New Delhi: In a symbolic boost to India's growing start-up ecosystem, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that 16 January will be celebrated as National Start-Up Day.

Interacting with over 150 start-ups during the Start-Up India Innovation Week organised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the EV charging infrastructure, defence manufacturing, chip manufacturing offer and drone industry

“For this culture of start-ups to reach the far-flung parts of the country, it has been decided to celebrate January 16 as National Start-Up Day", a statement by the Prime Minister' Office quoted him as saying.

Noting that 42 start-ups turned unicorns last year, Modi said: “Today India is rapidly moving towards hitting the century of the unicorns. I believe the golden era of India's start-ups is starting now." Currently, India has around 82 unicorns.

The start-ups, categorised under six groups, gave presentations to the Prime Minister on six themes -- 'growing from roots, 'nudging the DNA', 'from local to global', 'technology of future', 'building champions in manufacturing' and 'sustainable development'.

They shared ideas and inputs on various sectors including data collection mechanism in agriculture, making India a preferred agri-business hub, boosting healthcare through use of technology, tackling issue of mental health, promoting travel and tourism through innovations like virtual tours, ed-tech and job identification, space sector, among others.

During the meeting, Modi also outlined the measures taken by the government to support start-ups in the country, including programmes like Start-Up India, removing problems of ‘angel tax’, simplification of tax procedure, arranging for government funding, allowing self-certification of nine labour and three environment laws and removal of more than 25 thousand compliances.

He also pointed out indicators and numbers which show a growth in the start-up ecosystem. Modi said that in 2013-14, 4,000, patents were approved, while in the last one year alone, more than 28,000 patents were granted. In the year 2013-14, about 7,0000 trademarks were registered, in 2020-21 more than 2.5 lakh trademarks were registered, the Prime Minister added among other parameters.

He also mentioned that India has now reached to the 46th spot in the global innovation index, up from the 81st rank.

The Prime Minister was of the view Indian start-ups can easily make it to the global stage and reach other countries and told the young entrepreneurs: “Don't just keep your dreams local, make them global. Remember this mantra -- let's Innovate for India, innovate from India".

Modi also suggested many areas where the start-up fraternity can play a major role including EV charging infrastructure, defence manufacturing, chip manufacturing offer and the drone sector.

Noting that the new drone policy has led to interest among several on drone focused start-ups, the Prime Minister said that the Indian Army, navy and air force have given ₹500 crore worth of orders to drone start-ups. He also talked about concepts including ‘walk to work’, integrated industrial estates and smart mobility as potential areas.

"From rural economy to 'Industry 4.0', both our needs and our potential are limitless. Investment on research and development related to future technology is the priority of the government today," he said.