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NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has stated that this year, the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) scheme will look to select 1,000 schools. They will receive a grant of about $31K (INR 20 Lakh) each. The money will be utilised to set up tinkering labs to foster innovation, as per a recent report.

The report further states that ‘NITI Aayog has reportedly written to all school boards and the chief secretaries of states to apply for Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs). Last year, 475 schools were selected for establishing these labs.’

The Startup India Action Plan facilitated the launch of the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) with Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) Program in order to foster innovation. The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) was launched to serve as a platform for the promotion of Innovation Hubs, Grand Challenges, startup businesses and other self-employment activities, focussed on technology-driven areas.

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NITI Ayog in a statement said, “To maximise the impact of the ATLs, AIM will soon be launching Mentor India – a strategic nation-building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students in the ATLs. Mentor India is envisaged to be the largest formal volunteer network in India.”

The AIM was stated to have two core functions:

  • Entrepreneurship promotion through Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU), wherein innovators would be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs.
  • Innovation promotion by providing a platform where innovative ideas are generated.

Apart from this, Kant also said that three startup stalwarts are willing to mentor students under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM). The trio includes Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal, and OYO Rooms CEO Ritesh Agarwal as per the report.

Additionally, Intel Corp., International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Robert Bosch GmbH, and Schneider Electric SE have also offered to partner with schools, as part of the Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) initiative.

In February 2017, the NITI Aayog selected six institutions that promote startups in India, to provide them with funding support. The selected incubators will receive $1.4 Mn (INR 10 Cr) each over a span of two years.

(The development was reported by LiveMint)

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