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NEW DELHI : Atal Innovation Mission is aimed at translating research into entrepreneurship and StartUps by acting as an interphase between academia and commercial applications, said Union Minister of state for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh. 

In response to a discussion on India’s Nuclear Plants in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said that Atal Innovation Centers (AICs) are being set up across the country to create a synergy among research, academia and industry, in order to provide avenues of livelihood, entrepreneurships and Start-ups. He said, AICs function as a unique interface with a futuristic vision. 

Singh added that so far, the setting up of incubation centres in department of atomic energy is concerned, five such centres are currently operational in India. “The Incubation Centre at BARC in Mumbai is projected to turn out 75 StartUps in the next five years. Similarly, Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology at Indore will churn out 22 StartUps in 5 years along with 3 Trade Transfer Agreements." 

He said that the Institute for Plasma Research (IPR) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat will propel about 32 StartUps, while Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre at Kolkata will turn out 37 StartUps and 7 Trade Transfer Agreements. “The fifth Incubation Centre is in Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu." 

On the issue of September 2019 cyber-attack on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, the minister said that the members of the house that nuclear plants in India are well protected from all kinds of intrusions including cyber-attacks. “Tamil Nadu being one of the important hubs of India’s Nuclear Plants is always a matter of great priority for all of us." 

Singh said that following the incident at Kudankulam Plant, government has put in place a mechanism for different levels of screening and monitoring of the plants. “These security measures include authorization, authentication & access control mechanisms, strict configuration control and surveillance." 

He informed the house that the location of our nuclear plants is such that these are safe even from earthquake possibilities. “For the nuclear installations situated on the western side, the nearest seismic zone is near Karachi in Pakistan and for those on the southern side, the nearest seismic zone is in Indonesia."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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