The government on Saturday launched programme for Indian tech entrepreneurs and startups to build strong ecosystem to develop and promote indigenous world class apps.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT in partnership with Niti Ayog announced that it will run the programme in two stages.

"With an objective to support and build a strong ecosystem for Indian Apps, MeitY in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission – Niti Aayog launches Digital India AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge for Indian tech entrepreneurs and startups.

"This is to help realise the vision of Prime Minister for building a Digital India and using Digital Technologies for building an AatmaNirbhar Bharat," Meity said in a statement.

The programme will run in two tracks, which will be to promote existing apps and develop new ones.

The track 1 - started from Saturday - will identify the best Indian applications that are already being used by citizens and have the potential to scale and become world class apps in their respective categories.

"This Innovation Challenge with various cash awards and incentives of featuring Apps on Leader Boards seeks to create an ecosystem where Indian entrepreneurs and startups are incentivised to ideate, incubate, build, nurture and sustain Tech solutions that can serve not only citizens within India but also the world," the statement said.

The track 1 is expected to be completed in a month.

In the track 2 of the "AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge" the government will seek to identify Indian startups, entrepreneurs, companies and encourage them with ideation, incubation, prototyping and roll out of applications.

"This track will run for a longer course of a time, details of which shall be provided separately," the statement said.

The programme will look at app development in eight categories which are social networking, e-Learning, entertainment, health and wellness, business - including agritech, fintech, news and games.

Meity has set July 18 for submission of entries through MyGov website.

"A specific Jury for each track with experts from private sector and academia will evaluate the entries received. Shortlisted Apps will be given awards & will also feature on leader boards for information of citizens," the statement said.

The government will also adopt suitable apps, guide them to maturity and list on Government e-Marketplace (GeM), it added.
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