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For people wondering what happened to Modi government’s Startup India initiative, here’s the latest update. For almost a year and a half, we have been waiting to get some real figures on the success of the programme instead of the usual hyped statements and projections by the government. And now, according to government data, over 2196 new ventures in India have been recognised by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) since the launch of the programme in January, 2016.

DIPP recognition means comparatively easy patent filing process and credit availability for the recognised startups.

The data made available by the government highlights that the country saw an encouraging increase in the registrations of startups ever since the DIPP made some small tweaks in the definition of what qualifies as a startup in India in May this year. One of the most prominent changes made in the definition which helped DIPP register a huge increase in startup registrations was DIPP’s decision to do away with the compulsory recommendation letter needed from an incubator. DIPP also broadened the definition of a startup in India to include “scalability of business model with potential of employment generation or wealth creation” as a vast proportion of youth in the country are still unemployed.

While the overall figure for startup recognition post the launch of the Startup India programme is over 2196, of these over 800 startups were recognised by the DIPP in the last two months alone following the changes in definition of startup in India.

The Indian government is now focusing on the Indian startup industry to help it achieve its job creation target that it has set for itself till its term ends in 2019. A few years ago, Nasscom stated that the startups in the country are expected to create 250,000 jobs in India by the year 2020, a figure which is much above the 80,000 figure right now. Back then when the definition was tweaked, it was expected that when the new startup definition comes into play, the 250,000 jobs figure could increase exponentially.

According to a statement given by a senior official working with DIPP to Economic Times, even though they haven’t yet assessed the job creation potential pegged by the startups registered with them, the response so far has been very encouraging.

When the changes were announced, the government has also announced its decision to give all the rejected applications another chance so as to give everyone a fair opportunity based on the changes it is was undertaking for the betterment of the programme. This can also be considered as a crucial factor in the increase in startup registrations.

With Startup India, the Modi government aims to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the country, and turn it into “a nation of job creators instead of a nation of job seekers”.

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