604 aspiring entrepreneurs or startups across the country have been supported so far under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI)- Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) programme of the Ministry of Science and Technology, shares Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; Minister of State PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space.
In a statement laid on the table of the Lok Sabha, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the grants have been disbursed in the form of fellowship to the selected entrepreneurs through a network of 29 Technology Business Incubators (TBIs), which act as a program implementation partner for the programme.
The programme, introduced in 2016-17, aims to inspire and support S&T-qualified aspirational entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. It is positioned as a pre-incubation program to generate a new pipeline of entrepreneurs or startups. The main objective is to encourage graduating students to take entrepreneurship, and generate employment instead of seeking jobs.
The support recipients are eligible for grants up to Rs.30,000/- per month for 12 months. This fellowship is extendable up to 18 months for deserving candidates. Since the launch of the programme, a total grant of Rs.19.03 crore has been disbursed.
Maximum recipients are from Maharashtra (94), followed by Karnataka (90), Tamil Nadu (77), Uttar Pradesh (54), Odisha (47), Gujarat (33), Kerala (31), Delhi and West Bengal (25 each), Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana (18 each)), Haryana (13), Assam (12), Bihar (10), Chattisgarh (8), Goa, Uttarakhand, and Andhra Pradesh (6 each), Jharkhand (4), Jammu and Kashmir (3), Himachal Pradesh and Punjab (2 each), Pondicherry and Manipur (1 each).