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Cabinet approves Rs 1,000 Cr to set up Atal Labs in 10,000 schools


To promote an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, the Union Cabinet gave a nod to Rs 1,000 crore for a continuation of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and set up Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) in 10,000 schools.

AIM runs multiple programs such as ATL, Atal Incubation Centres (AIC) and Atal Community Innovation Centers (ACIC) to encourage innovation.

Every ATL gets a grant in aid of Rs 12 lakhs in the first year and up to Rs 2 lakhs per year for subsequent 4 years, for maintenance of the ATL equipment and operational expenses.

Whereas each selected AIC will be receiving a grant in aid up to Rs 10 crore over 3-5 years in tranches per year and Innovators will receive commercialization and technology deployment grants up to Rs 1 crore under the ANICs, said Press Information Bureau release.

Under the ATL program, more than 10,000 schools are expected to establish these labs by 2020.

Over 100 AICs are expected to be established around the country, added the release. Under the scheme, more than 100 startups are expected to receive some support for productising their innovations.

Over the years, the innovative programs under AIM have got noticeable traction.

In December 2017, NITI Aayog brainchild AIM had selected additional 1,500 schools across the country for setting up ATLs programme. Now, the number of labs has gone over 2000. The govt aims to take the number to 30,000.

ATL is a play workspace fitted with state-of-the-art technologies like 3D printers, robotics, sensor technology kits, Internet of things (IoT), miniaturized electronics to stimulate innovation among students of class 6-12th.

It primarily aims to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in schools, universities, and industry.

The lab helps students find solutions by exploring and experiencing design thinking and innovation, a do-it-yourself approach etc. It is based on the philosophy of incentivising to create an exponential wave of innovation and entrepreneurship amongst school children.

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