The Delhi government has decided to provide Rs 2 crore or more in seed funding to startups that can come up with ideas to combat rising air and water pollution.
The startups can propose their plan to the government of Delhi before March 2016, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
The move comes amid growing health concerns caused by hazardous pollution levels in the national capital. The pollution-monitoring stations of the US embassy in Delhi registered a new record for pollution levels on November 27. The World Health Organization, in a 2014 report, ranked India among the most polluted nations of the world.
The Delhi government has tied up with the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools for the initiative. Started by AAP, the Delhi Dialogue Commission will work with the Energy and Environment Lab at the University of Chicago, Urban Labs and the Energy Policy Institute at the university’s centre in Delhi to implement the project.
The proposals will be evaluated by a panel comprising civic leaders, funders, policy makers, and energy and environment experts. This panel will then recommend proposals to a selection committee comprising representatives from the University of Chicago and Delhi Dialogue Commission, who will finalise the best idea.
Researchers at the Energy and Environment Lab will then work closely with the selected startup to design an implementation plan.
Previously, the University of Chicago had helped reduce pollution levels in Gujarat’s capital by as much as 28 per cent, another statement said. The pilot reforms were recently officially adopted by the Gujarat government, it added.