Sikkim has always prided itself on being innovative, with the venture into becoming a fully organic state, becoming a growing hub of successful startups and breaking barriers with policies for development in both rural and urban sectors.
Now, it has been listed as the best amongst all 8 North Eastern states for startups by National Institution for Transforming India Policy Commission (NITI AAYOG), which was established with the aim of achieving sustainable development goals. The policy commission is a think tank formed by the Government of India four years ago as an initiative to achieve sustainable development goals by focusing on the involvement of states into building a stronger, more efficient economy.
Under NITI Aayog, India Innovation Index 2019 is a report that examines the innovation ecosystem of states and UTs. The objective of such an index is to help policymakers design holistic policies that drive innovation in all states and UTs. It promotes competition and fosters growth. The major objectives of the index is to push states on spending more time on research and development, improving educational institutes for more production of innovators and outputs.
The ranking for the Innovation Index was done in three categories – Major States, North East and hill States and Union Territories/City and Small States. Karnataka stands as the overall leader under Major states, Delhi for the UT/CIty State and Sikkim for North East and Hill States.
Prof. Tejbanta S. Chingtham, Chief Executive Officer of AIC-SMU
Technology Business Incubation Foundation at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, Majhitar, explains that this ranking helps to bring visibility to the state, which ripples into bringing in more investors who would invest in startups and companies here, thereby fixing the unemployment problem by generating more jobs. “It is an endorsement – the more visible we are to potential investors, It helps the government by lessening the burden of having to solve employment problems and they can instead focus on developing other policies, because then the startups here will solve that issue by creating more jobs. Sikkim is also the first Eastern state to have a NITI Aayog incubator, which is located at SMIT”.
He adds that Karnataka’s ranking is by virtue of their environment being conducive for startups, with almost 20 companies being registered each day. The state also has a high number of educational institutions, research and development centres which have helped it secure the top position.
Sikkim’s foray into startups and policies for small, medium businesses would not only serve the people by granting of jobs but lead to more higher education institutes being created, bridging the gap between industry and academia. Improvement of our entrepreneurial ecosystem is imperative – startups not only benefit the economy but the people too. Developing new strategies for holistic development and creating awareness about entrepreneurship for the general public leads to more informed citizens who have a more detailed idea about it, should they choose to start their own.