Today, Vice-Chancellor Dr. MN Patel wrote a letter to the state Education Minister, Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, requesting the education ministry to appoint Gujarat University as one of the empowered bodies to frame and institute policies, mechanisms and systems to support and nurture student startups and entrepreneurs for all universities and higher education institutes of the state of Gujarat.
The letter was handed to the Hon. Minister personally by a delegation of the Vice-Chancellor, led by the Registrar of the University. The full letter is published as follows, verbatim:
August 11, 2015
Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama,
The Hon. Minister of Education,
Government of Gujarat,
2nd Floor, Swarnim Sankul 1,
Subject: Appoint Gujarat University as one of the empowered bodies to frame and institute policies, mechanisms and systems to support and nurture startups and entrepreneurs for all universities and higher education institutes of the state of Gujarat
Taking note of the “Gujarat Industrial Policy” of the Government of Gujarat released in January 2015 that aims to support startups, Gujarat University has undertaken several steps in order to make Gujarat a leading startup state of the country.
Earlier in July, we established the ‘Gujarat University Startups & Entrepreneurs Council’ (GUSEC), after holding numerous discussions with my officials, entrepreneurs, incubators and other external stakeholders. The council will be Gujarat University’s official body to support startups and entrepreneurs.
Through University corpus funds, I have allotted a budget of Rs. 20 lakh to build a co-creation centre under ‘GUSEC’ in Gujarat University main campus, and have appointed a faculty member as incharge of GUSEC. We have started this council with the aim of allowing GU students to run and operate it, with the absolute cooperation and support of university staff and myself.
I have also asked principals and heads of all GU-affiliated institutes to appoint a GUSEC Faculty Coordinator in order to expedite the several initiatives we have planned for the benefit of students.
During the interaction of Hon. Minister of Finance, Shri Saurabh Patel, with startups and entrepreneurs at AMA regarding Gujarat’s new startup policy that took place last month, I was present in the audience and appreciate the efforts of the state government in this direction.
Because most of the startups and entrepreneurs are born in colleges or a few years after graduation, I believe that universities and all institutes of higher learning have a very crucial role to play when it comes to building an entrepreneurial culture in the state of Gujarat and in order to allow more startups to be created and to nurture them, a combined effort of all related parties is a must, with institutes of higher learning including universities at the centre of the ecosystem.
As we at Gujarat University have already started working in this direction, I would like to propose that Gujarat University, the oldest university in the state of Gujarat, is appointed as one of the empowered bodies to frame and institute policies, mechanisms and systems to support and nurture startups and entrepreneurs for all universities and institutes of higher learning of the state.
Supporting startups and entrepreneurs through policies will not only push the “Make In India”, “Skill India” and “Digital India” campaigns undertaken by Union Government of India under the aegis of the Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, but these initiatives will also help us create significantly more number of jobs and improve the nation’s economy in a considerably better manner than existing systems.
It is said that one entrepreneur can create over 100 direct and indirect jobs over a decade, and given the rising job crunch in the country, supporting student entrepreneurs and giving them a chance to be job creators seems like the ideal thing to do, as caretakers of the education system.
Dr. MN Patel