CEOL is Historic and Symbol of New India – Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

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CEOL is Historic and Symbol of New India – Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during State-of-the-art Incubation Centre Inauguration

Mangaluru: The state-of-the-art incubation centre called the centre for Entrepreneurship Opportunities and Learning (CEOL) was inaugurated at Kadri here on December 29.

The Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the centre by cutting the ribbon and unveiling the plaque. The programme began with welcoming the gathering by DC Sasikanth Senthil.

Addressing the gathering Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “India continues to have the 3rd largest start-up ecosystem in the world, with a total of 5200 start-ups. 1000+ tech start-ups were founded in 2017 alone. We are seeing the emergence of health tech and finch start-ups, as well as those that are solving social problems. The number of start-ups solving social challenges has increased 18% this year, and it is very heartening. From financial inclusion, healthcare, agriculture to waste management and environment, the youth are coming forward to make a real difference. As a nation of more than 1.3 billion people, start-ups have ample problems to solve. These problems are opportunities and entrepreneurs that recognise and solve them will thrive”.

Minister Nirmala further said, “Every sector has start-ups and I am glad to know that there are more than 25 start-ups in the Defence Sector. My team is engaging with them and I will be meeting them early next year as well. They will Make In India and will play a crucial role in indigenisation of Defence equipment. Start-ups have always occupied a special place for me and I will always engage with them to see how we can help them grow. 20 percent of start-ups that were founded in 2017 came from cities beyond Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi N CR. They have emerged from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. And this is Where Real India is. The Start-up Movement isn’t and shouldn’t be limited to just our metros. Talent, capital and opportunity reside everywhere and we must recognise the potential and provide opportunities so people in all corners of the nation have an equal chance, and this is why CEOL is so crucial”.

Minister Nirmala also said, “Mangalore and the Dakshina Kannada region have more than 20 colleges offering engineering, medicine and other fields of study. This is a fertile ground for talent and we need to nurture it. We need to foster the spirit of innovation and support our youth when they try to bring an idea to fruition. They should be able to do it in an environment that they are comfortable in and CEOL is for them. Bengaluru is overcrowded, and there’s no reason why Mangaluru can’t be the next startup hub. With CEOL, we have broken the mould of Start-ups being confined to metros. We are taking entrepreneurship to the grassroots. Look at Silicon Valley. It was on the coast and had many suburbs and nearby cities, similar to Mangalore and the nearby cities and towns. Silicon Valley had world-class educational institutions in the vicinity, so does this region. The US Department of Defence supported the development and growth of the region, and today as Defence Minister I am rooting for the next phase of development in this region. In Silicon Valley, people were enterprising and had the determination, and people of this region are equally ambitious and determined. We can achieve what they have achieved, and that starts today”.

“CEOL is historic and is a symbol of New India. Historic because this is probably the first time a Member of Parliament has user his/ her MPLAD funds for creating such an institution. MPLAD funds are used to build roads, libraries, parks, drainages, and it is important to work on these civic issues. But when I had a choice, I wanted to do something for a New India, to realise the aspirations and dreams of the people, of the youth, and I wanted to think in an innovative way. That’s when I came up with the idea of an incubation centre, and Mangalore and DK was my first choice. This has not been done before (with MPLAD funds), and this will act as an example for others to follow. As CIM, I also wrote a letter to all MP5 to set up an incubation centre in their respective constituencies. We must live up to the times and serve for the benefit of our youngsters”, said Nirmala Sitharaman.

“The incubation centre is a force multiplier, mew companies will be mentored and grown. These companies will employ more people and contribute to the development of the region. As the 4th Industrial Revolution is underway, Mangalore and the region will not be left behind. It will be a beneficiary of the latest developments. And it will be youth who will study here, work here and make this happen. Exactly a year back, I started on the path to making this region the Startup Coast and in less than a year we have made some great strides. CEOL has launched, schools will get tinkering labs under AIM and colleges will get Centres of Excellence. Through industry academia connects, mentoring and partnerships, we will get the best resources available. In the coming years, I hope to see great start-ups from this region”, Nirmala added.

“My team tells me that the first trip they made this year was to this region, and coincidently they are ending the year with a trip to Mangalore again. When they came in January, they met many students, citizens and entrepreneurs. Basis their study we decided to setup CEOL. We received help from a few individuals and I would like to thank them today: The former DC of Mangalore Dr K G Jagadeesh and the present DC Dr Sasikanth Senthil, the Kanara Chambers of Commerce and Industry and its members, MLA J R Lobo and the MP Nalin Kumar Kateel for their efforts”.

In his welcome speech, DC Sasikanth Senthil said, “If we have knowledge and talent we can achieve wonders. To get opportunities we needed an incubation centre which we did not have in Mangaluru. There was space for co-working in the government office. It was a vision of Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to start incubation centers all over the country. Government centres are not very good for such centers but because of Minister Sitharaman, MLA J R Lobo and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel it is possible to have a state-of-the-art center. Cutting across party lines all have worked together in the interest of the youth and entrepreneurs of Mangaluru. For the CEOL Rs 1.5 crore has been spent from the MPLAD funds to promote entrepreneurship. I urge the youth to make use of this center.”

MLA J R Lobo speaking on the occasion said, “At the outset, I would like to thank the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the allocation of such a big amount to start the incubation center. I also would like to thank MP Nalin for his efforts to contact the minister to get the funds. Where is the relationship between Mangaluru and Madam Nirmala Sitharaman? There is no compulsive reason to spend such a huge amount for Mangaluru but in spite of that, she has seen the opportunity for the people of this city to spark their ventures in the IT sector. We are proud of Mangaluru, the people of Mangaluru are well educated, well learned, widely travelled and of enterprising nature. Normally it is very rare that a representative of the people to spend such a huge amount for any project at one place. We always spend small amounts everywhere and try to satisfy a large number of people and in this bargain, we do not create tangible assets that are required. Here is an example madam has shown that any place or sector has to be developed and should be useful for our youth, we should spend a substantial amount for good project. The city of Mangaluru will remember you madam forever when this centre grows and they will remember you with gratitude. This is an example for the elected representatives to utilise their funds more judiciously and more usefully. We try to follow your path madam.”

MLA Lobo further said, “Madam Sitharaman has the vision to start an innovative hub in all schools and Engineering Colleges. If the students will be given the training in particular fields they will develop and be the future entrepreneurs. Today Bengaluru is the capital of IT in India and Mangaluru is the second best city to start an IT hub. We are so thrilled with your visit to Mangaluru. We are interested in having a good zonal center for the coast guards, we are also in need of a Sainik school in Mangaluru. I thank the DC for showing special interest in setting up the centre. Definitely, this will go a long way in the development of the IT Sector.”

MP Nalin Kumar also spoke on the occasion. ZP President Meenakshi Shanthigodu, MCC Commissioner Mohammed Nazir and Capt Ganesh Karnik were also present.

KCCI President Vatika Pai delivered the vote of thanks. Former President of KCCI Jeevan Saldanha compered the programme.

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