The Indian Express | Syed Khalique Ahmed |Ahmedabad | February 2, 2016 |
The Gujarat Technological University’s (GTU) students start-up policy that was released on Tuesday by state education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, allows bachelor of engineering (B Tech) students to complete their courses in six years, instead of four years. The first state technological university in the country to come out with a startup policy, GTU policy also allows students to take two years of official leave to complete their startup projects. The policy also permits a grace of up to 10 per cent in attendance, based on the stage of startups in any semester to help young entrepreneurs. Speaking to The Indian Express after release of the policy, Vice-Chancellor Akshai Aggarwal said that these relaxations had been given to the students because it would be difficult for any student to work on a business project as also to complete their academic studies simultaneously.
The policy, according to Aggarwal, also allows alumni to work on their startups at university’s incubation centres for a maximum of three years from the date of passing out from the colleges affiliated to the GTU. GTU, which is the only state engineering university recognised as technology business incubator (TBI) by Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology, plans to set up four startup incubation centres-one each at Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot. So far, only IITs and NITs were allowed to set up incubators for which they received grants of Rs. 6 crore annually. But these premium institutes contributed to only four precent of the engineering students while 95 per cent of engineering students studied in colleges under state technological universities. This did not allow innovation among students in insrtitutes under state technological universities. Acording to Aggarwal, setting up of startup incubators at four different places will help the students from the nearby engineering colleges to go to these centres to work on their startups. There are total 486 engineering colleges in the state. The policy also wants colleges with hostel facilities, to set up “Innovation Home” of about 5,000 sq ft on the pattern of Rainbow Mansion in Silicon Valley. Chudasma promised GTU to provide spaces for its startup incubators. – Courtesy