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New Delhi : The fourth Conclave in DD News’ Conclave series was held on October 4, 2021, the topic ‘Yuva Shakti: From Sports to Startups’. Union  Commerce and Industry Mnister  Piyush Goyal and Union Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS) and Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur spoke on the occasion.

An eclectic panel comprising Alok Agrawal, an Innovation Evangelist and Managing Partner, The Growth Labs; Poonam Beniwal, Former champion boxer and Fitness Manager with SAI, Anuj Yadav, Co-founder and COO Sukriti Social Foundation, and Pranav Bhatia, Founder and CEO of Stirring Mind Ventures, joined on set, while President of Paralympic Committee of India Deepa Malik, Paralympic Bronze medallist Sharad Kumar, and Shooter Ronjan Sodhi joined virtually. An energetic studio audience comprising startup founders, national level athletes,and college students interacted with the panellists during the session.

In his message, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that youth provide energy for the rapid progress of the country and that a New India is being built on the backbone of their efforts and innovation. The push given by the Government under Startup India has led to a boom of more than 56,000 registered startups and 60 unicorns till date. He congratulated DD News for its ‘Startup Champions’ series which brought several of them into the limelight and proved to be a huge motivation for others. The Minister also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s connect to youth from various fields and said that the PM lead from the front in promoting innovation.

Union  YAS MinisterAnurag Singh Thakur, in his message, said that under Fit India Initiative, a culture of fitness is being promoted in the country. More than 10 crore people participated in the Fit India Freedom Run 2.0 while initiatives like Fit India Quiz and Poshan Abhiyan were launched for school-children. He enumerated the initiatives taken to promote sports in the country like Khelo India Youth Games, Khelo India Centres etc, and said that the Prime Minister’s interactions with sportspersons has been a huge morale boost to them. Affirming the role of youth in the making of a Swachh, Surakshit, and Swasth Bharat, he said that they are the largest stakeholder in New India and have the biggest role in building it, according to a PIB release.

The panelists agreed that India is all set to become the Startup Capital of the World with an attitudinal and mindset shift from being job seekers to job-creators. Startups today are creating multiple avenues for direct and indirect employment across the country. Unlike before, the Government initiatives under Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Living are now the support system of nascent startups, even in Tier II and III cities.

Deepa Malik shared how inclusion of Paralympic athletes in TOPS has taken their performance to the next level and that it was a collaborative effort by the Youth and Sports Affairs Ministry, SAI, and the private sector. She and Poonam Beniwal commended how inclusion of Sports Sciences under TOPS and the timely provision of customised diet, training facilities, prosthetics etc. had all brought about a sea-change in the performance of the athletes.

Ranjan Sodhi, Sharad Kumar, and also the young Olympians among the audience agreed that TOPS has been a breakthrough Government initiative that has motivated them to aspire for more. They also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi Modi for his support and encouragement that has brought in an attitudinal shift among the general public, media, and the sportspersons themselves. This was unprecedented and unheard of, even among developed countries, they said.