Srinagar, Nov 11: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Friday said that the government was providing assistance to startups to help youth realise their dreams and appreciated the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar for coming up with innovations like the saffron sowing machine and seed sowing machine.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that addressing the ‘Kashmir Expo - Startup for Livelihood’ in Srinagar, the LG said that there was a greater need to infuse technology and innovation in the rural sector which would produce a better quality of life, and enhance the socio-economic development.
Emphasising that innovation was about people rather than ideas, he underscored that to transform an idea into a commercial product, there was a need to provide the right environment and opportunity to innovators and startup entrepreneurs.
Asserting that the government was committed to supporting startups and helping them grow, the LG sought to assure aspiring entrepreneurs that all necessary assistance would be provided to make their business dreams a reality.
“Incubation centres in J&K’s educational institutions are playing an important role in building and nurturing ideas for startups,” he said.
The LG said that under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ecosystem of innovation and startups had been strengthened.
“In just 8 years, India has established 75,000 startups with 50 percent of them established in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities providing direct employment to 4 lakh youth,” he said. “We are third in startup ecosystems globally. In the last 2 years, 107 unicorns worth more than 340 billion US dollars have been established in the country. Today one out of 10 new unicorns in the world is being established in India.”
Noting that youth had always been an integral part of the evolving technology, the LG said that the potential ideas and new startups would contribute not only to economic growth and product diversification but also to sustainable and inclusive development.
He said that technological progress was happening at an exponential rate and the adoption time for commercialised technologies had been reduced considerably.
The LG said that this was having a direct impact on the society and business ecosystem.
“Whether its businesses or educational institutions, they have to innovate and adopt new technologies to stay relevant in the future,” he said. “In this Amrit Kaal Khand, it is the collective responsibility of all of us to fully support the enterprise and determination of our youth and our entrepreneurs in the making of a self-reliant J&K.”
The LG complimented the Department of Science and Technology for organising the three-day ‘Kashmir Expo - Startup for Livelihood’ and congratulated all stakeholders associated with the event.
He appreciated two innovative products - Saffron Sowing Machine and Seed Sowing Machine from NIT Srinagar and stressed the necessity of having excellent coordination between the industry, academia, and society for the success of both products.
Highlighting the immense potential for startups in the rural sector, the LG said that in the last two to three years, many youths of J&K had implemented impressive ideas like the apple grading machine and strawberry plucker and successfully used them in the agriculture and horticulture sectors.
He said that 15 youth from each panchayat were provided support for becoming entrepreneurs and 20 youth were given skill development opportunities during the Back-to-Village programme this month.
Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology Rajesh S Gokhale highlighted the significance of the Kashmir Expo in providing a platform for the youth to develop their ideas into startups.
Commissioner Secretary to the Government, Science and Technology Department, Saurabh Bhagat said, “The department is supporting more than 120 research projects across different universities and colleges of J&K. We are also providing scholarships and seed money for nurturing innovation.”
Senior Adviser of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Akhilesh Gupta delivered the welcome address and Director of National Innovation Foundation Vipin Kumar presented the vote of thanks.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Kashmir (KU) Prof Nilofer Khan, Vice Chancellor of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-Kashmir (SKUAST-K) Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, VC, Central University of Kashmir (CUK) Prof Farooq Ahmad Shah, VC of the Cluster University Srinagar (CUS) Prof Qayyum Hussain, VC of the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) Prof Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole, and Advisor and Head NSTEDB, DST Anita Gupta were also present on the occasion.