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Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh Addresses The Valedictory Function Of The 2-Day National Startup Conference RASE 2024 At National Institute Of Technology(NIT).

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New Delhi, 30th of June, 2024 : “Change of mindset and exploration of regional resources are the key to StartUps in Jammu & Kashmir”. This was stated by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Earth Sciences, MoS PMO, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space, and MoS Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, Dr. Jitendra Singh while addressing the valedictory function of the 2-day National StartUp Conference RASE 2024 at National Institute of Technology(NIT) Sringar, today. 

Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the StartUp movement in India has picked up in a big way in the last one decade and the credit for this primarily goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who gave a call ‘Start-up India Stand-up India’ from the ramparts of Red Fort during his Independence Address.  At that time, he recalled, the number of Start-ups in the country was just 350-400 and today it has gone up to 1.5 lakh while India is rated number 3 globally in the StartUps.

Somehow, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, in the earlier years StartUp movement did not catch up with an equal pace in this part of the country. He said, this has also been so because of the fact that in some of the states and UTs like Jammu & Kashmir, for several decades government job or Sarkari  Naukri has been the main  source of livelihood and that has conditioned the mindset of the youngsters as well as the parents.  It is, therefore, important to create awareness that Rozgar does not mean only Sarkari Naukri  and that some of the Start-up avenues may be more lucrative compared to the salaried government job, he said. 

Emphasising the need to explore the regional resources, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, somehow the mindset gets stuck up with IT when we talk of Start-ups whereas in a region like Jammu & Kashmir the agriculture sector should be the main area of Start-ups.  Citing the example of Aroma Mission, he said, the Purple Revolution was born from small towns of Bhaderwah and Gulmarg, and is now being talked about countrywide while the Purple Revolution Tableau was also displayed on 26th January parade at Kartvya Path, New Delhi.  He said, nearly 5000 youngsters have taken up lavender farming as agri Start-ups and  are making handsome income.  Encouraged by them, he said, some of the youngsters working in the corporate sector have also left their job and turned to lavender farming.  The success of the aroma mission is vindicated from the fact that the example of J&K is also now being emulated by Uttarakhan, Himachal Pradesh and some of the Northeaster States, he added. 

As far as J&K is concerned,  Dr. Jitendra Singh said, it could be possible to explore the areas of agri Start-ups also in floriculture sector for which the CSIR has started a floriculture mission. He also referred to handcraft horticulture and textile Start-ups as rich domains of J&K.

Dr. Jitendra Singh said one of the important catalysts for startup success was a close integration between academia, research, industry and for this he called upon the various research institutes as well as the industrial agencies to come together on a single platform.  He said, to begin with, the different institutions in J&K ranging from CSIR, IIT, IIM, AIIMS, SKIMS, SKUAST, NIT, Government Medical Colleges, could come together for joint StartUp  endeavours. 

The Minister spoke to the audience about the need for a fundamental shift in thinking to propel India’s economy toward the goal of a ‘Developed India’ by 2047. He emphasized the importance of linking academic institutions such as SKIMS Soura, AIIMS, IITs, IIMs, and GMCs with industry partners to ensure sustainable growth and foster a supportive environment for startups.

Dr. Jitendra Singh also reaffirmed the Ministry of Science and Technology’s commitment to supporting StartUps. He highlighted the government’s efforts to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in various sectors in J&K.

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