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) for Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Schemes in NER.
Dr Jitendra Singh emphasised that PM Modi started transforming northeast from 2014. Between then and now, he bridged the differences between the Northeast and Delhi. Nobody used to care about the indigenous cultures and languages of the northeast, but he accorded importance to these.
While the women in Northeast are already empowered and professionally more active as part of their tradition, Dr Jitendra Singh pointed to the recent initiatives of the government encouraging women entrepreneurs and empowering girls such as KIRAN scheme, CURIE initiative, Vigyan Jyoti programme, fellowships and many more.
The Minister mentioned that in the next 25 years of the ‘Amrit Kaal’, the greatest opportunities lie for the North East, the Himalayan region and the ocean based resources. “In the conference we have many of the young women entrepreneurs coming and presenting their ideas and experiences.
Miranda being a women’s college is leading the way. Bridging the Gap is the goal. We in the Government are always present to give a boost to these women entrepreneurs'', he concluded.