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UGC urges varsities, colleges to apply for AIC aid

New Delhi, (IANS): The University Grants Commission (UGC) has urged all public universities and the colleges under them to apply for aid from the Atal Incubation Centre (AIC), an innovation funding scheme formulated by the Niti Aayog last year.

In a letter issued on Wednesday, the central funding agency for the universities asked the latter to “encourage the academic fraternity of your esteemed University and your affiliated colleges” by applying to the scheme, which provides for a grant-in-aid of up to Rs 10 crore for a maximum period of five years.

“The AlCs would nurture innovative start-up businesses in their pursuit to become scalable and suitable enterprises to support enterprises in nationally relevant sectors such as manufacturing, transport, energy, health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation,” the UGC letter read.

This is the second such call made by the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog for applications.

In the first call made last year, the Aayog had elicited a total of 3,658 applications — including from institutions in government and private sector, and academic and non-academic ventures — from across the country.

Out of this, ten applicants were selected for the aid.

The AIC is a scheme under Atal Innovation Mission, conceived to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The last date to apply for aid under AIC is July 31.