Academic Intervention Included In The Kerala Startup Policy To Foster A Culture Of Entrepreneurship – Part I

The Kerala Start Up Policy has a unique approach in terms of Human Capital Development. It spells out the importance of promoting the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. And to do so, it focuses on inculcating the habit of the same in the minds of citizens in every aspect of economic activity.

 

To make this a reality, the Policy lists strong educational support as an important aspect. The Government would work with universities, educational institutions and the industry with the focus of providing trained manpower in emerging technologies. This in turn would lead to more and more innovators and techno-preneurs coming up among the youth.

 

The Kerala Startup Policy thus lists out a series of academic interventions. Update University Syllabus by advising the Universities to change the course curriculum bringing it in tune with emerging technologies and industry requirements is the first. This would include introducing courses in skill training and entrepreneurship development, including Industry Experts to teach courses and introducing new elective subjects. Following which it lists Update State School Syllabusby introducing Entrepreneurship thereby giving students a general introduction to entrepreneurship and skills needed.Faculty up gradation by which a the Government would support enhancing infrastructure at universities to train the faculty for promotion of innovation is also listed.

 

Other interesting academic interventions listed out are mandatory apprenticeshipwhich may be waived off only for students who are indeed starting up their own startups would be implemented at all educational institutions offering under-graduate courses in association with the industry. Credits to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) that would be decided by the University and the Incubators operating in the State along with an evaluation methodology. Additionally, these would be inserted as electives and as a change, it would be available from the first year itself.

 

Innovative and original ideas for final year projects along with a nodal incubator creating an online portal with its details to avoid duplication and give an online platform for students to post their projects, introduction of the Gap Year-concept of Student Entrepreneur in Residence where outstanding students can take a gap of an year to pursue entrepreneurship full time, extendable to two years, a pilot sabbatical scheme for college and university faculty by which professors who work along with students at an incubator can move out and pursue entrepreneurship are some even more interesting academic interventions proposed in the Policy.

 

Taking it a step further, the Policy also discussed Technology Entrepreneurship at School and College levels  by which student start up teams with latest one woman cofounder may be given 5% grace marks and 20% attendance each semester and are allowed to undertake theirIndustrial Seminar, Project Seminar and Industrial Visit at Technology Business Incubators where the additional facilities are being setup. On the same vein, the Policy also suggests that those student entrepreneurs working in the first year of college may be permitted to convert the same to their final year project towards degree completion with mentors assigned by incubators involved in Viva Voce.

The above are what appears to be the institutional approaches among the Academic Interventions proposed by the Technology Start Up Policy.

 

For more academic interventions proposed in the Policy, see part II.