IT Ministry launches “Chunauti” challenge for next-generation startups

Under the Chunauti challenge, the selected startups in the identified areas will be given seed funding and other facilities.

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

The government has earmarked Rs 95.03 crore over a period of three years for this programme. It aims to identify around 300 startups working in identified areas and provide them seed fund of up to Rs 25 lakh and other facilities.

On the new initiative, the minister 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. This launch is a bold initiative under the clarion call for Aatma Nirbhar Bharat given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Under this challenge, the Ministry of Electronics and IT will invite startups in the following areas of work: edutech, agritech and fintech solutions for masses, supply chain, logistics and transportation management, infrastructure and remote monitoring, medical healthcare, diagnostic, preventive and psychological care, jobs and skilling, as well as linguistic tools and technologies.

The startups selected through Chunauti will be provided various support from the government through Software Technology Parks of India centres across the country. 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.

Besides seed fund of up to Rs 25 lakh, the startups will also be provided cloud credits from leading cloud service providers. Startups that are in the ideation stage may be selected under the pre-incubation programme and mentored for upto six months to evolve their business plan and solution around the proposed idea.

Each intern (startup under pre-incubation) will be paid Rs 10,000 per month up to a period of 6 months.

The Union Minister also laid the foundation stone of the digital training and skilling center of National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) at Muzaffarpur in Bihar. This center will be developed by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, at a cost of Rs. 9.17 crore.

Edited by Kanishk Singh