More than 5.54 crore new entrepreneurs have availed loans under the Mudra scheme so far whereas credit in excess of Rs 10 lakh crore has been sanctioned under the scheme, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday.

In his address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament, the President said start-ups in India's small cities have grown at a rate of 45 to 50 per cent since 2014 whereas recognition has been accorded to 27,000 new start-ups under the StartUp India campaign across the country. He also added that India is home to the world's third-largest start-up ecosystem.

"The number of patents granted in the country has increased four times in the last five years, whereas trademark registrations have increased five-fold," said the President.

Describing the 21st century as the "Century of Knowledge", the President said the government's priority is to prepare the youth to provide leadership in this field and stressed that the youth will be at the forefront in this decade especially in research, innovation, incubation and start-ups.

"The youth are benefitting continuously from the policy decisions taken by my government in this regard," the President said.

The President in his address noted that tier-II and tier-III cities are emerging in a new role towards achieving the goal of a USD 5-trillion economy.

He lauded the progress achieved by small cities in areas related to sanitation, amenities, start-ups and other commercial activities.

"Through the Skill India Mission and National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, along with skill development, the youth are also being provided with necessary funds for self-employment. More than 5 crore 54 lakh new entrepreneurs in the country have availed loans under the Mudra scheme. So far, credit in excess of Rs 10 lakh crore has been sanctioned under this scheme," Kovind said.

Asserting that coordination among departments and dismantling of silos are absolutely essential for successful implementation of schemes, he said new ministries have also been created to facilitate better target orientation of schemes.

"Creation of the Ministry of Skill Development and the Ministry of Jal Shakti by the government is an example of this thought process," said the President. PTI RSN

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