New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) The Union Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry on Thursday launched the “Swachhata Start-Up Challenge” to provide an impetus to innovative start-ups to come forward and drive catalytic transformation in the sanitation and waste management sector, a statement said.
The Challenge was launched in partnership with the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
In the statement, the ministry said the Challenge, which is open to start-ups registered in India and French actors collaborating with an Indian start-up (as a joint venture), invites solutions across four thematic areas — social inclusion, zero dump (solid waste management), plastic waste management and transparency through digital enablement.
The Challenge provides a prominent platform to participating enterprises to showcase their innovative products and services along with significant monetary and mentorship incentive. Top 10 awardees stand to receive Rs 25 lakh along with one year of dedicated incubation support from French Tech, the French government’s initiative to promote start-ups, the statement said.
“Apart from these, eligible startups will get additional incentives which includes up to Rs 50 lakh follow-on investment from Villgro, the implementation partner of the Challenge and up to 100,000 USD worth credits and technology support from technology partner Amazon Web Services, to each winner,” it stated.
The Challenge was launched by HUA Secretary Manoj Joshi along with H.E. Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, and H.E. Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India, and Bhutan, the ministry said in the statement.
Joshi said, “The Swachhata Startup Challenge, launched today, is a step towards ensuring innovation and smart governance in SBM-U 2.0 by incentivising the startup ecosystem to help realise our vision of ‘Garbage Free Cities’…” Elaborating on the French government’s role in promoting innovations in the waste management space in India, Lenain added, “France and India are committed to taking joint action against plastic pollution, and the AFD-MoHUA Swachhata Startup Challenge is a concrete step in this direction.” “The French Development Agency will provide seed funding to the tune of 25 lakh rupees and one year of customised support to each of the 10 selected start-ups. This initiative also comes at a time when France and the EU are looking to work closely with India on the international stage to negotiate a global treaty on plastic pollution,” the statement quoted Lenain as saying at the event.
Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, launched on October 1 last year, aims to achieve the vision of ‘Garbage Free Cities’ over the next five years through remediation of legacy dumpsites, construction and demolition waste and plastic waste management. PTI BUN AQS AQS
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