Digital India Initiatives

Centre publishes Draft National Deep Tech Startup Policy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Information Technology Agreement-I

Mains level: Deep Tech

deep tech

Central Idea

  • The office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government released a draft National Deep Tech Startup Policy (NDTSP) for public feedback.

What is Deep Technology?

  • Deep Tech refers to advanced and sophisticated technologies that have a significant impact on various industries.
  • These technologies are complex, innovation-driven, and often require interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Examples include AI, robotics, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, and renewable energy solutions.
  • Deep Tech has the potential to revolutionize existing processes and address global challenges.

About National Deep Tech Startup Policy (NDTSP)

  • The policy aims to secure India’s position in the global deep tech value chain, with a focus on areas such as semiconductors, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and space tech.
  • It aims to bolster research and development in deep tech startups, streamline intellectual property regimes, provide financing support, and promote the growth of these startups through various measures.

Key objectives:

  • Focus on Fundamental and Technical Problems: The NDTSP emphasizes support for deep tech startups focusing on fundamental and technical challenges rather than just commercializing existing technologies.
  • Financing Support: The policy addresses the critical financing needs of deep tech startups, especially during the pre-market phase when they introduce their products or ideas.
  • Streamlined Intellectual Property Regime: The policy aims to simplify the intellectual property landscape for deep tech startups to encourage innovation without undue complexities.
  • Ease of Regulatory Compliance: The NDTSP proposes measures to ease regulatory requirements for deep tech startups, creating a conducive environment for their growth.
  • Commercialization Support: The policy suggests providing assistance and resources to effectively manage and commercialize technologies developed by deep tech startups.

Measures to Promote Deep Tech Startups

  • Export Promotion Board: The NDTSP recommends creating an Export Promotion Board to facilitate Indian deep tech startups’ entry into foreign markets.
  • Coordinated Oversight: To streamline the deep tech ecosystem, the policy recommends establishing an “Inter-Ministerial Deep Tech Committee” to review and coordinate requirements effectively.
  • International Collaboration and Market Access: The policy promotes strategic international collaborations and partnerships to enhance market access for Indian deep tech startups globally.
  • Defense and Space Sector Focus: The NDTSP specifically targets deep tech startups in defense and space sectors, aiming to enhance their contributions to national security and space exploration.

Attracting Global Talent and Expertise

  • Networking Opportunities: The policy advocates providing networking opportunities to international deep-tech startups and experts interested in contributing to India’s local ecosystem.
  • Resource-Intensive Approaches: The NDTSP emphasizes resource-intensive measures to attract global talent, strengthening India’s deep tech capabilities.
  • Visa and Immigration Facilitation: The policy proposes simplifying visa and immigration processes to attract foreign experts and investors to support the growth of deep tech startups.

Need for such policy

  • 1997 Information Technology Agreement-I: The policy restates the government’s disappointment with international agreements, particularly the Information Technology Agreement-I. As an ITA participant, India made commitments to eliminate tariffs on a wide range of IT products.
  • Multi-pronged Approach: The NDTSP advocates a coordinated, comprehensive strategy to engage with international partners and multilateral institutions to foster a supportive global environment for India’s deep tech ecosystem.
  • Global Advocacy and Trade Policy Alignment: The policy emphasizes global advocacy to align trade policies with the interests of India’s deep tech startups, fostering a supportive international trade environment.


  • The NDTSP aims to position India as a leader in the global deep tech value chain.
  • Public feedback on the draft policy will further refine and strengthen India’s approach to deep tech entrepreneurship.

Back2Basics: Information Technology Agreement-I

  • ITA-I is a multilateral trade agreement that aims to eliminate tariffs and trade barriers on a wide range of information technology (IT) products.
  • It was negotiated under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and came into effect on July 1, 1997.

Key Points about ITA:

  1. Objective: By removing tariffs and trade barriers, the agreement aims to encourage the development and adoption of IT products and services worldwide.
  2. Product Coverage: The ITA covers a broad range of IT products, including computers, computer peripherals, telecommunications equipment, semiconductors, software, and other IT-related goods.
  3. Participants: Over time, the number of participants has expanded, and as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, it included more than 80 WTO member countries.
  4. Binding Commitments: Once a country joins the ITA, its tariff removal commitments become legally binding under the WTO framework.
  5. Non-Tariff Barriers: While the ITA focuses on eliminating tariffs, it does not directly address non-tariff barriers to trade, such as regulatory barriers or technical requirements.

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