Published on: August 30, 2022



Why in news?

The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has chosen ideas of 14 start-ups in the hardware sector and other innovators from the State for the NIDHI-PRAYAS grant, a flagship initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, to foster indigenously developed innovations and products.


  • The 14 applicants, seven innovators and seven start-ups in the hardware sector, who were selected by an expert panel, will get a grant of ₹85 lakh in total.
  • The KSUM is one of the recognised centres for implementing the NIDHI-PRAYAS — National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations-Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring Technology Entrepreneurs
  • NIDHI (National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovations) is an umbrella program initiated by the Science & Technology department (DST) of the Indian government for cultivating knowledge-based innovations and ideas driven by technology into fruitful start-ups. NIDHI supports start ups from the ideation stage to the marketing stage.
  • Apart from providing technological solutions to society’s needs, the program also wants to generate new possibilities for job and wealth creation.
  • The main stakeholders of this initiative include the different ministries departments of the central government, governments of the states, R&D and academic institutions, mentors, angel investors, financial institutions, industry experts and veterans, venture capitalists and the private sector.
  • NIDHI greatly responds to the new nationwide ambitions by immensely expanding DST’s 3 decades of experience in endorsing pioneering startups.
  • NIDHI has 8 components that support each stage of a nascent startup from its idea stage to the market stage.

Components of NIDHI

There are eight components of the National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI). These include:

  • NIDHI GCC – Grand Challenges and Competitions for scouting innovations
  • NIDHI – PRomoting and accelerating Young and Aspiring Innovators and Startups (NIDHI-PRAYAS) – Support from Idea to Prototype
  • NIDHI-Entrepreneur In Residence (NIDHI-EIR)-Support system to reduce risk
  • Startup-NIDHI
  • NIDHI-Technology Business Incubator(TBI)-Converting Innovations to start-ups
  • NIDHI-Accelerator-Fast tracking a start-up through focused intervention
  • NIDHI-Seed Support System (NIDHI-SSS)-Providing early-stage investment
  • NIDHI Centres of Excellence (NIDHI-CoE)-A World-class facility to help startups go global


  • PRAYAS is a pre-incubation initiative that supports innovators to turn their hardware/electronics solution ideas into proof of concept.
  • It aims to provide a platform to young innovators to generate solutions for relevant local and social problem.
  • The programme is aimed at promoting a vibrant innovation ecosystem by establishing a network between innovators, academia, mentors, and incubators by catalysing the process of commercialisation for innovators.