As part of the government’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant scheme, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday (August 18) launched the INR 4.3 Cr ‘Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge’ on the lines of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation challenge, which concluded earlier this month.
In an official statement, Prasad said the challenge calls on innovators, startups and students to use microprocessors to develop various technology products. “This initiative is aimed at not only meeting India’s future requirements of strategic and industrial sectors but also has the potential to mitigate the issues of security, licensing, technology obsolescence and most crucially cutting dependency on imports.”
As part of the challenge, which will be conducted over 10 months, the government will offer financial support of INR 4.3 Cr at various stages of development of the hardware prototype. It will also support startups through an incubation programme.
From the entries, 100 semi-finalists will get an opportunity to get a grant of INR 1 Cr, while 25 finalists will win a total INR 1 Cr. The top 10 teams entering the finale will get seed funding worth INR 2.3 Cr and one-year incubation support.
Prasad added in a tweet, the challenge gives the opportunity to develop products using IIT Madras and CDAC microprocessors. IIT Madras and Center for Development of Advance Computing (CDAC) have developed two microprocessors named SHAKTI (32 bit) and VEGA (64 bit) respectively using Open Source Architecture under the aegis of Microprocessor Development Programme of Ministry of Electronics and IT.
The ‘Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge’ is another way for the government to boost the participation of local startups in key focus areas. Open to students at all levels and startups, the challenge requires innovation based on microprocessor IPs & frugal solutions for the needs of the society. The government is seeking to create a homegrown ecosystem around microprocessors, which are used in a range of devices and are critical in electronics and parts manufacturing, which is a big focus of the Indian government in recent times.
CaptionPlus, Meme Chat and FTC Talent – mobile applications — were adjudged as winners in entertainment category under the Atmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge followed by Logically and IsEqualTo in news and Hitwicket Superstars, ScarFall and WCC2 in games categories respectively. These are Made-in-India mobile applications among 24 which have been declared as winners.