"Small businesses are the spine of India's economy and Startups are the game changers. This partnership can benefit both, the society and the economy, especially women employment will get strengthened because of this," Modi said as he interacted with Start-Ups via video conferencing as part of the Start-Up India Innovation Week.
"I congratulate all the startups of the country, all the innovative youth, who are raising the flag of India in the world of Start-Ups. For the culture of Start-Ups to reach the far-flung parts of the country, it has been decided to celebrate January 16 as National Start-up Day," Modi announced.
Recalling the concept of the current decade as the 'techade' of India, the Prime Minister listed three important aspects of the massive changes that the government is making in this decade to strengthen the innovation, entrepreneurship, and startup ecosystem.
ALSO READ | Six terrorist associates arrested in J&K
Elaborating on those steps, Modi said, first, to liberate entrepreneurship and innovation from the web of government processes, bureaucratic silos; second, creating an institutional mechanism to promote innovation and third, handholding of young innovators and young enterprises. He listed programmes such as 'Startup India' and 'Stand-Up India' as part of the efforts.
Modi also spoke about bringing in ease by way of addressing issues related to 'angel tax', simplification of tax procedure, arranging for government funding and allowing self-certification of nine labour and three environment laws.
The Start-Ups gave presentations on six themes viz 'Growing from Roots'; 'Nudging the DNA'; 'From Local to Global'; 'Technology of Future'; 'Building Champions in Manufacturing'; and 'Sustainable Development.'
More than 150 Start-Ups were divided into six working groups for the purpose of these presentations. For each theme, there were presentations by two Start- Up representatives.
The Prime Minister also said that the Government's effort was to institutionalise innovation in the country by creating attraction for innovation among students since childhood. "More than 9,000 Atal Tinkering Labs are giving children a chance to innovate in schools and work on new ideas," he said, adding, "whether it is new drone rules, or new space policy, the priority of the government is to provide opportunities for innovation to as many youths as possible."
Underscoring the role of empowerment by entrepreneurship in addressing the problems of development and regional-gender disparities, Modi said, there is at least one Start-Up in each of the 625 districts of the country and more than half of the Start Ups are from tier II and III cities. "These are changing ideas of youth from ordinary, poor families into successful businesses."
ALSO READ | Army won't let any attempt to unilaterally change status quo along borders: Gen Naravane
He also mentioned various indicators of increasing entrepreneurship and innovations - vis-A-vis patents and trademarks - citing comparable numbers between 2013-14 and now.
Asserting that India's diversity is a key strength and keystone of India's global identity, Modi said, "Indian unicorns and Start-Ups are the messengers of this diversity."
Earlier, during their presentation, the Start-Up representatives shared ideas and inputs on a variety of sectors and areas.
Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Ashwini Vaishnav, Sarbananda Sonowal, Parshottam Rupala, G Kishan Reddy, Pashupati Kumar Paras, Dr Jitendra Singh, and Som Parkash were among those present virtually.