Entrepreneurship skills and startup initiatives have taken a new meaning in India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2021 announced January 16 as National Startup Day. Many Entrepreneurs rejoiced over the decision and felt ecstatic and at the same time, various industrial sectors took it upon themselves to come out with initiatives that would help these entrepreneurs and startups in building their ground.
The Ministry of Railways is doing its best to leverage innovative technologies developed by Indian startups and innovators to improve the efficiency and safety of Indian Railways. Here’s how:
Startups for Indian Railways
The Indian Railways launched a scheme called ‘Startups For Railways’ in June 2022. The scheme was launched to provide funds of Rs 1.5 crore for innovative technological solutions. The initiative was taken to encourage startups across the nation. As soon as it was launched, the scheme gained momentum. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had in August 2022 announced that the Indian Railways received a total of 297 proposals from startups under the said scheme.
The ideas were proposed to solve 11 problems of the Indian Railways including the rail stress monitoring system, track cleaning machine, broken rail detection system, track inspection technologies for accurate inspection, and light-weight wagons for transporting commodities like salt, among others.
This paved the way for a lifelong connection between Indian startups and Railways. Solving these 11 problems undoubtedly deepened the bond and gave these startups a new purpose with much more zeal. The process which begins from floating the problem statement to developing prototypes is completely online with a definitive deadline which makes it even more transparent.
The innovation fund has been directly granted to the Indian Railway Innovation Policy startups and the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) remains the innovator.