Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said India is home to almost 75,000 start-ups, of which 49 per cent are from tier-2 and tier-3 cities
India ranks third in the start-up ecosystem and the number of unicorns globally. As per the latest data by the Indian government, the country currently has 105 unicorns. Of these, 44 were founded in 2021 and 19 in 2022.
Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology, stated this while delivering the keynote address at ‘DST StartUp Utsav’ at Dr Ambedkar International Centre. He said that the decade of 2021-30 is expected to bring transformational changes for the Indian Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
Dr Singh added that India had increased its Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) by more than three times in the last few years. As per the latest data, the country has over 5 lakh R&D personnel, showing a 40 per cent to 50 per cent increase in the last eight years.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s launch of ‘Start-up India’ in 2015, he added that the country is home to almost 75,000 start-ups. These are not limited to only metros or big cities; 49 per cent of start-ups are from tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
Dr Singh said that start-ups are emerging in the fields like IT, agriculture, aviation, education, energy, health and space sectors. He also released four publications featuring promising start-ups under various components of the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovation (NIDHI). This included the flagship programme of Technology Business Incubator and a coffee table book of 51 Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) funded start-ups.
He also affirmed that India ranks third among the most attractive investment destinations for technology transactions worldwide as it focuses on science and technology. It is among the top countries in the world in the field of scientific research, positioned as one of the top five nations in space exploration and actively engaged in emerging technologies such as quantum technologies, artificial intelligence etc.
He pointed out that CAWACH was carved out in a record time by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) when the pandemic hit. It was the first programme by any department of the Indian government to support start-ups working on Covid products and solutions. Overall, the impact and outcome of DST’s programme on innovation and entrepreneurship have resulted in promoting 160 incubators, nurturing 12,000 start-ups, including 1,627 women-led start-ups and generating 1,31,648 jobs.
Dr S Chandrasekhar, Secretary of DST, pointed out that the NIDHI programme has swiftly processed the much-needed support to start-ups, catalysing the active support of business incubators and other business support providers. 75 start-ups supported under NIDHI were showcased in 50 physical as well as 25 digital modes in the DST Startup Expo. 5 start-ups from NM-ICPS Technology Innovation Hubs were also part of 50 stalls.