Government of India launches an initiative to aid locally developed apps

The Ministry of Electronics and IT of the Government of India has launched ‘Digital India AatmaNirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge’, an initiative to identify the best existing Indian apps that have the potential to scale and become world-class.

The innovation challenge will offer cash rewards and incentives for app developers and entrepreneurs to ideate and build tech solutions that serve not only the Indian citizens but also the world.

The move comes soon after India banned 59 Chinese apps last week citing data privacy and security issues while in the middle of diplomatic tensions with China over a military confrontation at its Himalayan border. There have also been calls to promote and enable made-in-India apps.

The challenge is being launched in eight broad categories – Office Productivity & Work from Home, Social Networking, E-Learning, Entertainment, Health & Wellness, Business including Agritech and Fintech, News, and Games. There may be subcategories within each category targeting specific problem statements.

The applicants need to apply here and submit their proposals with essential supporting materials latest by July 18, 2020. The proposal will be judged on four evaluation parameters – ease of use, robustness, security features, and scalability. After the initial submissions are screened, eligible entries will be evaluated with actual demos by a jury comprising of experts from the private sector and academia. The final announcement will be made on August 7, 2020.

The contest is open to Indian citizens and startups only. The government will not claim ownership over intellectual property, and it will remain with the applicant at all times. The government will though adopt suitable apps and guide them to maturity.

Source: Narendra Modi (Twitter)

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