INDIA: Don Bosco College of Engineering receives grant funding to support incubator that helps agriculture start-ups
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco College of Engineering Fatorda-Goa, located in Margao, a city in the western Indian state of Goa, has received a yearly grant of Rs 25 lakh from the Government of Goa, according to an article in the Herald. Agriculture Minister, Vijai Sardessai, announced that from the next financial year forward, the Goa Agriculture Department would give Don Bosco College the grant to help support an incubator at the college that helps start-up companies in the agriculture industry.
According to the article, the Goa government’s Department of Science and Technology has sanctioned Rs 10 crore over the next five years to the technology business incubator known as the Forum for Innovation, Incubation Research and Entrepreneurship or FIIRE. FIIRE signed an agreement with the Don Bosco College and another with Manovikas School. Both schools need the support to better help agriculture start-ups in India. Currently India has 199 similar incubator centers for various industries compared to the 2,500 in the United States and 1,500 in China, according to the article.
“FIIRE will provide even office space for start-up units and besides mentoring and helping them patent their idea, it will even give seed capital if the idea is found viable and feasible,” said Jose Manual Noronha, chairman of the Goa Public Service Commission and the Goa State Innovation Council, in the article.
Salesian Father Kinley D’Cruz, director of the Don Bosco College of Engineering, noted that it had been an arduous journey to get the incubation center recognized by the central government but that he was grateful for the support of the Goa government. The Don Bosco College provides advanced education for poor youth in the region who wish to study subjects like electrical, civil, mechanical and computer engineering as well as sciences and humanities.
“Salesian programs aim for innovation and to aid marginalized communities by providing the skills training and resources they need to find, and even create, long-term employment that will help them break the cycle of poverty,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This and other projects in India help these communities to be competitive in the labor market and aid Salesian students in gaining financial security.”
India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A “multidimensionally poor” child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.
World Bank – India