The Gujarat government, after announcing its first ever IT startup policy in June 2016, has now introduced India’s first Student Startup and Innovation Policy. The announcement was made by the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijaybhai Rupani.

As part of the initiative, a State Innovation Fund with a corpus of $29.3 Mn (INR 200 Cr) will be provided to the students during the next five years. For this, $14.6 Mn (INR 100 Cr) will be allocated by the State Government and the remaining amount will be created by internal sources.

The objective behind the initiative is to help make qualitative improvement in the conventional education system and to create a conducive environment to inculcate creative thinking and problem-solving attitude amongst students.

The students will be provided with pre-incubation support – which includes helping students to convert ideas of students from Proof of Concept (PoC) up to Minimum Viable Prototype (MVP) and to create a support system for Patent filing.

The Goals Gujarat Government Aims To Achieve In The Next Five Years Are:

  • To create an environment for creative and innovative thinking.
  • To convert at least 1% graduates into job creators.
  • Harness 500 student startups in the next five years.
  • To file at least 1,000 patents from universities in the state every year.
  • To support at least 1000 student-led innovations per year.
  • To build capacity for at least 200 educational institutes in the state in the next five years.
  • To have a robust pre-incubation support.

The Major Activities Included In The Student Policy Are:

  • To promote innovation and pre-incubation awareness amongst students of higher education.
  • To encourage the students to undertake innovative projects related to society, industries, and community instead of conventional academic projects.
  • To facilitate guidance and evaluation of the projects by the experts at institute level and also provide a platform for commercialisation of such projects.
  • To award and provide support for approval and publication of the research work.
  • To develop high-tech facilities like Fab Lab., Common Working Space, Design labs etc., at higher educational institutions.
  • To provide technology platform through academic programmes, seminars, workshop/Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
  • To develop State Level Common Resource Centre and Digital Platform.

“Gujarat is first amongst the states to create a Student Startup and Innovation Policy which will create a much-needed Innovation and Preincubation Ecosystem Support for Students (IPIES). The policy will provide a feed of students ideas and innovations to the existing startup support policies of the state. The policy will develop an innovation and entrepreneurial culture in the state universities and educational machineries and thereby create more young innovators, entrepreneurs and eventually, job creators,” said Anju Sharma, Principal Secretary (Higher & Technical Education), Government of Gujarat.

According to the press release, at present, there are about 14 Lakh students pursuing higher and technical education in the State through 60 Universities and more than 800 institutions. In these universities and institutions, more than 1 Lakh major and minor research projects are undertaken by Diploma, Under-graduate, Post-graduate and Doctoral students as part of their academic activities.

Earlier, apart from IT Policy for startups, in January 2015, the Government of Gujarat had also declared the Gujarat Start-up Policy as a part of its Industrial Policy.

In last two years, several other states have also launched their startup policies in a bid to boost up their startup ecosystem and foster entrepreneurial culture in their states. The list includes Bihar, Odisha,  Telangana, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Rajasthan.

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