Student ventures can address unemployment issue: Minister Dr R Bindu


Thiruvananthapuram, June 20: Minister for Higher Education Dr. R Bindu today said entrepreneurship of students should be fostered by providing timely guidance and practical knowledge as it can effectively address the unemployment problem in the state.

“Through their innovative ideas and enterprises, students can also effectively contribute to Kerala’s efforts to become a knowledge economy,” said Dr Bindu, who was the chief guest at the felicitation ceremony organized by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) to honour the winners of Idea Fest 2021 at Technopark campus here.

Idea Fest 2021 is an initiative by KSUM to identify student innovators and techno-entrepreneurs from campuses through its IEDC (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre) scheme. A flagship initiative of KSUM, it seeks to promote innovation and entrepreneurship among students and academic fraternity in the educational institutions across the state.

Teams with 68 ideas selected from a total of 681 ideas were felicitated at the function where the IEDC Accreditation was also given away to eight colleges based on their performance from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2021.

Noting the importance of experiential learning, the minister said apart from classroom activities, it is also vital to conceive skill development programmes for students to kindle their creativity.

She said skill training is provided to students through various projects by realizing the requirements of different industries.

“We have to bring down the skill gap to make progress. The government is ready to provide full support to skill training programmes,” Dr Bindu said.   

Lauding the winners of Idea Fest 2021, Dr Bindu said we have to tap the talents of youngsters, who prefer going abroad after securing ample skills, and their innovations have to be leveraged properly for the prosperity of Kerala’s economy.

In his presidential address, Shri John M Thomas, CEO, KSUM, said IEDCs will help bridge the gap between industry and academia by conducting skill development training programmes for students.

“IEDCs act as an aggregator by focusing on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship for growth. The experience and exposure students get from IEDCs are priceless. The budding entrepreneurs emerge from IEDCs are the torchbearers of tomorrow’s Kerala startup ecosystem,” Shri Thomas added.

Shri K P Sreekumar, VP & Head, Broadcast Business Unit, Tata Elxsi; Shri Vishnu Pillai, Partner-Digital Practice, KPMG (Mumbai); Dr Sapna Poti, Director, Strategic Alliances and Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt. of India; Shri Binoy Vincent, Centre of Excellence, Group Leader-GDS EY; Shri Vishal B Kadam, Technical Officer, KSUM; and Shri Bergin S Russel, Assistant Manager, IEDC, KSUM, spoke.

Shri Riyas P M, Project Director, KSUM, welcomed the gathering.

In Idea Fest 2021, a total of 681 ideas were received and an expert panel selected 68 ideas that are eligible for getting a grant of Rs two lakh each besides mentorship, lab and other product development supports from KSUM. Applications received for the IPL programme (Innovator’s Premier League) and Idea Day were also considered for the grant.   KSUM, the nodal agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state, has a network of 341 mini-incubators, called IEDCs, on campuses. Launched in 2014, IEDC also aims at promoting entrepreneurial culture in educational institutions and developing institutional mechanisms to foster techno-entrepreneurs.

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