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With 42 unicorn start-ups being created last year and India racing to the milestone of one billion internet users, the country will soon make a century of unicorns, Prime Minister said on Saturday. He also announced that January 16 will be celebrated as National Start-up Day from now on.

“Even during the good days earlier, only a few companies would become big. But in the past one year 42 unicorns have been made. These billion dollar are proof of India becoming Aatmanirbhar (self-dependent) and our country’s Aatmavishwas (self-confidence),” he said.

Prime Minister interacted with over 150 start-ups today to boost the start-up ecosystem in the country.

The Prime Minister emphasised that it was important for start-ups to not limit themselves to the country, but have global aspirations with the experience of catering to a large and diverse market like India. “India’s diversity is our strength. It is our global identity. Our unicorns and start-ups are the messengers of this diversity,” he said.

PM Modi also highlighted the government’s commitment to innovation and star-ups through programmes and measures such as the Atal Innovation Mission, new space technology and drone technology policies, easier compliance processes for start-ups and ironing out the issues regarding angel tax which hamstrung start-up funding earlier.

The Prime Minister said that the new drone policy has started showing results – with the Army, Navy and Air Force having already placed about Rs 500 crore worth of orders with drone companies.

He said that India had progressed to a much better global innovation index ranking of top 50 in the world even as the number of patents granted increased from around 4,000 in 2013-14 to more than 28,000 last year, while the number of trademarks registered rose from 70,000 to more than 250,000 in the same period.

The Prime Minister called upon start-ups to look towards solving challenges related to the rural economy and manufacturing sector. “Your hard work, businesses, job creation and wealth creation are for the country’s benefit. I want to match shoulder to shoulder with you to transform the youth’s enthusiasm into country’s enthusiasm,” he said.

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