Home > Digital Ecosystem > II. Mentorship > Enlightener Series > NIDHI PRAYAS Program

Status: Active

Classification: Central Government Grants

Release Date(s):
14th October 2023

Offering: Grant

Entity Type: Central Government

Reading Time: 9 Mins

Ticket Size: Upto ₹10 Lakhs

Entity Name: Department of Science and Technology

#Views: 104

Disclaimer….before you read ahead!

The information contained herein is of a general nature and for information purposes only, with the intent of raising awareness around various resources, schemes etc. available for women entrepreneurs in India. It is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. It does not purport to be all-inclusive or necessarily contain all the information that may be relevant for the reader, and may be subject to updation, revision or amendment. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to remain accurate in the future. The reader, therefore, is required to exercise their discretion; and not act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.


Furthermore, we are not a lender and are not authorized by the Reserve Bank of India to act as one. By disseminating the information contained herein, we are not soliciting any borrower or customers for the company or organization mentioned herein nor do we intend to syndicate any capital for the reader of this email.


About this scheme…

National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) PRomoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring Technology Entrepreneurs (PRAYAS) Program is a pre-incubation initiative launched in May 2016 by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (DST) – The National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), aimed at addressing the idea to prototype funding gap by promoting and accelerating young and aspiring innovators & start-ups in converting their ideas into prototypes/proof of concept (PoC) for physical products that have potential for commercialization. The emphasis is to foster indigenously developed innovations and products in alignment with the nation’s “AtmaNirbhar Bharat” mission.


NIDHI PRAYAS program is one of the 7 key components of the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI), an umbrella program conceived and developed by DST-NSTEB for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.


How is it being implemented?

Under NIDHI-PRAYAS program, direct grant is given to innovators called PRAYASEES for developing hardware prototypes based on technology and science. Preference may be given to:

  • Women innovators
  • Young innovators
  • Innovators having bootstrapped or have co-investment commitments
  • Innovators having clear roadmap for commercialization or start up creation


The priority technology areas are manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, clean-tech, energy, water, and Internet of Things IoT. Other technology areas may also be considered on strength or merit of the idea.


Under NIDHI Prayas program, call of grant applications are made annually every fiscal year by 55+ approved incubation centres across the country, known as PRAYAS Centres (PCs), who are also responsible for implementing the Program on the ground. At the national level, the Program is overseen by Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Bombay which is the Program Management Unit (PMU) of the PRAYAS program.


To know which PRAYAS Centre near you are still accepting grant applications for 2023-24, please refer here. If you have missed applying to the centre of your choice in 2023-24, please look out for call for applications next year. Alternatively, you may choose another centre which is still accepting applications for 2023-24.


Each PRAYAS Centre supports 10 new innovators per year.


Each PRAYASEE can avail PRAYAS grant only once from one centre only!


What’s on offer?

I. Product

  • Cash grant of up to ₹10 Lakhs
  • Access to working space, PRAYAS Centre’s fab lab facilities called DST PRAYAS SHALA, physical infrastructure, technical guidance, and business mentorship to facilitate idea exploration and commercialization potential

Cash grants are likely to be disbursed at one go or in tranches post final selection. For more information on this, please contact your chosen PRAYAS Centre via means mentioned below


II. Purpose

  • Eligible PRAYAS Grant Expenses:
    • Outsourcing charges for R&D, design engineering, consultancy, testing, and experts
    • Raw materials or consumables or spares
    • Fabrication or synthesis charges of working model or process
    • Business travel and event participation fee (upto 10% of approved project cost)
    • Patent filing costs (upto 10% of approved project cost)
    • Contingency (upto 10% of approved project cost)
  • Ineligible PRAYAS Grant Expenses:
    • Salary or any other compensation to PRAYASEE or their relative
    • Repay pre-existing loans or commitments of PRAYASEE
    • Incubation usage charges of PRAYAS Centres
    • Rent of own accommodation, creation of infrastructure facility like shed etc.
    • Stop gap arrangement to support any other professional pursuits


III. Innovator/Prayasee Type:

  • Individuals (18+ years), Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Company
  • For eligibility of any other constitution, please contact your chosen PRAYAS Centre via means mentioned below


IV. Duration of Program

  • Up to 18 months


V. Desired Outcome

  • Completion of prototype development within program duration starting from receipt of first tranche of the grant
  • For incomplete projects, PRAYASEE will have to return unutilized amount of the grant


VI. Evaluation Process

  • Initial Screening: Post applying, all applications are screened by PC’s Screening Committee to check for compliance with eligibility criteria
  • Presentation to Project Monitoring Committee: Post initial screening, shortlisted candidates are required to present their project proposal to PC’s Project Monitoring Committee
  • Successful candidates are then intimated by PC
  • This process takes about 2-3 months post the last date of submitting application
  • For more information on the process, please contact your chosen PRAYAS Centre via means mentioned below


Interested? Read ahead to check your eligibility….

