National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovation (NIDHI) – UPSC Prelims

Ministry/Department :  Department of Science and Technology
Objective: To nurture ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.
  • NIDHI focuses on building a seamless and innovation driven entrepreneurial ecosystem especially by channelizing youth towards it and thereby bringing in the positive impact on the socio-economic development of the country.
  • The program aims to provide technological solutions not only to the pressing needs of the society but also targets to create new avenues for wealth and job creation.
  • NIDHI, by design connects and strengthens all the links of the innovation chain from scouting to sustaining to securing to scaling to showcasing, because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
  • The key stakeholders of NIDHI includes various departments and ministries of the central government, state governments, academic and R & D institutions, mentors, financial institutions, angel investors, venture capitalists, industry champions and private sectors.
  • NIDHI strongly addresses the new national aspirations by massively scaling up DST’s experience of three decades in promoting innovative startups.
  • PRAYAS is Promoting and Accelerating Young and aspiring Innovators & startups.
  • Under NIDHI, PRAYAS programme has been initiated in which established Technology Business Incubators (TBI) are supported with PRAYAS grant to support innovators and entrepreneurs with grants for ‘Proof of Concept (PoC)’ and developing prototypes.
  • A maximum grant of Rs. 220 lakh is given to a TBI for establishing a PRAYAS Centre which includes Rs.100 lakh for PRAYAS SHALA, Rs. 20 lakh for operational cost of PRAYAS Centre and maximum of Rs. 10 lakh to one innovator for developing prototype.
  • Funding for ten innovators is given to the TBI in a year.
  • Objectives:
    • To enable translation of an innovative idea to a prototype.
    • To provide a platform for faster experimentation and modify approaches in the idea to market journey.
    • To generate innovative solutions relevant to local and global problems.
    • To attract a large number of youth who demonstrate problem solving zeal and abilities.
    • To work on their new technology/knowledge/innovation based startups.
    • To enhance the pipeline in terms of quality and quantity of innovative startups to the incubators.
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