Govt kicks off innovation challenge to boost made in India apps; cash rewards of up to Rs 20 lakh also up for grabs

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Updated: Jul 04, 2020 5:06 PM

Govt has kicked off the “Digital India Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge” in a bid to boost the homegrown app ecosystem.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s (MeitY) Digital India Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge will be conducted in two stages, screening and evaluation (with actual demo).

Days after banning 59 apps with links to China over privacy concerns, the government of India has kicked off the “Digital India Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge” in a bid to boost the homegrown app ecosystem. The innovation challenge will help identify the “best” Indian apps in eight categories (office productivity & work from home, social networking, e-learning, entertainment, health & wellness, business including agritech and fintech, news, and games) that are already available for use and scale them to “world-class” standards.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s (MeitY) Digital India Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge will be conducted in two stages, screening and evaluation (with actual demo). The challenge is open for all Indian entrepreneurs and start-ups, and those interested have until July 18 to apply. The whole process will be conducted online via the MyGov portal (innovate.mygov.in). An unspecified jury with experts from private sector and academia will evaluate the submissions and shortlist apps based on four parameters, ease of use, robustness, security features, and scalability.

Shortlisted apps will be awarded and put on Leaderboards. “Suitable” apps will further be adopted by the government and be guided to maturity. The final announcement will be made on August 7.

Winners not only stand a chance to get their apps visibility and direction, but they will also be eligible for cash rewards worth Rs 20 lakh, Rs 15 lakh, and Rs 10 lakh respectively in each of the eight app categories. Jury members may decide to create sub categories in each category, in which case winners will stand a chance to win a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh, and Rs 2 lakh respectively (for each sub category that is created within a category).

Ban on numerous Chinese apps has seen numerous Indian developers swoop in to attract users and with the new innovation challenge the government is clearly looking to boost their morale while also giving India’s app ecosystem a major shot in the arm. This isn’t the first time the Narendra Modi-led government has come out with an innovation challenge to promote make in India. Only recently, it came out with an innovative challenge to encourage Indians to build a local Zoom-rival.

The timing of the new innovation challenge couldn’t have been more right. The government has been vocal about local for a while now, and with the current wave of anti-China sentiment blowing across India, the fact that it is now also taking due action to actively promote “make in India” will surely go a long way in building faith among the citizens of the country.

 

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