India AI Mission gets Rs 2,000 crore for startups: Meity Startup Hub CEO

A senior government official announced on Tuesday that the government has allocated more than Rs 2,000 crore to fund and support startups focusing on AI. The scheme is scheduled to be implemented in the upcoming fiscal year starting from April 1. Speaking at the Startup Mahakumbh event, Jitendra Vijay, CEO of Meity Startup Hub, highlighted that the government is expanding its funding programs for priority sectors, such as through initiatives like a design-linked incentive scheme for semiconductor design.

(The) Cabinet has approved India AI Mission where more than Rs 10,000 crore is being allocated in supporting AI ecosystem in India. More than Rs 2,000 crore is allocated for funding and supporting AI-related startups. We are looking more at figuring out mechanisms for the deployment of these programmes and schemes on both sides. This should be operationalised within the coming (fiscal) year,” Vijay told PTI.

The Cabinet approved the India AI Mission in the first week of March with an outlay of Rs 10,372 crore for five years to encourage AI development in the country.

Diving deep into the future of innovation! Under the mission, supercomputing capacity, comprising over 10,000 GPUs (graphics processing units) will be made available to various stakeholders for creating an AI ecosystem.

Vijay said that Meity Startup Hub (MSH) is currently supporting and funding 143 incubators and centres of excellence (CoE) across India as well as providing funding to all startups from the idea level to the growth stage through funds of funds. So, we can be part of their journey whenever they need and whatever geography they need. When asked about the way MSH is providing support to startups amid funding winter and the cost of funds going up, Vijay said that the government cannot replace funding that the private and the investment community can provide to the startup.

The government is not there to distort the private funding market, but we need to ensure the development of the ecosystem. We will be funding startups in smaller towns in India. We are working very closely with the investment community to figure out how we unlock rupee capital in India and have them invest in Indian startups. If the money is coming mainly from the developed world then it becomes difficult for us to project the growth of the startup world,” Vijay said.


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