PM Narendra Modi calls startups “backbone” of new India, declares Jan 16 as ‘National Startup Day’

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New Delhi: Interacting with over 150 startups on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that January 16 will be celebrated as ‘National Startup Day’.

“Startups are going to be the backbone of new India. When India completes 100 years of independence, startups will have an important role,” Modi said. “Country’s innovators are making the country proud globally,” he added.

The event is a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, “Celebrating Innovation Ecosystem” and the Prime Minister is interacting with more than 150 startups on Saturday via video conferencing.

“This decade is being called as ‘techade’ of India…to strengthen the innovation, entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem have important aspects like liberating entrepreneurship, innovation from govt processes, bureaucratic silos,” PM Modi said.

During his speech on Saturday, Modi said 28,000 patents were granted last year as compared to 4,000 patents in 2013-14. In terms of trademarks, 2.5 lakh trademarks have been registered in 2020-21 compared to 70,000 in 2013-14, he added.

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Richa Singh, cofounder of online counselling and wellness startup YourDost, said meeting the Prime Minister and presenting their case to him directly was a big validation for the entire Indian startup ecosystem. The startups were divided into six groups as part of which they wrote a set of recommendations. Two people from each group then presented to the PM for 5-10 minutes. In total, the presentations lasted about an hour, she said, adding that the PM acknowledged the concerns and recommendations and told the startups that the government will support startups as much as possible and introduce policy-level changes to promote and assist them.

“Rather than us giving recommendations in writing to the ministry, the PM wanted to listen to the startups directly. I think that is a very big validation and shows how the government is putting a lot of focus on startups on new-age business and solving problems at the grassroots level,” Singh said. According to her, the startup groups sought for faster approval on policy matters from the government.

The week-long event is being hosted by DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The event also marks the sixth anniversary of the launch of the ‘Startup India’ initiative.

Modi said easier access to funds as well as making self-certification for compliance of nine labour and three environment laws is helping promote startups.

Innovation and technology-based solutions are being encouraged for finding solutions to challenges facing the country, he said.

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