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Updated March 19th, 2024 at 22:13 IST

India AI Mission to dedicate Rs 2,000 crore to startups: Meity Startup Hub CEO

The India AI Mission was approved by the Cabinet in the first week of March, which outlays Rs 10,372 crore for five years towards AI development in the country.

Reported by: Business Desk
Startup Representative
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The government has kept aside over Rs 2,000 crore for funding and supporting AI-related startups, with the scheme to be rolled out from the April 1 fiscal, according to Meity Startup Hub CEO Jitendra Vijay.

The government is providing a larger funding programme for startups, which are emerging as a priority sector through several outlays like a design-linked incentive scheme for semiconductor design, among others.

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"(The) Cabinet has approved the India AI Mission where more than Rs 10,000 crore is being allocated in supporting the AI ecosystem in India. More than Rs 2,000 crore is allocated for funding and supporting AI-related startups. We are looking more at figuring out mechanisms for the deployment of these programmes and schemes on both sides. This should be operationalised within the coming (fiscal) year," Vijay told PTI.

The India AI Mission was approved by the Cabinet in the first week of March, which outlays Rs 10,372 crore for five years towards AI development in the country.

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Supercomputing capacity, consisting of over 10,000 GPUs (graphics processing units) will be made available to several stakeholders for making an AI ecosystem.

Vijay said the Meity Startup Hub (MSH) is supporting and funding 143 incubators and centres of excellence (CoE) across India as of now, and giving funding to all startups from the ideation stage to growth level through funds of funds. 

“So, we can be part of their journey whenever they need and whatever geography they need,” he added.

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Vijay said that the government cannot replace private and investment community funding to startups, when asked about how MSH is supporting startups amid a lurking funding winter and as the cost of funds goes up. 

"The government is not there to distort the private funding market, but we need to ensure the development of the ecosystem. We will be funding startups in smaller towns in India. We are working very closely with the investment community to figure out how we unlock rupee capital in India and have them invest in Indian startups. If the money is coming mainly from the developed world then it becomes difficult for us to project the growth of the startup world," Vijay said.

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(With PTI Inputs)

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Published March 19th, 2024 at 22:13 IST

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