India's 1st startup district

The Centre has decided to promote Dakshina Kannada as India's first startup district. A decision to this effect has received approval from the department of industrial policy and promotion under the Union commerce ministry and Niti Aayog.

The Union ministry of commerce and industry, headed by Nirmala Sitharaman had sent a team to Mangaluru in January to make a preliminary assessment for the startup project. With the minister dropping sufficient hints about promoting Dakshina Kannada as a startup district in the ongoing budget session, a formal official announcement is awaited.

The district will get 20 Atal Tinkering Laboratories in schools with state-of-the-art hardware such as 3D printers and allied software. The programme is being taken up under the Atal Innovation Mission. The labs and incubation centres will come up in five colleges while two institutions will vie for the Centre of Excellence tag in a grand challenge that the ministry will announce soon.

Ashok Jhunjunwala, an IIT-Madras professor who set up the prestigious IIT Madras Research Park, will handhold the entire exercise. There will be a three-tiered approach to foster the culture of innovation. Hence, there are schools, colleges and professional technical institutions lined up for this project with a bottom-up approach. The focus will chiefly be on agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, manufacturing and the Internet of Things. 

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