Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, MoS PMO, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space and MoS Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh has said that StartUp jump in 9 years is a major success story of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government.
Addressing a youth congregation here, Dr Jitendra Singh said that before 2014 there were just about 350 StartUps, but after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the clarion call from the ramparts of the Red Fort in his Independence Day address in 2015 and rolled out special StartUp scheme in 2016, there was a quantum jump and India today has the world’s third largest StartUp ecosystem in the world, boasting 92,683 Startups with more than 115 unicorns (billion-dollar enterprises).
The Minister said, in the year 2022 alone, 26,542 entities were recognised as Startups by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)as startups.A NASSCOM study says tech start-ups created 23 lakh direct and indirect jobs in the year 2017-2021. Besides, startups have self-reported creation of a million jobs directly and many more indirectly since the launch of Startup India in 2016 when the total jobs created stood a meagre 10.
Dr Jitendra Singh, India’s youth today is gradually coming out of the government job mindset and is ready to take the plunge and create new opportunities in niche sectors, in turn creating scores of job opportunities. Interacting with Youth beneficiaries of Central Government schemes in Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh, he said that the focus of the government in the last 9 years has not been just to create employment but also to build entrepreneurship.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, besides Startup India, the Modi Government also launched the StandUp India scheme on 5th April, 2016 to facilitate bank loans from Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) between Rs.10 lakh to Rs.1 Crore to at least one Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) and one woman per bank branch for setting up a greenfield enterprise in trading, services or manufacturing sector. The scheme is expected to benefit at least 2.5 lakh borrowers.
Dr Jitendra Singh said PM Modi wants our youth to become new entrepreneurs, new producers and create a complete network of start-ups by these new entrepreneurs across the whole country. PM Modi has a dream to make India Number One in the world of StartUp. PM Modi is of the firm belief that in the coming days “Start-up India” and “Stand-up India” will be there or the future of the country.
Dr Jitendra Singh said Indian Startups raised $44 billion in 2021, with over $ 33 billion going towards deals worth more than $5 million. Many Indian startups are domiciled outside India – despite having the majority of their market, personnel and founders in India. These “externalised” or “flipped” startups constitute a large number of India’s unicorns.
Dr Jitendra Singh said PM Modi also opened the doors of the space sector to private sector participation, as a result today ISRO is working with nearly 150 private Startups. Similarly, before 2014, India’s Bio-economy was valued at $10 billion. Now it’s over $80 billion. Biotech Startups have grown 100 times in the last 8 years from 52 odd startups in 2014 to 5,300 plus in 2022.
Dr Jitendra Singh advised the budding StartUp entrepreneurs to look beyond the IT, Computer and Communications sectors to the most unexplored and the richest farm sector, which is awaiting a huge Tech revolution after the Green revolution. Calling for promoting Agri-tech start-ups in a big way, the Minister said, Agriculture is one of the important pillars of the Indian economy as 54 percent of the Indian population depends directly on agriculture and it accounts for around 20 percent of GDP. He said that before 2014, no one knew about Aroma Mission or Purple revolution. But today Lavender cultivation has led to the boom of Agri tech StartUps. The Central Government’s Aroma Mission, ably supported by CSIR, is changing the mindset of farmers and more and more of them are taking up the cultivation of aroma crops like lavender, lemon grass, rose and marigold for extracting costly oils to be used in many industries. He said, the oils selling about Rs 9,000 per litre are used in making incense sticks and also being used for room sprays, cosmetics and therapeutics.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the Aroma Mission is attracting Start-ups and agriculturists from across the country, and during Phase-I CSIR helped cultivation on 6,000 hectares of land and covered 46 Aspirational districts across the country. More than 44,000 persons have been trained and several crores of farmers’ revenue generated. In the second Phase of Aroma Mission, it is proposed to engage over 45,000 skilled human resources with the aim of benefitting more than 75,000 farming families across the country.
The Agriculture Budget, which was less than Rs.25,000 crore in 2014, has now been increased to more than Rs.1.25 lakh crore, he said.To unlock the growth potential of the agriculture and allied sector, the Government has introduced the Rs.1 lakh crore Agricultural Infrastructure Fund. It is a financing facility operational from the year 2020-21 to 2032-33 for the creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farm assets.This year’s budget has also made an important announcement about the provision of Accelerator Funds for Agri-Tech Startups, we are not only building digital infrastructure, but we are also preparing funding avenues. Now it is the turn of our young entrepreneurs, they should move forward with enthusiasm and achieve their goals. It should also be kept in mind that 9 years ago there were very few Agri Startups in the country, but today they are more than 3,000. Agri-start-ups supported under the programme are at various stage of implementation from idea to scaling and growth stage. These agri-startups are working in different areas of agriculture & allied sectors for improving the farming practices such as precision agriculture, farm mechanization, agri logistics & supply chain, waste to wealth, organic farming, animal husbandry, dairy & fisheries, etc.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, in the last nine years, the Modi Government has launched and implemented several welfare schemes to empower every Indian. The results of such irreversible empowerment can be seen in programmes like MUDRA Yojana and Stand Up India, which are creating a large pool of young entrepreneurs from marginalised groups. More than half of the 40 crore loans given under MUDRA have been given to SC/ST/OBC entrepreneurs.
Dr Jitendra Singh said about 34.5 lakh street vendors got loans through PM SVANidhi while loans of over Rs.7,351 crore were disbursed to SC & ST beneficiaries under Stand Up India scheme.
The success of the Modi government’s prioritization of creating new formal jobs for the youth can be seen in the massive rise in new Employee Provident Fund Organisation accounts. Consistent efforts to transform India into an attractive investment hub, assisting MSMEs and programmes such as Production Linked Incentive Scheme for domestic production have contributed towards creating employment opportunities for young Indians.4.78 crore new EPFO subscribers were added between 2017 and January 2023 – each is one formal job, including 1.2 crore new EPFO accounts added in 2021-22, despite the pandemic.
As India entered the Amrit Kaal marking the 75th year of Independence, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Youth is the centre of focus of the Modi Government by empowering the Amrit-Peedhi. The National Education Policy (NEP) of 2020 overhauled the existing education system after over thirty years. Since its launch, more than 1.37 crore youngsters have received skill training under the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana, thereby improving their employment prospects. Loans of over Rs.7,351 crore have been disbursed to SC & ST beneficiaries under Stand-Up India programme. 23 lakh direct and indirect jobs have been created by tech Startups in 2017-21. Rozgar Mela, a recruitment drive for 10 lakh Central government jobs has been launched by the government. The youth are also being given an opportunity to serve in the Armed Forces under the Agnipath scheme.
“The focus has not been just to create employment but also to build entrepreneurship, transforming the youth from job seekers to job creators,” he said.