On the second day of the SURGEConf, Binod Bawri, of Atal Innovation Mission, spoke about India’s Startup Mission. In conversation with Manoj Ladwa of India Inc, Binod spoke about the plans and objectives of the mission.

Said Binod, “There is a third space; the first space is the entrepreneurs and technologists, the second space is the customers and the third space is the government. The government can either be very helpful, or neutral, or negative. This government today has understood innovation and that wealth creation in the world takes place out of technology and innovation.”

As per Binod, the government should not do anything. In fact, it should help in overseeing that things become easier for startups to do. For instance, the laws should become easier, registration should become simpler, and getting patents should become easier. The government is focusing on certain policy thrusts to help startups improve ease of doing business in India.

Towards this, it is focussing on removing policy difficulties, make funding easily available, and becoming a catalyst. Hence, in the area of Intellectual Property, the government is trying to come at par with world standards to quickly give patents to startups. A large number of patent offices are being recruited, and in one year the startups will see an epic change in this regard. However, how this patent gets protected by law is something that’s still being looked into.

Speaking more about the areas where Atal Innovation Mission would support innovation, Binod said that the mission in the next few months would announce 10 grand challenges, especially geared to villages. These would include, say, giving them services such as batteries at economical prices, medical facilities at a cheaper price, and potable water at cheap prices. These are technical challenges and the government is looking to support startups in these areas. Also, the mission aims to create new enterprises, worth $300-500Bn, in the next 5 years. He concluded that while the mission might not solve a startup’s daily problems but it will significantly solve problems on a policy level.

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