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School drop-out gets grant for handloom project
Jul '17
A youngster, who is a handloom weaver and school drop-out, is among the 11 recipients of the NIDHI -PRAYAS (National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations - Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring Innovators and Startups) grant for his project on “Modernisation of mechanisms in handloom for maximising loom productivity”.

The other recipients of the grant are mostly qualified, doctoral candidates.

Agni Devan G, who has studied only up to class four, has been working on the project for two years. “It is a semi handloom - powerloom machine, with an electronic shuttle and pedal. The motor-driven loom will help reduce time and manual labour significantly in the weaving process,” Devan told a leading daily.

The completed model has reached the design stage. Devan will now have to prove the commercial viability of the protoype within 18 months of receipt of the grant, the report said.

The grant approved for the project is Rs 2.4 lakh and Devan received 50 per cent of it recently from Naveen Vasishta, director/ Scientist, National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB).

NIDHI, conceived and developed by NSTEDB, aims to nurture knowledge-based and technology-driven ideas and innovations into successful start-ups, the report said.

“NIDHI-PRAYAS launched as a pre-incubation initiative, supports innovators turn their ideas into proof-of-concept. Educational qualification is not a criteria as long as the beneficiary proves his prowess for innovation,” Vasishta was quoted as saying.

PSG -STEP, which is among the 10 Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) identified in the country for implementing the NIDHI-PRAYAS and NIDHI-EIR (Entrepreneurs-in-Residence) programme has received a funding of Rs 6 crore from NSTEDB, said its general manager K Suresh Kumar. “O this, Rs 1 crore has been allotted for setting up a lab here. We have received funds to the tune of Rs 1 crore during the current year.”

The management of PSG Institutions has extended support to the programme by creating the infrastructure for establishment of the lab, R Rudramoorthy, principal, PSG College of Technology, said, according to the report.

Kumar said that STEP received 84 innovative ideas from innovators in different streams such as electrical and electronics, bio-medical, biotechnology, textile and mechanical for support under NIDHI-PRAYAS, of which 18 were shortlisted for presentation before a project management committee and 11 chosen for the grant.

The committee selected six young prospects under NIDHI-EIR scheme of the 22 applications for EIR support. (The EIR programme is aimed at youngsters who are not in a position to quit their jobs and start a venture).

The selected beneficiaries (under NIDHI-EIR) will get a fellowship support (up to a maximum of Rs 30,000 a month) for one year. They can work on their idea, develop the product even as they continue to work or study, Kumar said, according to the report. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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