Atal Innovation Mission

Learn how AIM supports young innovators, startups, and India’s technological growth.
Atal Innovation Mission
4 mins
13 February 2024

Established in 2016, the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a flagship initiative of the Government of India's NITI Aayog. AIM core objective is to promote innovation and entrepreneurial spirit throughout the country. It takes a multifaceted approach, aiming to develop a problem-solving mindset in schools while building a thriving startup ecosystem across universities, research institutions, private and MSME sector.

To ensure its initiatives are effective and adaptable, AIM uses real-time management information systems (MIS) and dynamic dashboards for monitoring. The mission also engages third-party agencies to consistently review programs and drive continuous improvement.

Key activities of Atal Innovation Mission

1. Atal Tinkering Labs

Atal Innovation Mission establishes Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) within schools (grade 6th-10th). These labs offer a hands-on learning environment where students can experiment with technologies like robotics, sensors, 3D printing, and basic computer science. ATL is designed to nurture problem-solving skills, curiosity, and an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

AIM supports ATL by giving financial assistance to schools. Each school receives Rs. 20 lakh, with Rs. 10 lakh for initial setup costs and Rs. 10 lakh for operational expenses over a five-year period. Schools managed by the government, local bodies, or private trusts are all eligible for ATL.

2. Atal Incubation Centres

Atal Innovation Mission establishes Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) within universities, institutions, and corporations to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among India's young talent. AICs provide a supportive environment for early-stage startups, offering resources like technical facilities, mentorship, funding, networking opportunities, co-working spaces, and labs.

AIM has successfully launched 72 AICs across the country. These incubators have supported over 3500 startups, leading to the creation of more than 32,000 jobs. AICs support ventures across diverse sectors, including health-tech, fintech, edtech, space and drone tech, AR/VR, food processing, and tourism.

3. Atal New India Challenge (ANIC)

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) facilitates the Atal New India Challenge (ANIC) to drive innovation in vital sectors such as energy, water, housing, health, and hygiene. ANIC provides a platform for startups and MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) to develop their own products and technologies that address national or societal level challenges.

ANIC supports innovators in adapting existing technologies to create solutions focused on social good. The current round of the ANIC focuses on 18 specific challenges across five key sectors:

  • Agriculture: Innovations addressing issues related to millet production.

  • Post and telegraph: Solutions within the postal and telecommunications sectors.

  • Drinking water and sanitation: Technologies targeting clean water and sanitation needs.

  • Renewable energy and clean tech: Advancements in sustainable energy and environmentally friendly technologies.

  • Education: Addressing challenges in the Indian education system.

4. Mentor of Change Program

Mentor of Change Program creates a network of professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to guide students in ATL and entrepreneurs in startup incubators.

Currently, around 5000 mentors are actively involved, dedicating 1-2 hours per week to support innovators in ATL. In addition to fostering these mentor-mentee relationships within India, AIM seeks to build relationships with experts and innovation hubs in countries across the Asia-Pacific region, the US, UK, Latin America, Europe, and Africa.

What is a VIP?

The Vernacular Innovation Program (VIP) is an initiative launched by the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog. It aims to make India's innovation ecosystem more inclusive by removing language barriers. VIP breaks down obstacles faced by innovators who do not speak English as their primary language, ensuring they can easily learn about design thinking, entrepreneurship, access markets, secure investments, and shaping innovation policies.

How VIP works

To achieve this goal, VIP creates a Vernacular Task Force (VTF) for each of India's 22 scheduled languages. These task forces are responsible for:

  • Translating and adapting: Key concepts related to design thinking and entrepreneurship are translated and adapted to ensure understanding within different language communities.

  • Building resources: VTF develop resources and support materials in regional languages.

  • Opening the ecosystem: Once resources are in place, the innovation ecosystem is made fully accessible to innovators across India, regardless of their preferred language.


The Atal Innovation Mission is a transformative force driving India's progress toward becoming a globally competitive knowledge economy. Through its multifaceted initiatives, AIM fuels a spirit of innovation across demographics, nurtures the next generation of innovators, and creates an ecosystem conducive to groundbreaking solutions. AIM is expected to lead notable technological advancements and positive social changes in India's future.


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