Mangaluru, 13, 2017: It is reported that Dakshina Kannada will have India’s first startup district. As per the result of a tem sent by minister for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman to the district in January, the decision has received approval from department of industrial policy and promotion of the commerce ministry and the NITI Ayog.
With the minister dropping sufficient hints to this effect in the ongoing budget session, a formal official announcement to this effect is awaited shortly.
Sources privy to this development inform that DK district will get 20 Tinkering Laboratories in schools with state-of-the-art hardware such as 3D printers and allied software. To be named Atal Tinkering Laboratories, the programme is being taken up under Atal Innovation Mission and will also see these labs and incubation centres come up in five colleges and two institutions will vie for centre of excellence in a grand challenge that the ministry will announce soon.
Ashok Jhunjunwala, professor, department of electrical engineering from IIT, Chennai who set up the IIT Madras Research Park will handhold the exercise. This will be a three-tiered approach to fostering culture of innovation. Hence, there are schools, colleges and professional/technical institutions lined up for this project in a bottom up pyramid structure approach with focus on agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, manufacturing and internet of things.
The ministry sources maintained that the team that Minister Nirmala had sent to the city will be visiting Mangaluru once more either this month end or early next month and hold additional discussions with stakeholders to firm up the plan and tie up the loose ends. "This meeting could give a push to certain lacunaes in terms of physical infrastructure that the district faces either in terms of assured power supply and better and enhanced road connectivity," sources stated.
Nirmala Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka has embarked on this move to give thrust for entrepreneurship in the coastal district and its immediate hinterland through the incubation centres. It may be added here that T V Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education facilitated local contacts for the team that visited the city earlier to make a preliminary assessment for the startup project.