MeitY and NITI Aayog announce new initiative to promote Indian apps

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has partnered with Atal Innovation Mission and Niti Aayog to launch initiatives to motivate Indian app developers. The Digital India AtmaNirbhar Bharat App innovation challenge is designed for tech entrepreneurs and startups.

The challenge is open for existing apps as well as the development of new apps. The government is launching a grand challenge for Indian companies to build apps for various categories. Following Prime Minister Modi’s decision to ban Chinese apps in respective segments, there is an opportunity for local app ecosystem to flourish. Indian app developers can develop and replace the banned Chinese apps in respective segments.

The new challenge is based on the success of the government’s competition to build a rival video conferencing app for Zoom. The focus of the challenge is to identify the best Indian apps that are already being used by citizens. The government will encourage the apps that have the potential to scale and become the world-class apps in their respective categories.

The competition is open for apps in eight categories including office productivity & work from home, social networking, e-learning, entertainment, health & wellness, business including Agritech and Fin-tech, news, games. Each subcategory will have its own set of subcategories.

Shortlisted apps will recede awards and get featured on leader boards. The government also plans to adopt suitable apps and guide them to maturity. It will also list these apps on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM).

The challenge needs to be completed in a month. The government will also offer cash awards and incentives. It is intended to create an ecosystem where Indian entrepreneurs and startups are encouraged to ideate, incubate, nurture, build, and sustain technology solutions that can server Indians across the world.

The ministry is also planning the second track of challenge to identify Indian startups, entrepreneurs, and companies to encourage them with ideation, incubation and prototyping.