HRD Ministry’s new guidelines urges High Education Institutions to create innovation fund for student startups

EQUIP project (Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme) was introduced lately by the end of March this year by MHRD.

Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry, on September 11, announced new guidelines under the National Student and Faculty Startup Policy 2019, according to which, Higher Education Institutions (HRIs) have been asked to create an ‘innovation fund’ to support innovation and startup related activities.

The guidelines stated that the institutions will have to set aside at least 1 per cent of their annual budget for the student-based startups.

It also urged the HRI’s to raise funds from diverse sources, both governmental and non-governmental, to reduce dependency on public funding.

The institutions have been allowed to approach private and corporate players for fundings under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The aim of the new policies is to envision an educational system oriented towards startups and entrepreneurship opportunities for students and faculties.

Besides, the institutions will also require to create pre-incubation and incubation facilities, which will be available around-the-clock. These facilities can be accessed by all the students and faculty of all disciplines.

The guidelines further expanded by stating that in return for the services and facilities, the institutions can also take 2 per cent to 9.5 per cent equity or stake in the company.

There will be no restriction on the number of shares the staff and faculty can take. Product development and commercialisation as well as participating and nurturing of startups would now be the responsibility of institutions, according to the guidelines.

Adding on, it also ordered the HRIs to update their internal policies for the student entrepreneurs and faculty members involved in innovation.

The edtech startup entrepreneurs can also earn academic credits for the efforts that went into creating the enterprise.

HRIs will also be allowed to issue intellectual property rights and students will be allowed to study part-time for startups during the general academic course.

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