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The prime objective of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is to empower budding Indian entrepreneurs with the resources they will need to become successful business owners. Set up by NITI Aayog, it promotes Small Business Innovation Research and Development (SBIR) at a national scale to aid startups, SMEs, and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). 


The mission works at every level, including NGOs, schools, corporate institutions, and specialised engineering institutions. Read on to learn more about the key activities, eligibility and other aspects of the Atal Innovation Mission.

Key Activities of the Atal Innovation Mission

Following are a few prime initiatives of the Atal Innovation Mission:

  • Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL)

These laboratories are established within schools to spark creativity in the minds of the Indian youth.

They are designed to promote advanced cognitive skills, including critical thinking, competitive analysis, and adaptive learning, in students. As a part of the mission, children are encouraged to use tools to be equipped with the concepts based on science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM).


ATLs are mainly set up at government-run or local private schools and are developed for students from grades 6 to 10. For the same, an initial financial support of ₹10 Lakhs is provided. 


This is then followed by another ₹10 Lakhs of funding to cover operational costs for the first 5 years. 

  • Atal Incubation Centres

Atal Incubation Centres (AIC) are set up at universities to stabilise and promote the growth of startup enterprises. It encourages entrepreneurs, especially women, from every sector. 


For the same, universities are given a grant of up to ₹10 Crores to set up Greenfield incubators. A primary requirement to develop an AIC is a ready-to-use, built-up space of a minimum of 10,000 square feet. Currently, such incubators have been set up in over 72 universities around the country.

  • Atal New India Challenge (ANIC)

AIM supports technology-based innovations that aim to solve challenges of national relevance. The main aim is to develop products that strive to address social causes and fix some of the pertinent issues existing in our country.


ANIC focuses on providing the necessary aid to innovators in sectors like education, railways, sanitation, healthcare, and electric mobility. The ANIC comprises a total of 24 challenges that NITI Aayog has created in partnership with 5 ministries.

  • Mentor of Change Program

A strong network of a total of 6,200+ mentors has been set up to ensure the mentoring of ATL and AIC students all over the country. The mentors are expected to dedicate 1-2 hours a week through online or in-person training and enable students to work on innovative projects. 

  • Atal Community Innovation Centre

The Atal Community Innovation Centre (ACIC) focuses on promoting innovation in Tier 2 and 3 cities in areas related to technology. 


ACICs are set up by the officials at the helm of the initiative to leave no stone unturned in terms of economic development all over the country. The relevant authorities intend to set up at least 50 ACICs throughout India.

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What are the Upcoming Focus Areas of AIM?

Some of the areas that the AIM plans to spark innovation in the future include:

  • Transportation via vehicles operating on alternate fuel

  • Cleaning of septic tanks and sewers

  • Agricultural systems that are climate-smart

  • Grey water management

  • Fog vision systems for road and rail to prevent accidents

  • Devices for garbage composition

  • Instant quality testing of potable water

  • Predictive maintenance of rolling stock

  • Sustaining and preserving sources of drinking water

  • Setting up systems to identify, recognise and predict rail failure with the help of technologies

  • Management of waste thrown in public spaces

FAQs on Atal Innovation Mission

Who started the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)?

The Atal Innovation Mission was started by NITI Aayog in 2016.

What is the aim of the Atal Tinkering Lab(ATL)?

The aim of the Atal Tinkering Lab is to infuse the entrepreneurial spirit in the youth of the country from a very young age. 


In an Atal Tinkering Lab, children between 11-15 years of age are provided education in areas such as science and technology. They are encouraged to be competitive and critical in thinking.

What is the National Innovation Initiative?

The National Innovation Foundation Initiative is a government organisation that aims to promote innovation in every part of the country. Its core objective is to make India a creative and knowledge-based society filled with innovative entrepreneurs who think out of the box.

How do I apply for the Atal Innovation Mission?

Before applying for the Atal Innovation Mission, you must download and review the guidelines available at the official web portal of NITI Aayog. After that, you need to visit the official portal of the initiative and click on ‘Apply Now’ to start the application process.

How many ATL labs are there in India?

There are more than 10,000 ATL labs all over India.

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