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Startup policy for college students in India

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Recently, The National Startup Policy was launched by the president of India, Pranab Mukerjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Formulated by AICTE, the policy aims to create 100,000 student owned tech-based start-ups and a million employment opportunities within the next 10 years (2025). This would be done by developing an ideal entrepreneurial eco-system and promoting strong inter-institutional partnerships among technical institutions. The policy aims to identify the potential of students and transform them into start-up entrepreneurs.

AICTE took up the task of designing the ‘Start-up Policy for AICTE Approved Institutions’ to increase the efforts of institutions as they prepare students for entrepreneurship. AICTE’s Start-up Policy would outline roles of the AICTE, Academic Institutions, and TBI (Technology Business Incubators) in creating student entrepreneurs.

This policy is intended to guide AICTE approved institutions when implementing Government of India’s ‘Start-up India’ initiative. The policy aims to identify the potential of students and transform them into start-up entrepreneurs. The courses are aimed to develop students as start-up entrepreneurs will have 30 percent knowledge related courses, 40 percent skills based courses and 30 percent attitude related courses.

To bolster the start-up eco-system in India, the Government has also proposed to introduce start-up fests at national and international levels. This initiative of Government should be connected and extended to academic campuses. Such fests would serve as an ideal platform for student start-ups to showcase their ideas and work with a larger audience comprised of potential.

The mission of the policy is to help in creating a larger number of student-driven, on campus start-ups that will add to economic and social value. The overall idea is to teach students and encourage them to take up entrepreneurship as a preferred career choice; prepare them for successful launching of their start-ups; re-orienting academic curriculum and pedagogy with a strong focus on start-ups; develop customized teaching and training materials for start-ups and engaging them in pre-startup activities; initiate capacity building programmes for faculty as well as trainers; and mentor start-ups to become sustainable.

The Government has made a provision in its National Start-up Policy to set-up a fund with an initial corpus of Rs 2,500 crore and a total corpus of Rs 10,000 crore over a period of four years (i.e. Rs 2,500 crore per year). The Fund will be about the nature of start-up for the funds, which means that it will not invest directly into the start-ups, but shall participate in the capital of SEBI registered venture funds. AICTE can facilitate its institutions to connect, network and use funds which apparently support campus start-ups.

Infrastructure Fund with an initial annual outflow of Rs 20 crores shall be set up to support start-ups in academic institutions. The Fund will fulfill requirements of hard and soft infrastructure such as physical infrastructure for demand analysis data set, testing labs, design studio, tool rooms, IT labs, video-conferencing facilities etc.

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