IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launches startup contest ‘Chunauti’

Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday launched next-generation startup contest ‘Chunauti’ which aims to encourage startups and software products with special focus on Tier-II towns. With an outlay of about Rs 95 crore over a three-year period, the programme aims to identify around 300 startups working in identified areas and provide them seed fund of up to Rs 25 lakh and other facilities, an official release said.

“Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad today launched “Chunauti”- Next Generation Startup Challenge Contest to further boost startups and software products with special focus on Tier-II towns of India,” the release said.

Under the challenge, the Ministry of Electronics and IT will invite startups in areas such as edu-tech, agri-tech and fin-tech solutions for masses; supply chain, logistics and transportation management; as well as infrastructure and remote monitoring.

Other areas include medical healthcare, diagnostic, preventive and psychological care; and jobs and skilling, linguistic tools and technologies.

Speaking at a virtual event, Prasad said, “I urge the young, talented innovators of India to come forward and avail benefits of Chunauti challenge of Government and create new software products and app”.

Startups selected through ‘Chunauti’ will be offered various support from the government through the Software Technology Parks of India(STPI) centers across India.

“They will get incubation facilities, mentorship, security testing facilities, access to venture capitalist funding, industry connect as well as advisories in legal, Human Resource (HR), IPR and patent matters,” it said.

In addition to seed fund, the startups will also be provided cloud credits from leading cloud service providers.

“Startups who are in the ideation stage may be selected under the pre-incubation programme and mentored for up to six months to evolve their business plan and solution around the proposed idea,” the release said.

Each intern (startup under pre-incubation) would be paid Rs 10,000 per month up to a period of six months.

“Startups can apply by visiting the website of STPI or by clicking at the link,” it added.

The foundation stone of the digital training and skilling center of the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) at Muzaffarpur in Bihar was also laid, the release said.

This center will be developed by the Ministry at a cost of Rs 9.17 crore.

“The government of Bihar has allocated one acre of land for this institution. This center will be equipped with the state of the art training facility with a digital laboratory,” the release added.