The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment virtually launched the SAGE (Seniorcare Ageing Growth Engine) initiative and SAGE portal for elderly persons.
SAGE programme and SAGE portal have been launched with a view to help such persons who are interested in entrepreneurship in the field of providing services for elderly care.
The SAGE portal
- The portal will be a “one-stop access” of elderly care products and services by credible start-ups.
- The start-ups will be selected on the basis of innovation in providing products and services across sectors such as health, housing, care centers, apart from technological access linked to finances, food and wealth management, and legal guidance.
- It will be opened for applications from 5th June, 2021 onwards.
- The start-ups will be selected by an independent screening committee of experts.
- A fund of uptoRs.1 crore as one-time equity will be granted to each selected start-up.
- The project aims to identify, evaluate, verify, aggregate, and deliver products, solutions and services directly to the stakeholders.
- The Ministry will act as a facilitator, enabling the elderly to access the products through these identified start-ups.
- The Ministry has designed SAGE programme as per the suggestions of the Empowered Committee on start-ups for the elderly to solicit the involvement of youth and their innovative ideas for elderly care.
- The EEC report has highlighted that the business opportunities in this space could emerge from social enterprises, technology start-ups, legal and financial services and infrastructure and managed-care systems.
Need of the project
- As per surveys, the share of elders, as a percentage of the total population in the country, is expected to increase from around 7.5% in 2001 to almost 12.5% by 2026, and surpass 19.5% by 2050.
- The need is to create a more robust elder care ecosystem in India, especially in the post-COVID phase.
- Keeping this need in mind, an amount of Rs 100 crore has been assigned for the promotion of the silver economy.
What is silver economy?
- The silver economy includes all those economic activities, products and services designed to meet the needs of people over 50.
- This concept, derived from the so-called silver market that emerged in Japan, — the country with the highest percentage of people over 65 — during the 1970s to refer to the senior market, brings together sectors as diverse as health, banking, automotive, energy, housing, telecommunications, leisure and tourism, among others.
- One of the keys to the silver economy will be in technological innovation. Advances in home automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), eHealth and other services typical of smart cities, arouse the interest of a public that is mature but that is too young to feel old.
- As its name suggests, the Silver Economy is not a “market” but a cross “economy”.
- Its main element is gerontechnology as a new scientific, research and implementation paradigm.
What is Gerontechnology?
- Gerontechnology (a mix of “Gerontology” and “Technology”) includes various technical systems and solutions to help the elderly and/or their caregivers perform basic daily activities.
- Gerontechnologies enable elders to maintain their autonomy or to compensate for functional impairments.