The larger idea of the government is to make these startups self reliant at a time when India has banned more than 118 Chinese apps citing security concerns.
NEW DELHI :
The central government has been taking the crowdsourcing route to support and encourage small new-age firms to innovate, grow and take the lead in their respective fields.
On Monday, it launched the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Solutions Challenge, inviting startups to develop solutions to challenges in healthcare, education, agriculture, smart mobility, transportation and natural language processing.
The top 15 startups will be given an opportunity to showcase their solution at a virtual global summit on AI—RAISE (Responsible AI for Social Empowerment) 2020—in October. The winner will receive a ₹20 lakh award. Besides, the government will also adopt their solution where applicable.
This is the latest among challenges launched by the government in the last few months. These include the Aatma Nirbhar app innovation challenge to promote existing apps and to develop new ones, and Chunauti next generation startup challenge to further boost startups and software products.
The larger idea is to make these startups self-reliant at a time when India has banned more than 118 Chinese apps over security concerns. Similarly, following privacy concerns over Zoom in April, the government announced an innovation challenge to develop an Indian videoconferencing platform.
“Such challenges generate a lot of interest from the venture capital community and angel investors. It helps the smaller apps to get noticed and increase their user base. Some of these apps got massive traction after some [Chinese] apps were banned," Abhishek Singh, Chief Executive Officer of National e-Governance Division said.
“Challenges such as these are now common in many countries and they are being widely used by various governments to solve problems by roping in young innovators. This AI challenge is a bit different as usually these challenges try to solve a particular problem. Still, this is a welcome step and will encourage start-ups to share their solution," said D.D. Mishra, senior director analyst at Gartner, adding that crowdsourcing solutions are going to be the next big thing in India.
“We will see more such attempts to piggybank on a great solution and idea and use them to solve particular problems at a low cost," he said.