India’s pursuit of turning adversity into an opportunity during the pandemic has created many new sparks on the innovation front. It is not that India started to think about the challenges of innovation when the pandemic struck. The supportive environment has been evolving over the past few years, which you can trace in our article Into the Age of Innovation: Has India Begun to Crack the Code?. The Corona crisis forced India to move quickly on innovations that provide solution to the emergent problems in the new reality. Our article When Everything Halted, India’s Spirit of Innovation is On Display shed light on how India able to cope with new realities early on.
Later on, PM Narendra Modi gave the mantra of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and many programmes followed on that set goal. One among them was AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge. Launched on July 4th, the last date of submission was kept as 26 July 2020.
Enthusiastic Response from Youth & Tech Entrepreneurs
- A total of 6,940 entries have been received
- It covers 8 categories previously identified
- The entries include 3,939 from individuals and about 3,001 from organizations and companies
- 1,757 entries from individuals and 1,742 apps developed by companies are at ready to use stage, while the others are in development stage
- Apps across categories: 1,142 Business, 901 Health & Wellness, 1,062 E-Learning, 1,155 Social Networking, 326 Games, 662 Office & Work from Home, 237 News, 320 Entertainment, and 1,135 Apps in the others category.
- Around 271 of these Apps have more than 100,000 downloads with 89 of the Apps having million plus downloads.
At a time, when popular social media and other apps from certain countries have posed a security risk and India banned them in response, the domestic app building capacity displayed under AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge is impressive.
Now, the screening committee will further scrutinise these entries and see which apps have scalable capacity with secure and user-friendly interfaces. This can be seen as the starting point for India’s pursuit to claim its pie in the multi-billion-dollar global app market. The top 3 companies with maximum downloads of Apps, this year alone have a total market cap of almost $2 trillion and are growing very fast.
It is also notable that many entries have come from the remote areas and small-towns of India.
Another Aatmanirbhar Challenge by DRDO
Taking the thrust for innovations beyond apps, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched innovation contest ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ on the fifth death anniversary of former President and scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
The challenge aims to promote individuals & startups for innovation in defence and aerospace technologies in the country in line with the call of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The winners will be decided after due evaluation by an expert committee. Award money, up to ₹10 lakh for startup and ₹5 lakh to individual category, will be given to the winners.