Commerce minister Piyush Goyal
Commerce minister Piyush Goyal
Image source: Twitter

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday invited startups to register at public procurement portal GeM and offer goods as well as services to government organisations and PSUs.

He said that about 4,000 startups have already registered at Government e-marketplace (GeM).

The commerce ministry launched GeM in August 2016 to create an open and transparent procurement platform for the government, which runs in several lakh crore.

"I invite all startups to list their products and start offering goods and services to government organisations, PSUs, state government bodies, hospitals, schools, and colleges run by the government," Goyal said at the National Startup Awards 2020 event.

The minister also said that about Rs 4,000 crore was already disbursed through Fund of Funds for startups, "giving it out to about 361 startups".

He added that huge potential is there for startups in areas including railways, airport services, food processing, education, healthcare, agriculture, electronics and defence.

"I believe startups will be playing an increasingly important role in many strategic sectors going forward," he said.

Further, the minister also called for creating a large pool of language interpreters as huge demand is there for them in missions abroad and other places.

"What we should do to have a large pool of interpreters of Indian and international languages in the country. How we can quickly develop a large pool," Goyal said.

He said that for a long time, ministries including external affairs, commerce and tourism are grappling with the need to have a large number of interpreters.

"It's time that we recognise the importance of language...and I think, COVID-19 would be a great opportunity to have languages being taught through VC (video conference) across the country," he added.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has conceived the first-ever National Startup Awards to recognise and reward outstanding Startups and ecosystem enablers that are building innovative products or solutions and scalable enterprises, with high potential of employment generation or wealth creation, demonstrating measurable social impact.

The awards were presented in 12 sectors which were further sub-classified into a total of 35 categories. These sectors include agriculture, education, energy, finance, space, and security.

The ministry said in a statement that 1,641 applications were received from startups, spread across 23 states and 4 Union Territories.

These applicants included 654 Women-led, 165 academic institution-based and 331 startups working in rural areas.

All applicants were evaluated against six broad parameters -- innovation, scalability, economic impact, social impact, environmental impact, and inclusiveness and diversity.

"After three rounds of detailed evaluation, 199 startups were selected for presentation before the jury. 192 out of these made presentations before the 15 specialist jury panels, which comprised of domain experts from industry, investors and government," it said.

The recognised entities will benefit from such recognition, not only in terms of being able to attract more business, financing, partnerships and talent, but also enable them to serve as role models for other entities, and to inspire them to be purposeful and responsible about their socio-economic impact, the ministry added.

The 'Startup India Showcase' and 'Blockchain-based Certificate Verification System' were also launched during the event.

The showcase is a part of the Startup India portal, which is intended to be an online discovery platform for the most promising startups of the country.

It will help the industry, investors and public authorities find and connect with startups for potential partnerships, investments and public procurement, respectively.

The statement added that the system will enable instant verification and access to certificates of recognitions issued by the DPIIT.

"This feature introduces an added layer of security to the startup certificates. It can be accessed by government departments, procurement entities, investors, and other third parties to verify the status of recognised startups for accessing different opportunities," the ministry said.

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