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Jitendra Singh said India is home to 75,000 startups in 75th year of Independence. (File)New Delhi: Highlighting the transformational changes in science, technology and innovation in India, Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday said India ranks third globally in the startup ecosystem and also in terms of the number of Unicorns.Speaking at an event in Delhi, the Union Minister said, “India ranks globally 3rd in the startup ecosystem and also in terms of number of Unicorns. As per the latest data, there are currently 105 unicorns, out of which 44 were born in 2021 and 19 in 2022.Mr Singh said the decade 2021-30 is expected to bring transformational changes to Indian Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI).The Minister further said India has increased the Gross Expenditure on Research and development (GERD) more than three times in the last few years. He said, as per the latest data, India has over 5 lakh R&D personnel, a number that has shown a 40-50 per cent increase in the last 8 years.”In the last 8 years, women’s participation in extramural R&D has also doubled and now India occupies 3rd rank in terms of number of PhDs awarded in science and engineering after the USA and China. With the shifting global powers and technology becoming the epicentre of international engagements and rulemaking, India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is living up to global benchmarks,” said Mr Singh.Referring to Prime Minister Modi’s launch of StartUp India in 2015, the Minister said, India in its 75th year of Independence is now home to as many as 75,000 startups.Mr Singh said PM Modi’s special focus on science, technology, and innovation has fired the imagination of the youth in the country to innovate and solve problems with new ideas. He also pointed out that India’s startups today are not limited to only metros or big cities and added that 49 per cent of the start-ups are from tier-2 and tier-3 cities.He said startups in the country emerging in the fields like IT, agriculture, aviation, education, energy, health, and space sectors.Mr Singh further said India ranks third among the most attractive investment destinations for technology transactions in the world as it has a strong focus on science and technology. He said, India is among the topmost countries in the world in the field of scientific research, positioned as one of the top five nations in the field of space exploration, and also actively engaged in emerging technologies such as quantum technologies, and artificial intelligence etc.The Minister informed that India has created a massive jump in its global ranking on the Global Innovation Index (GII) from 81st in the year 2015 to 46th in 2021 among 130 economies of the world. India ranks 2nd among 34 lower-middle-income economies and 1st among 10 Central and Southern Asian economies in terms of GII.The consistent improvement in the GII ranking is owing to the immense knowledge capital, the vibrant start-up ecosystem, and some outstanding work done by the public and private research organisations, he added.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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