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About The NIDHI Program

Context:

Recently, the union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology informed the Rajya Sabha about the NIDHI Program.

Relevance:

GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. NIDHI Program: Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  2. Key Components
  3. Impact

NIDHI Program: Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • The National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) program was launched in 2016 as a comprehensive initiative under the Innovation & Entrepreneurship division of the Department of Science & Technology.
  • It is designed to nurture and support startups by fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in India.
Objectives:
  • The primary goal of the NIDHI program is to empower startups through a multi-faceted approach involving scouting, support, and scaling of innovations.
  • It aims to create a robust ecosystem that encourages the growth and success of young and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Key Stakeholders:
  • NIDHI brings together a diverse range of stakeholders, including central and state government departments, academic and research institutions, mentors, financial institutions, angel investors, venture capitalists, and private sector entities.
Funding:
  • The program is financially supported by the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), which plays a crucial role in providing resources for the implementation of NIDHI initiatives.

Key Components:

  • NIDHI-PRAYAS: This component supports innovators at the Proof-of-Concept stage by offering mentoring and financial assistance to help transform their ideas into tangible prototypes.
  • NIDHI Entrepreneurs-In-Residence (EIR) Program: EIR provides fellowships to students who opt for entrepreneurship, giving them the opportunity to work on their startup ideas under expert guidance.
  • NIDHI Seed Support Program: Startups receive early-stage seed funding to help them kick-start their ventures.
  • NIDHI Accelerator Program: This program offers a structured 3-6 months accelerator experience, helping startups accelerate their growth and move to the next stage of development.
  • Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) and Centers of Excellence (CoE): NIDHI plays a crucial role in establishing state-of-the-art infrastructure through TBIs and CoEs, which provide a nurturing environment for technology-based startups.

Impact:

  • The NIDHI program has contributed significantly to fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in India.
  • By providing various forms of support, mentoring, and funding, NIDHI has helped startups translate their ideas into impactful products and services, driving economic growth and job creation.

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