Table of Contents
- A self-reliant India would be absolutely essential in the Post-COVID 19 world and would be based on five pillars – Economy, Infrastructure, System, Demography, and Demand.
- So the million-dollar question we really need to ask ourselves is whether we are doing enough to promote and sustain the innovation ecosystem in India? Undoubtedly, much needs to be done but we are definitely on right track.
Government Initiatives to Promote an ecosystem for entrepreneurship
The Government of India has taken many initiatives in the last few years to drive the nation on the path of innovation and create a conducive ecosystem. Some of these are:
- Start-up India
- Venture Capital Scheme
- Single Point Registration Scheme
- Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovations (AGNIi)
- ASPIRE scheme
- Smart City Mission
- Mudra Scheme
- Uchchatar Avishkaar Yojana
- Make In India
- Start-up India Initiative
- Atal Incubation Centre (AIC)
- Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)
- Atma Nirbhar Bharat
- Pradhan Mantri YUVA (PM YUVA) Yojana
- Schemes for women entrepreneurs (WEP), etc.
How Central Government’s New Education Policy 2020 is path-breaking for improving the innovative environment in the country?
- This path-breaking policy has provisions for some radical changes. Its pivotal focus is on optimizing the use of resources, academic flexibility, critical thinking, experiential learning, interactive classrooms, integrated pedagogy, inter/transdisciplinary approach for competency, and outcome-based student-centric 21st-century education.
- This is expected to spur applied learning, innovation and entrepreneurial culture in Higher Education Institutions(HEIs).
What is Aatmanirbhar Bharat Scheme?
- Atmanirbharata is India’s new economic policy. Nirbharata means reliance, and atma means the self. The Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, announced by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, following the lockdown announced on March 24, 2020, calls for India’s economic mission to be based on self-reliance.
- In the PM’s vision, Atmanirbhar Bharat would be based on five pillars: Economy, infrastructure, technology, demography and demand.
- This seemed an acknowledgement that the self in self-reliance was not an atomised self-maximising individual, but one engaged in complex relationships, aiming to grow and fly high among the dense network of community, market and State, and given a safety net if the risk-taking failed.
How entrepreneurship is related to the idea of Self-reliance?
- Atmanirbharta rests on a particular idea of entrepreneurship. The notion of entrepreneurship goes back to classical political economy: Economists Richard Cantillon and Jean-Baptiste Say emphasised risk-taking and initiative to exploit opportunities with an eye to financial gain.
- The word “entrepreneur” in French means “to grab” or “take control” but it also has elements of “adventurer” in English and “self-motivated” from the Sanskrit atmaprerna.
- So, the classic vision of an entrepreneur is an individual actor who is able to take risks, weigh pros and cons, make quick decisions and stay afloat while riding out the highs and lows of market forces.
- They should be tenacious and play the long game and build businesses that not only make them richer but benefit employees and others too.
- In more recent times, the economist Joseph Schumpeter emphasised the need for the entrepreneur to be innovative, able to think of a new way of doing things.
- Today, many economists consider such innovation needs a whole micro-climate to thrive, of angel investments, bank loans, regulatory mechanisms, bankruptcy laws, and basic infrastructure.
Entrepreneurship Policy Framework Under National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015
- Vibrant entrepreneurship requires support from an enabling ecosystem of culture, finance, expertise, infrastructure, skills and business-friendly regulation.
- Many government and nongovernment organizations are playing enabling roles across each of these crucial supporting elements. This policy framework, cognizant of the need for the full ecosystem to be present to unlock entrepreneurial potential, proposes a nine-part entrepreneurship strategy:
- Educate and equip potential and early-stage entrepreneurs across India
- Connect entrepreneurs to peers, mentors and incubators.
- Support entrepreneurs through Entrepreneurship Hubs (EHubs).
- Catalyse a culture shift to encourage entrepreneurship.
- Encourage entrepreneurship among underrepresented groups.
- Promote entrepreneurship amongst women
- Improve ease of doing business.
- Improve access to finance.
- Foster social entrepreneurship and grassroots innovations
- Crises are very often a source of creativity and innovation. The COVID-19 pandemic has paradoxically thrown up several avenues of innovation and enterprise such as in areas like education, marketing, retailing, communication, IT among others.
- There are abundant possibilities for innovation in fields such as environment, health, agriculture, artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing and nanotechnology. We should utilise government incentives to promote the most innovative of these ideas.
- All stakeholders, governments, educationists, academicians and students should come together to develop an ecosystem of innovation, incubation and start-ups.
- Let us engender learners who question, innovate and try to satisfy the unmet needs of society and industry.
- Let us leverage on the demographic advantage of Young India. We can merge our efforts and work towards the creation of an “Atma Nirbhar Bharat – a self-reliant India”.