Bengaluru: Stressing on Atmanirbhar Bharat, with an intention to give more encouragement to local traditions and local artisans, the Union government has launched ‘Toycathon,’ a hackathon for students, teachers and start-ups, to develop toys and games based on Indian culture and ethos, as reported by Deccan Herald.

It adds that the hackathon is a joint initiative by ministry of education, women and child development, textile, commerce and industries, micro, small and medium enterprises, ministry of information and broadcasting and All India Council for Technical Education.

It has nine themes namely Indian culture, history, knowledge of India and ethos; learning, education and schooling; social and human values; occupations and specific fields; environment; divyang; fitness and sport; out-of-the-box, creative and logical thinking and rediscovering traditional Indian toys.

“India imports most of its toys and the government is working towards promoting the indigenous toy industry for making the country self-reliant in the sector,” the website quoted Union minister for women and child development and textiles Smriti Irani as saying.

"This is the first time when school children will innovate, design and conceptualise toys also for specially-abled 'divyang children'. Students and faculty members participating in the Toycathon can get prizes of up to Rs 50 lakh,” she added.

“The size of the toy market in India is about $1 billion but eighty per cent of the toys are imported,” said Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'.

Earlier in August 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asserted that the country has the potential to be a hub for the toy industry. He also called upon entrepreneurs to team up for toys manufacturing, pointing out that India’s share in the Rs 7 lakh crore global toy market is minuscule.