• Recently, the Minister of Commerce and Industry launched the NavIC Grand Challenge at National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC) meeting.
  • NavIC Grand Challenge is aimed at promoting adoption of NavIC as geo-positioning solution, a key proponent for digital AtmaNirbharta.
  • It was constituted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
  • It advises the government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.

Composition of the Council:

Chairman: Minister for Commerce & Industry.

Convener of the Council: Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.

Ex-officio Members: Nominees of the concerned Ministries / Departments / Organisations not below the rank of Joint Secretary.

Non-official members, to be nominated by the Central Government, from various categories like founders of successful startups, veterans who have grown and scaled companies in India, persons capable of representing the interests of investors into startups, etc. The term of the non-official members will be for a period of two years.

Functions of NSAC

  • Suggests measures to foster a culture of innovation amongst citizens and students, promote innovation in all sectors of the economy across the country.
  • Suggests measures to facilitate public organisations to assimilate innovation with a view to improving public service delivery, promote creation, protection and commercialization of intellectual property rights.
  • Suggest measures to make it easier to start, operate, grow and exit businesses by reducing regulatory compliances and costs, promote ease of access to capital for startups.

Status of Start-ups in India

  • Today, India is the third largest start-up ecosystem globally (by number of start-ups) with more than 15,000 start-ups established in 2020, up from 5000 in 2010.
  • The underlying enablers of this startup ecosystem include smartphone and internet penetration, cloud computing, application programming interfaces (APIs), and a national payments stack in place.
  • Additionally, amid the Covid-19 pandemic India has witnessed more number of Unicorn startups (startups having valuation of over USD1 billion) in just 2021 than it did in the period 2011-20.
  • However, still there are many challenges (Building and Scaling an Indian Startup, Diversity and the Digital Divide, Complex Regulatory Environment) that act as a hindrance in realising the true potential of startups in India.


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