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PM Modi launches Atmanirbhar Bharat app challenge

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Electronics and Information Technology (IT) Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a tweet, said the Prime Minister had launched the challenge to encourage Indian application developers and innovators.

Days after the Central government banned 59 Chinese apps, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday invited India’s tech community to participate in the ‘Digital India Atmanirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge’.

Electronics and Information Technology (IT) Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a tweet, said the Prime Minister had launched the challenge to encourage Indian application developers and innovators.

Also read | Banning of 59 Chinese apps a ‘digital strike’, says Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Mr. Modi said that it would help create an “Atmanirbhar App Ecosystem”. “Who knows, I may also use some of these apps made by you,” he said in a post on LinkedIn. There is immense enthusiasm among the tech and start-up community today to create world class made-in-India apps, Mr. Modi said.

“To facilitate their ideas and products, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, along with the Atal Innovation Mission, are launching the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge’,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

He said the challenge is for those who have a working product or for those who feel that they have the vision and expertise to create such products. “I urge all my friends in the tech community to participate,” he said.

India has a very vibrant tech and start-up ecosystem, which has done India proud nationally as well as globally, Mr. Modi said. The country’s youth have excelled at providing tech solutions across sectors, he added.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought about a big disruption, which is being tackled through the use of technology to aid our day-to-day lives,” the Prime Minister said.

Everyone is aware of the huge potential and the scale products can achieve if they can satisfy the demand, he said.

“Nowadays, we are seeing huge interest and enthusiasm among the start-up and tech ecosystem to innovate, develop and promote homegrown apps,” Mr. Modi said.

“Today, when the entire nation is working towards creating an Atmanirbhar Bharat, it is a good opportunity to give direction to their efforts, momentum to their hard-work and mentorship to their talent to evolve apps which can satisfy our market as well as compete with the world,” he said.

The challenge will run in two tracks, which are promotion of existing apps and the development of new apps, Mr. Modi explained.

For promotion of existing apps and platforms across the categories of e-learning, work-from-home, gaming, business, entertainment, office utilities and social networking, the government will provide mentoring, hand-holding and support.

“Track-01” will work in mission mode for identifying good quality apps for the leaderboard and will be completed in around a month. For incubating new apps and platforms, the “Track-02” initiative will work to help create new champions in India by providing support in ideation, incubation, prototyping, roll out and market access.

The outcome of this challenge will be to give better visibility and clarity to existing apps to achieve their goals, and to create tech products to find solutions to tech conundrums with the help of mentorship, tech support and guidance during the entire life-cycle, Mr. Modi said.

There is tremendous scope among these sectors for new apps which solve specific issues for India and the world, he said.

“Can we think of making traditional Indian games more popular via apps? Can we develop apps with targeted and smart access to the right age group for learning, gaming? Can we develop gaming apps for people in rehabilitation or getting counselling to help them in their journey? There are many such questions and technology alone can give answers in a creative manner,” Mr. Modi observed.

The challenge will be jointly hosted by the government and members of the tech community to make it more holistic, he said.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 6:02:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-launches-atmanirbhar-bharat-app-challenge/article31991458.ece

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