Indian schools adopt new business training programmes

With the rise of startups, India promotes innovation at school level


November 21, 2019

/ By / Kolkata

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Kautilya Vidyalaya selected to set up Atal Tinkering Laboratory

Kautilya Vidyalaya in Mysuru is one of the schools with Atal Tinkering Laboratory (courtesy: starofmysore)

According to a recent study India is the second most entrepreneurial nation after Chile and also the fourth highest to offer school stage entrepreneurial education and business training in the world.

With the tech ecosystem in India developing and gaining prominence, the number of startups including unicorn startups has risen alongside. Recently an US mergers and acquisitions broker Latona’s had analysed the countries to understand the world’s most entrepreneurial nations, as there are new innovative entrepreneurs, keen to make a change and attain success, bursting on the scene every day. They have revealed that India is the second most entrepreneurial nation right after Chile.

Another national investment agency Invest India, which was formed under Startup India, has reported that 24,935 startups are currently registered under the programme compared to March 2018 when the total was 8,939 startups. Even the tech startups in India this year have reached to 8,900-9,300 with addition of seven Unicorns taking the total tally to 24, which is the highest number of Unicorns in a single country in the world. Unicorn companies are the ones with a valuation of over USD one billion.

India as an entrepreneurial country

As the report by Latona’s says, India is placed second with an overall score of 69 out of 100. Surprisingly, India is also the fifth most fearful country with nearly half (50 pc) of its residents admitting that fear of failure is a major reason to prevent them from starting a business. Inspite of this, it has acquired the third position for innovation with 47 pc of the existing business owners and managers affirming that the services or products offered by them is new to at least some of the clientele, if not completely new.

The report also said that India is the fourth highest nation to offer school stage entrepreneurial and business training in the world, with a score of 7.41 out of 10. “Our research shows there are a lot of factors that go into creating a nation of entrepreneurs. While funding and education play a big part in nurturing entrepreneurial intentions, it’s clear that creative innovation, courage and self-motivation are huge drivers of success when it comes to starting a business,” said Rick Latona, director of Latona’s.

“It’s great to see countries across the world are all ranking in the top 10 entrepreneurial nations and are being recognised for the efforts they are making to support up and coming entrepreneurs. With new businesses being of great benefit to both the economy and society, it is important for nations to encourage this activity,” he added.

Entrepreneurial training at school level

Indian government has recently announced that it will open 10,000 tinkering labs, under its Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), at school level across the country to promote innovation in selected schools. The schools will receive a grant to establish the Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) for nurturing innovation and entrepreneurial spirit among secondary school children across the country. It provides hands-on training to students from Class VI to XII for teaching them innovative skills and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) principles.

Even at state level in the south-Indian state of Kerala, the institute, Kerala Infrastructure and Technology Education (KITE) has undertaken an initiative known as Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) under the education department to develop an ecosystem in the schools itself to support a student to become an entrepreneur or innovator. They have started by distributing electronic kits in school and so far have reached nearly 50,000 students of government and aided schools. Even over 1,200 teachers have been imparted with hands-on training in the initial phase.

“KITE has supported us in distributing the equipment in schools. At present, innovation centres are functioning in schools for Class IX, X and higher secondary students to help them identify their inborn skills for innovation and entrepreneurship purposes. In addition, Atal Tinkering Labs are also functioning in schools with the financial aid of the Centre for sharpening students’ innovative and entrepreneurship skills,” said Saji Gopinath, CEO of KSUM.

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