Global news: Indian government launches Toycathon in move to make country ‘a global hub for toys and games’

The Indian government has taken new steps towards transforming the country into ‘a global hub for the development and manufacture of toys and games,’ with the launch of Toycathon.

A hackathon for students, teachers, experts, and start-ups to crowdsource ideas for developing innovative toys and games, the launch is the latest endeavour to create ‘an ecosystem for the domestic toy industry and its local manufacturers.’

India’s toy market has been calculated to the value of around $1bn, however, 80 per cent of the toys within the market are imports. The Indian government has been looking at means of rebalancing the numbers to tap into the local resources and skills to turn the country into a hub for toy and game development.

The government’s Minister for Women and Child Development and Textiles, Smriti Irani, said that it was working towards promoting the indigenous toy industry for making the country self-reliant in the sector.

The Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal, said: “The launch of Toycathon today is an endeavour by the government to create an ecosystem for the domestic toy industry and the local manufacturers, tapping the untapped resources and utilising their potential.”

Through the initiative, the government hopes to encourage the development of toys and games based on Indian culture and ethos.

“While this will greatly help India develop into a global hub for toys and games, it will also help our children to understand the ethos and values of Indian culture as envisaged in the National Education Policy 2020,” read an official statement on the launch.

The Toycathon is based on nine themes – Indian culture, history, knowledge of India and ethos, learning, education, and schooling, social and human values, occupations, environment, divyang, fitness and sport, creative and logical thinking, and rediscovering traditional Indian toys.

The launch of the Toycathon is the latest move to highlight the Indian toy industry. It follows the launch last year of a dedicated platform on Amazon’s India division designed to boost home grown emerging toy brands and children’s products.

The Made in India toy store allows sellers from 15 Indian states to showcase thousands of toys across traditional toys, handmade toys, and educational toys. The launch is in line with the Government of India’s vision in realising the potential of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).

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