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India government extends Aatma Nirbhar App Innovation Challenge

To support and build a strong ecosystem for indigenously-developed IT applications, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had launched the Digital India AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge.

OpenGov Asia had reported on this innovative initiative by the Indian government earlier this month.

The contest, developed in collaboration with the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), targets Indian tech entrepreneurs and startups.

The AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge, launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 4th of July, has seen a very enthusiastic response from tech entrepreneurs and startups across the country.

Initially, the last date to submit entries online via the MyGov portal was 18th July 202. However, given the overwhelming response to the AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge, the government has decided to extend the last date of submission of entries to the Challenge to 26th July 2020.

Currently, over 2353 entries have been received across the 8 categories identified. These include 1496 from individuals and about 857 from organizations and companies.

In the Individuals category, of the almost 1500 entries submitted, over half are ready to use while the remaining submissions are under development.

Around 100 of these Apps have more than 100,000 downloads.

For apps submitted by organizations, 75% of the entries have already been deployed. The remaining 25% are still under development.

The category wise breakup of the apps submitted include 380 under Business, 286 under Health & Wellness, 339 under E-Learning, 414 under Social Networking, 136 under Games, 238 under Office & Work from Home, 75 under News, 96 under Entertainment and about 389 Apps have been submitted under the Others category.

Interestingly, the submissions are from applicants from all over the country including remote and small towns. This is indicative that talent exists across the country and not limited to the bigger cities and metros.

The organisers believe that the App Innovation Challenge is an excellent opportunity for Indian tech developers, entrepreneurs and companies to build for India at a scale, that is unparalleled anywhere in the World.

The true challenge will be to identify the Apps that are robust, scalable, secure with an easy to use interface and give users an experience that will make them come back to the App.

The AatmaNirbhar Bharat App ecosystem has the potential to unlock value for the Indian tech startups and help them get a pie of the multi trillion-dollar App Economy.

Just the top 3 companies with maximum downloads of apps this year, have a total market cap of almost US$ 2 trillion and are continuing to grow rapidly.

The capability of Indian start-ups to build innovative solutions is also proved with the enthusiastic response received for the Video Conferencing Innovation Challenge.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had launched an innovation challenge for Indian startups to find solutions to video conferencing. The innovation challenge falls under the Digital India Programme of MeitY.

Following the coronavirus-led lockdown more and more people are working from home and relying on various video conferencing applications to complete their meetings.

Startups needed to develop a video conferencing solution that will be scalable, have a market reach, and make domestic value addition for the innovation challenge.

The initiative saw more than 2000 applications, out of which 12 were shortlisted to make prototypes.

Given the quality of solutions submitted, the Jury had to expand the list at this stage from 3 to 5 as all of them were found to have the skill set to build full scale solutions.

The top 3 companies include Sarv Webs from Jaipur, PeopleLink from Hyderabad and Techgentsia from Alappuzha. They have been rewarded with a grant of Rs 20 lakhs each to build the full-scale solution.

The two companies who were ranked 4th and 5th by the Jury include Soulpage from Hyderabad and Hydrameet from Chennai. They were given a grant of Rs 15 lakhs each and are also building the full-scale solution.

In addition, 4 companies, namely Aria Telecom from Ghaziabad, VideoMeet from Jaipur, VacSetu from Delhi and Zoho from Chennai were also considered to have significant potential by the Jury.

This challenge, too, proved that given the right push, Indian tech companies can build world class solutions.

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