The government has established the Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) scheme and the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in the Niti Aayog.
While the AIM would focus on inviting aspiring entrepreneurs to solve India’s contemporary socio-economic problems via ‘grand challenges’ that offer substantial awards to incubate and scale up winning ideas, the SETU scheme’s resources would be devoted to strengthening incubators and setting up ‘tinkering labs’ where ideas can be shaped into prototypes before they are ripe for funding.
An overarching supervisory body with about ten members is being formed to oversee the allocation of funds under the schemes to line ministries. The panel would include secretaries from the departments of science and technology, biotechnology, industrial policy and promotion as well as the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises.
Half of the funds under SETU would be earmarked for strengthening existing incubators in the country, backed by different departments, so that the support mechanism for budding entrepreneurs is more robust.
The rest, Rs 500 crore, would be used for setting up tinkering labs, where students can literally potter about and create prototypes and models of their ideas with the ability to demonstrate basic functions.