The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi interacted with participants of Toycathon-2021 today via video conferencing. Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal and Minister of State Shri Sanjay Dhotre were present on the occasion.
Shri Amit Khare, Secretary, Higher Education, Ministry of Education; Shri Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles; Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE; Dr. Abhay Jere, Chief Innovation Officer, Ministry of Education Innovation Cell; Dr. M.P. Poonia, Vice Chairman, AICTE and Dr. Mohit Gambhir, Director, MoEs Innovation Cell were present.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that in the last 5-6 years, youth of the nation has been connected with the key challenges of the country through the platform of Hackathons. Thinking behind this is to organize the capabilities of the country and to give them a medium, he said.
Apart from the importance of toys as the first friend of the children, the Prime Minister also emphasized the economic aspects of toys and gaming, he called it ‘Toyconomy’. The Prime Minister said that global toy market is about 100 billion dollars and India have only 1.5 per cent of this market. India imports almost 80 per cent of its toys. This means that crores of rupees are being drained out of the country. This needs to change, said the Prime Minister. Shri Modi underlined that, beyond numbers, this sector has the capacity to bring progress and growth to the neediest segments of society. Toy industry has its own small-scale industry, artisans comprising of rural population, dalits, poor people and tribal population. The Prime Minister singled out the contribution of women in the sector. In order to take the benefits to these segments, we need be vocal for local toys. The PM called for new models of innovation and financing to make Indian toys competitive at the global level. There is a need for new ideas to be incubated, new start-ups promoted, taking new technology to traditional toy makers and creating new market demand. This is the inspiration behind events like Toyacathon, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister referred to the cheap data and growth of Internet led rural connectivity and called for exploration of possibilities in virtual, digital and online gaming in India. The Prime Minister rued the fact that most of the online and digital games available in the market are not based on Indian concepts and many such games promote violence and cause mental stress. The Prime Minister highlighted that the world wants to learn about India’s capabilities, art and culture and society. Toys can play a big role in that. India has ample content and competence for digital gaming. Shri Modi called upon the young innovators and start ups to be mindful of their responsibility of projecting the true picture of India’s capabilities and ideas to the world.
The Prime Minister mentioned that 75th anniversary of India’s Independence is a huge opportunity for the innovators and creators of the toy industry. Many incidents, stories of our freedom fighters and their valour and leadership can be created into gaming concepts. These innovators have a big role in connecting ‘folk with the future’. There is a need to create interesting and interactive games that ‘engage, entertain and educate’, said the Prime Minister.
The Minister of State Shri Sanjay Dhotre expressed deep gratitude and thanked Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for providing continuous guidance throughout the Toycathon and also for interacting with the participants and guiding them.
Shri Dhotre emphasized that Toycathon will prove to be effective in making India a Production Hub of Toys. He further stressed that it is the endeavour of the government to give a new direction to India's toy industry by connecting it with innovators and researchers of all age-groups. Through this Toycathon, an attempt has been made to develop toys in keeping with Indian tradition, history and culture, he added.
He highlighted that this Toycathon, the first of its kind in the country, has witnessed the participation of students and startup entrepreneurs from across the country in large numbers. Toycathon 2021 was launched on 5th January, 2021 and the grand finale is being organized from 22nd June to 24th June. He further informed that the winners will be announced on 26th June and will be awarded with a winning amount of around Rs 60 lakhs.
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