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India, UNDP Launch Community Innovator Fellowship on International Day of Women and Girls in Science

The fellowship designed as a pre-incubation model will provide youth with an opportunity to establish their social enterprise with a focus on Sustainable Development Goal

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Mahima Rabia
Mahima Rabia
Journalism student covering India

INDIA: Indian public policy think-tank NITI Aayog and its flagship initiative Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), in collaboration with UNDP on Friday, launched the Community Innovator Fellowship (CIF) on the occasion of International Day of Women & Girls in Science.

Community Innovator Fellowship

The fellowship designed as a pre-incubation model will provide youth with an opportunity to establish their social enterprise with a focus on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) based solutions to solve community issues.

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Speaking at the launch event, Vice-Chairman NITI Aayog Dr. Rajiv Kumar said, “This fellowship is a year-long program that aims to provide young community innovators necessary infrastructure and knowledge building in their entrepreneurial journey. This is a propelling initiative to harness the creativity and the innovation potential that grassroots of India hold”.

The fellowship program is designed to host each fellow at one of the AIM’s Atal Community Innovation Centres (ACICs) where they will learn about SDG, develop entrepreneurial skills and life skills while working on their idea.

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The ACICs will help encourage youth-led innovations by providing suitable resources including operating facilities, co-working space, maker labs, and a dynamic business network.

The fellowship will help the innovators grow their innovation from ideation to commercialisation phase, encouraging their active participation in expanding social enterprise as a culture in the start-up ecosystem and promoting women entrepreneurs from different regions in India.

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Launching the event, CEO NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant said, “Creating a pre-incubation space for young and energetic innovators is a very important step in building vibrant, inspiring solutions for community problems. This fellowship is an ingenious way to engage the young
change-makers as well as various other stakeholders in the community innovation ecosystem in building holistic and inclusive innovations.”

Calling for support and engagement from all the stakeholders, UNDP Resident Representative in India Shoko Noda said, “Through this fellowship initiative, we are inviting the youth to find their own solutions to create enterprises that become sustainable business models. AIM and UNDP are determined to work together with government, civil society, and private sector to make this happen.”

AIM has released the Operations Manual for establishing an ACIC ecosystem, which will help to drive the initiative even further.

It includes a knowledge and capacity-building framework intended to support an ACIC’s foundational and operational operations.

The Atal Community Innovation Centres were established with a focus to develop the start-up and innovation ecosystem in the remote and less-catered regions of India. At present, there are 12 ACICs across 9 states in the country.

Also Read: Is Increasing the Legal Age of Marriage for Women a Gamechanger?

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