The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) under the Niti Aayog is launching a vernacular innovation program, which aims to provide ecosystem services to non-English speaking innovators. The program aims to offer access to learning in vernacular languages, provide access to global markets and funding for startups and innovators from non-English speaking regions and backgrounds.
The first leg starts on December 22, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, and will focus on design thinking and entrepreneurship. It is divided into three phases, with the first focused on training, while the other two will help startups and innovators grow and seek investments.
AIM plans to cater to the ecosystem in 22 languages plus English. “We are training a vernacular task force in each of these 22 languages. The task force has teachers, design thinkers, language translators, and even chief executives of incubation centres in different regions,” said Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director of AIM.
Vaishnav added that AIM, in collaboration with the design department of IIT Delhi, will be training the task forces in these subjects from now until April 2022. The task forces will then mentor and help innovators and startups from vernacular backgrounds to learn modern subjects.
After April of next year, AIM will organise regular events for vernacular entrepreneurs, which will give them access to learning material, provide access to markets where their ideas can fit, and there will also be ways to find funding. “Ecosystem services that are currently only available to English speakers will be available to vernacular innovators,” Viashnav said.
He also noted that the program has been designed with cultural backgrounds in mind. “We also do adaptation in local cultures,” said Vaishnav, noting that the program will try to use regional examples in order to better relate to the entrepreneurs. “There is no theoretical precedence to it, so we’re trying to create one,” he added.