Top officials from the start-up ecosystem and investors discussed ideas, including one on developing a volunteer-led, open-source system to enable content and apps to be made available in 13 Indian languages, during a meeting with the government on Monday.
The proposal is to allow apps with over 20 million users to be able to use this system for their user base. This was discussed at the second meeting of the National Startup Advisory Council, chaired by commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Monday.
“iSPIRT’s Sharad Sharma presented an Indic language AI/ML software that can translate one Indian language to another with a great deal of accuracy. This will enable everybody to get educational content, technology in their own language, and give voice to a billion people who otherwise don’t know English. This is done by volunteers, and this will be an open-source programme,” said Mohandas Pai, co-founder and chairman, Aarin Capital said. In the virtual meeting with Goyal and officials of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Sequoia Capital’s Rajan Anandan made a presentation on how seed funds can be increased, while Urban Company’s Abhiraj Singh Bahl made a presentation on how India can mobilise public and private money for investment, a senior government official said. SoftBank’s Manoj Kohli made a presentation on developing a national-level mentorship programme.
“The government is committed to cut red tape, improve ease of doing business, provide financial assistance through start-up seed fund, supporting incubators, enhancing skills,” Goyal said.
Representatives of Life Insurance Corporation of India were present at the meeting as they are interested in putting money in alternative investment funds (AIFs), an official present at the meeting said.
“Why should we depend on Google for map services? Why can’t we have Indian solutions for mapping, at a time when we have our indigenous navigation satellite system known as NaVIC. How do we involve our start-ups to direct their energies on what needs to be done was also discussed,” the official cited above said.
“We discussed a voluntary mechanism for making apps available in 13 Indic scripts and languages. We also discussed the path to being Aatmanirbhar for maps and positioning,” Sharad Sharma, co-founder of iSPIRT Foundation, said.
The meeting was attended by Ritesh Agarwal, founder of OYO Rooms; Kunal Bahl, co-founder of Snapdeal; Vineet Aggarwal, president of ASSOCHAM; MR Kumar, chairman of LIC; RS Sharma, CEO of the National Health Authority, among others.
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