Union Cabinet approves expansion of Atal Innovation Mission
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the continuation of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) till March 2023. AIM will work towards its intended goal of developing an innovation culture and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country. This work will be done by AIM through its various programmes.
The intended goals to be achieved by AIM are:
• Setting up of 10,000 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs),
• Establishment of 101 Atal Incubation Centers (AICs),
• Setting up of 50 Atal Community Innovation Centers (ACICs) and
• Through Atal New India Challenges
Providing support to 200 startups.
A total earmarked budget of more than Rs 2,000 crore will be spent in this process of setting up the above centers and providing assistance to the beneficiaries.
The Atal Innovation Mission has been set up under NITI Aayog as announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister in the 2015 budget speech. The main objective of AIM is to create and promote an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country through various interventions at school, university, research institutes, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and industries levels. AIM has focused on both building infrastructure and building institutions. As is evident from the following examples, AIM has worked towards integrating innovation-led ecosystems both at the national and global level:
AIM has forged bilateral relations with various international agencies to develop synergistic cooperation in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship, including AIM-SIRIUS Student Innovation Exchange Program with Russia, AIM-ICDK (Innovation Center Denmark) Water Challenge with Denmark and Australia. with IACE (India Australian Circular Economy Hackathon).
• AIM played a key role in the success of Insprenure, an innovation startup summit between India and Singapore.
• AIM partnered with the Ministry of Defense to set up the Defense Innovation Organization, which is promoting innovation as well as procurement in the field of defence.
Over the years, AIM has worked to provide an institutional mechanism to integrate innovation activities across the country. Through its various programmes, it has created an interest in innovation among millions of school children. The AIM-backed startup has raised over Rs 2,000 crore from government and private equity investors and created several thousand jobs. AIM has also addressed innovation challenges related to various subjects of national interest. AIM’s programs covering 34 states and union territories aim to capitalize on India’s demographic dividend by stimulating greater participation in the innovation ecosystem.
With the approval of the Union Cabinet for continuation, the AIM has an even greater responsibility of creating an inclusive ecosystem related to innovation, in which it becomes increasingly easier to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship activities.