The Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge, announced by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in association with Niti Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission, has reportedly received 6,940 entries during the 22 days through which entries were being accepted. The challenge, which was open to any Indian individual or company, was launched on July 4 and opened for entries from the same day, and the last entries were accepted on Sunday, July 26. Final results for the challenge, which will award the winning makers with a sum of Rs 20 lakh each, will be announced on August 7.
The challenge was divided into eight broad categories – office productivity and WFH, social networking, e-learning, entertainment, health and wellness, business (including agri-tech and fintech), news and games. According to an Indiatimes report, the social networking category received the highest number of entries, with 1,155 total apps being registered for the challenge under this section. Business received the second highest number of entries with 1,142 apps, while e-learning, which has been widely popular in recent times, received 1,062 entries. Surprisingly, productivity and work-from-home apps saw a smaller number of entries at 662, with health and wellness receiving more entries (901) during the 22 days for which entries were open. Games, entertainment and news received lesser entries at 326, 320 and 237 respectively, while 1,135 apps have reportedly been classified as ‘others’.
Indiatimes also claims that 89 of the apps that are vying for this challenge already have over 10 lakh downloads, while another 271 have over 1 lakh downloads. As for submitting parties, 3,939 of the apps have reportedly been entered by individuals, while 3,001 apps were submitted by organisations. As per the report’s figures, there appears to be an even balance between already-developed apps and in-development apps that have been submitted for the challenge – 3,499 apps are reportedly developed apps that are already in use, while 3,441 of the apps are still under development.
According to the MyGov portal for the Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge, there will be three main awards for each of the eight broad categories, where the third prize will award Rs 10 lakh, the second prize will award Rs 15 lakh and the first prize will award Rs 20 lakh to the winning app makers. If the jury divides these eight categories into sub-categories, these sub-categories will also have their individual awards, with winners of the smaller categories set to receive Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh each. The key requisite to enter this challenge was for each individual or company to be Indian, and comes on the back of a number of major Chinese apps such as TikTok, Shareit, CamScanner and others being banned.
The government of India also looks set to ban another round of apps that are based in China, with reports suggesting that a number of popular apps may face the axe this time.