Himalayan States have a huge Startup potential waiting to be explored, says Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh

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The Himalayan States have a huge StartUp potential waiting to be explored, said Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh today, urging the youth to acquire appropriate skills.

There have been notable success stories in Aroma Mission and Purple Revolution especially in Jammu & Kashmir, but the expected momentum in Biotechnology and Agritech StartUps has not matched pace with the rapid growth of StartUps in some other States, he said.

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, was addressing the ‘Uday StartUp Summit” organised by FICCI-FLO led by its Chairperson, Varuna Anand and Senior Vice Chairperson, Ruchika Gupta.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the success story of Aroma Mission and Lavender cultivation in J&K is being replicated in other Himalayan states such as Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Nagaland in the North-East.

Noting that Startups in the IT sector are nearing saturation, Dr Jitendra Singh said the farm sector is now witnessing a Tech revolution after the Green revolution.

The Minister pointed out that a new wave of Agri-tech Start-Ups has emerged in the country in the last few years and these Start-Ups are solving problems related to supply chain management, cooling and refrigeration, seed management and distribution, besides helping farmers to access a wider range of markets.

“We had just 55 Biotech Startups in 2014, now we have more than 6,000. Today, there are over 3,000 Agritech Startups and are very successful in areas like Aroma Mission and Purple Revolution. About 4,000 people are engaged with Lavender cultivation in J&K and earning lakhs of rupees. Notably, 70 percent of this youth brigade are not even graduates, but they have innovative bent of mind and risk-taking capacity to move away from low income generating maize cultivation to Lavender,” he said.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, from just about 350 StartUps in the year 2014, StartUps in India grew over 300 times in the last 9 years. The Indian StartUp ecosystem stands at Number 3 in the world, he said.

“After Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave the clarion call ‘StartUp India, Stand Up India’ from the ramparts of the Red Fort in his Independence Day address and rolled out the special StartUp scheme in 2016, today we have over 1,30,000 Startups, besides more than 110 Unicorns,” he said.

Dr Jitendra Singh credited Prime Minister Modi for creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurship and industry growth and called for collaboration between the public and private sectors to unlock India’s unexploited resources.

“With the Government working hard to provide an enabling environment for rural and semi-urban enterprises, the youth today stands liberated from the ‘Sarkari Naukri’ mindset. Government is ready to provide handholding from product development to marketing,” he said.

In the next 25 years of Amrit Kaal, said Dr Jitendra Singh, the value addition to India’s future economy is going to come from the Himalayan States besides India’s vast coastline.

“With PM Modi giving a focussed attention to these areas, Startups are going to play a pivotal role in achieving Prime Minister’s vision of a Viksit Bharat @2047,” he said.

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