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Focus on start-ups, Vasundhara Raje announces Rs 500-crore promotion fund

Chief minister claims Rajasthan is the only state to have come up with such a fund, says she holds ‘start-ups very, very close to our heart’

jaipur Updated: Aug 18, 2017 20:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Startup,Digifest,Startup fund
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje flags off the inaugural flight between Kota and Jaipur.(Twitter)

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Friday announced setting up of a Rs 500-crore fund for promotion of start-ups in the state.

“Rajasthan boasts of setting up of over 600 start-ups in the last three years of which 23 have received funding of around $142 million,” Raje said.

She was addressing the final session of a two-day congregation of start-ups, technology enthusiasts, banks, funding agencies and government departments here.

“ We hold the start-ups very-very close to our heart...We are the first state to set up Rs 500 crore promotion fund,” she added

The two-day programme --- Rajasthan Digifest 2017 --- was organised by the state’s Department of Information Technology (DoIT).

Raje said the next Digifest will be organised next year “same time” in Udaipur.

On the first day of the programme, over 200 teams of technologists, startups and other enthusiasts presented their ideas out of which the best three were selected.

Raje, who was the chief guest for the programme, gave away awards to the winners, which is over Rs 30 lakh of government contracts. She said the best judged project could even go over Rs 1 crore in future.

During Digifest, various state government departments also exhibited e-governance initiatives they had been undertaking.

They had set up nearly 40 stalls exhibiting their initiatives.

“Our idea is to make people aware of e-governance facilities that government provides. One of the reasons why some government programmes don’t reach the intended beneficiaries is lack of awareness about when and how to avail those benefits. We are trying to raise awareness,” said DoIT secretary Akhil Arora.

He said the event gave a unique platform to startups and entrepreneurs by bringing to one platform funding agencies, mentors, incubators and the government.

He said it was the first such programme out of the capital city of Jaipur, because “we don’t want isolated island of excellence”.

Addressing the session at the UIT Auditorium, Raje also said Rajasthan already “boasts of 600+ startups and 23 startups from the state have received funding of around USD 142 million between 2014-17”.

She launched various other initiates on startups, one of which will grade and rank them.

Raje the state has also decided to set up a refinery-cum-petrochemical hub in Barmer.

For the benefit of the people of Kota, she announced the launch of Kota Clean Energy Network under which piped gas supply will be given to households and industrial units.

Later at a different venue in the city, she launched ‘Abhay’ command centre to make the city a “safer place”.

“The Abhay Command and Control Centre in Kota shall have a mix of optical and other sensor-based data feeds, advanced analytics and real time monitoring and control systems aimed at making Kota a safer place,” she said.

Raje also flagged off a team of 58 scooty-borne women police personnel. Riding on 29 scooties, two on each, these police officers will quickly respond to any call for help from women.

WITH PTI

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 20:47 IST