New Delhi [India], January 5 (ANI): In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarion call for making India a hub of toy production, Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhariyal 'Nishank' and Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani launched a virtual toy hackathon 'Toycathon 2021' on Tuesday.
Speaking at the launch of 'Toycathon 2021', Pokhariyal said that 80 per cent of toys in India are imported and asserted that the country has the capability to manufacture them.
"The ToyCathon2021 is being organised to create awareness among school students about the rich cultural heritage of our country. The toys market is Rs 7 lakh crores in the world. In our country, 80 per cent of toys are imported. I hope this would prove a milestone in the foundation of self-reliant India," he said.
Irani said that students and faculty members who would participate in the event can get reward up to Rs 50 lakhs.
"For the first time in the history of our country we shall see the participation of schools students along with students from higher educational institutions with regards to needs of the MSME industry in our country," she said.
"Never before has the fascination of the country ever been captured till such time that Prime Minister Narendra Modi pronounced to the entire country the need to ensure that we support local industry with regards to toy manufacturing," she added.
Stating that it is a USD 100 billion international toy market in which India finds a space of our indigenous market to the value of USD 1.5 billion, the Union Minister said: "We are growing at a rate of 15 per cent per year but this growth should bear positive fruits and results for our industry. 80 per cent of toys are imported in India. Students and faculty members who would participate in the event can get reward up to Rs 50 lakhs. If we get some good idea, then commercial support would also be given by ministries of the government."
Abhay Jere, Chief Innovation Officer, Ministry of Education, who was also present at the launch said that another aspect of the Toycathon is to conceptualise which will promote positive behaviour based on Indian value systems.
"A few months back the Government of India launched Toy Story as an inter-ministerial mission to promote toy manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship in toys in the country. One of the key initiatives under this mission is Toycathon where we will reach out to youngsters, school students, faculties, start-ups, professionals and request them to conceptualise toys based on Indian those, culture, civilization, our heroes and some of the important events of our past," he added.
Six ministries including the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Ministry of Commerce and Industry are participating in Toycathon.
In a meeting with senior ministers and officials to discuss ways to boost manufacturing and global imprint of Indian toys in August last year, the Prime Minister noted that toys can be an excellent medium to further the spirit of 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat' and exhorted that toys should reflect India's value system and culturally established environment-friendly approach. (ANI)