I. Are you, the applicant on behalf of yourself or your start-up, an Indian citizen with a government-approved proof of nationality such as a valid passport, voter’s ID, Aadhar card etc.?


II. Are you a minimum of 18 years of age as of the date of application?



In case you are working with a team of other innovators,

  • Is there an agreement on the lead innovator who would apply, and the funds will be transferred to the lead innovator’s account (after selection)?
  • Is there an agreement on with whom will the IP so generated will vest?



In case you are a founder/co-founder applying on behalf of a start-up:

  • Is your start-up incorporated in India with a minimum 51% of its equity held by Indian citizens?
  • Your start-up has not been in existence for not more than 7 years?
  • Your start-up’s annual turnover since its inception has never crossed ₹25 Lakhs for any financial year?
  • Your start-up has not received support from any other funding agency to develop the prototype for a new product in question?



In case of innovators in in employment OR students with any R&D organization or academic institution:

  • Do you have an NOC with permission to apply and extending sufficient time for PRAYAS program?
  • Do you have an NOC with permission that IP generated would vest with you?


IV. Are the ideas, for which PRAYAS grant is being sought, based on technology and science primarily in the areas of technology areas are manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, clean-tech, energy, water and Internet of Things (IoT)?


V. Is the PRAYAS grant envisaged to convert your idea and innovations into a hardware/physical product prototype?


VI. Do you have the technical skills or background to develop the said prototype?


VII. Is the prototype capable of being completed within the Program’s duration?


VIII. Do your ideas or innovations have a roadmap to commercialization?


IX. Will you or your start-up have ownership of the Project know how OR IP of the proposed products OR right to use know how/IP if it is owned by a third party?


X. You confirm that you are not seeking PRAYAS grant for projects related to pure software development, e-Commerce, Service solutions, App based solutions, or funding research/student internship in academic institutions/R& D organizations?


XI. You or your start-up has not yet availed grant for the same idea under NIDHI PRAYAS from any Centre?


XII. You or your start-up is not being supported in parallel under NIDHI-EIR for the same idea?


XIII. Are you pre-incubated or planning to incubate with the PRAYAS Centre upon receiving grant?


If your answers to the questions above are an emphatic YES, you are all set to avail grant under NIDHI PRAYAS Program!


So…how big is this scheme and what has been done so far?

I. Since May 2016 till December 2022:

  • 1,180 PRAYASEES have been supported pan-India, of which, 959 have been males (81%) and 221 females (19%)
  • 579 protypes (49%) have been developed, of which, 452 patents (78%) have been filed
  • To find centre wise information on PRAYASEES supported till date along with details of their projects, please refer here or here


II. Furthermore, commercialization of these prototypes, has led to revenue generation of nearly ₹128 Crores, employment generation of 3,584 and follow on fund raise of nearly ₹323 Crores


So, now, how should you go about it?

I. For submitting application, typically a soft copy of the form so prescribed by your chosen PC is downloaded, filled up and e-mailed along with the required attachments. You will be directed to the said details under the section “Call for Application” after you have chosen your desired PC amongst 55+ approved PCs after clicking here


To know which PRAYAS Centre near you are still accepting grant applications for 2023-24, please refer here. If you have missed applying to the centre of your choice in 2023-24, please look out for call for applications next year. Alternatively, you may choose another centre which is still accepting applications for 2023-24.


II. For information on grant application and indicative list of documentation, please click on the link under the section “Call for Application” after you have chosen your desired PC


III. For any queries, please contact


  • PMU, PRAYAS, Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, IIT Bombay, Powai via
    • E-mail:
    • Phone: +91 22 2576 7016 OR +91 22 2572 1220


Go on then…and do spread the word!



  1. About the Program 1
  2. About the Program 2
  3. Latest Program Guidelines Document

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