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Week after ‘Chinese’ app ban, Indian govt launches ‘Atmanirbhar’ app innovation challenge

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Within a week of banning 59 'Chinese' apps, the Indian government on July 4 launched an 'app innovation challenge', involving cash rewards and other incentives, to promote existing Indian apps, and help in the development of new apps. Flanked under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign, the "Digital India AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge" was launched on Saturday as a partnership between Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY) and the NITI Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission. Under the first track of the challenge, the "best" existing Indian apps that have the potential to scale and to become "world class Apps in their respective categories" will be identified. This will be completed within a month. Indian entrepreneurs and startups will be incentivised "to ideate, incubate, build, nurture and sustain Tech solutions that can serve not only citizens within India but also the world". These apps can fall under the following broad categories: Office Productivity & Work from Home Social Networking E-Learning Entertainment Health & Wellness Business including Agritech and Fin-tech News Games Shortlisted apps will be given awards and will feature on "Leader Boards" for information on citizens. It's unclear what leaderboards are. The government will also adopt suitable apps, "guide them to maturity", and list them on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM). PM Narendra Modi had announced the challenge on Friday on his LinkedIn profile. His post said: "Can we think of making traditional Indian games more popular via Apps? Can we develop Apps with targeted and smart access to…

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