Telecom Centres of Excellence India

Frequently Asked Questions


A. Telecom Centres of Excellence (TCOE) India is a joint initiative of Government of India, major telecom operators (Telcos) and premier technical and management institutes of India in what has been termed as Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. TCOE India is created for promoting development of new technologies, to generate IPRs, incubate innovations and promote entrepreneurship to position India as a global leader in telecom innovation and making India a hub office To sustain or further accelerate the impressive growth rate of Telecom India by capacity building, making available affordable local solutions through innovations, Research and Development, think tank activities to aid Government and Corporates in decision making and a greater role in telecom standardization activities for the benefit of the Indian industry.

A. The Government of India, through its Ministry of Communication and IT (MOCIT), is supporting the initiative by cash contributions and by making available the infrastructure and faculty support at IITs, IISc and IIM, which are (largely) Government funded autonomous educational institutes. MOCIT has also extended office space and infrastructure support to the TCOEs’ Coordination Centre at New Delhi through C-DOT (Centre for Development of Telematics, a Telecom Technology Development Centre of Government of India). A major share of Coordination Centre’s funding also comes from MOCIT.

A. Initially, Telco’s provided a major share, 90%, of the funding to TCOEs. As co-chair of the TCOE Core Group they were in a position to steer TCOE’s projects and work towards the areas of their immediate concerns and long-term needs. With the constitution of the central Steering Committee under the new Project management framework, the respective Telco’s will continue to be associated as the sponsors for the TCOE’s and also fund projects at the other TCOE’s. TCOE’s capabilities are further being opened up to the entire ICT ecosystem to benefit and lead India to the path of Make in India and Digital India and Telco’s will provide their infrastructure and network for testing and validation of new technologies.

A. TCOE India has a two-tier structure, a central Governing Board with Additional Secretary Telecom, Government of India as ex-officio chairman and individual Core Groups (variously known as Boards / Steering Committees at some centres).

A. TCOE India came into existence by signing of tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) between Department of Telecom, MOCIT, Government of India, Principal sponsors and the host Institutes. Eight such MoUs were signed on 16th October 2007, 12th December 2007 ,15th February 2008 and 5th June 2013 to create the TCOEs. TCOE at IIM Ahmedabad has been registered as a section 25 company and that at IIT Madras as a society under Tamil Nadu Societies Act. Other TCOEs function as departments of the host institutes. TCOEs now function as independent entities. TCOE Coordination centre now renamed as TCOE INDIA is registered as a society and has been granted approval u/s 12AA & 80G of Income Tax Act, 1961.

A. All stakeholders of the ICT and Telecom ecosystem are welcome. (Manufacturers, Network Service providers, Mobile VAS providers, Entrepreneurs, Startups/Msme's Academicians and students etc).



DCIS Scheme


A. Digital Communication Innovation Square(DCIS) is the Scheme launched by the Department of Telecommunications(DoT) which provides financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market-entry, and commercialization. Eligible startups/MSMEs can apply under the scheme through the DCIS portal.

A. Startups/MSMEs fulfilling the criteria described under the guidelines of DCIS scheme can apply. For more details please refer to Sr. No. 4 (Page 7 of 16) of the Guidelines

A. A grant up to Rs. 50 Lakhs / 2 Cr. for Start-ups and MSME respectively and up to 10 Cr for the Technology requiring higher funding (academia not included)

A. Yes, individual entrepreneurs are eligible to apply under the scheme but after selection they should fulfill the criteria of Startup and MSMEs

A. There is no minimum education qualification required as such for founders to apply for DCIS Scheme

A. No, there are no exemptions to any of the eligibility criteria. All the criteria must be met on the date of application submission.

A. An entity shall be considered a “Startup” –

1. If it’s incorporated as either Private Limited Company or Registered Partnership Firm or Limited Liability Partnership. A sole proprietorship or a public limited company is not eligible as startup

2. If it is up to 10 years from the date of its incorporation/ registration

3. If its turnover for any of the financial years has not exceeded INR 100 crore

4. If it is working towards innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or if it is a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation

5. Should not have been formed by splitting up or reconstruction of a business already in existence.

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A. DCIS Grant shall strictly not be used by startups for creation of any facilities and shall be utilized for the purpose it has been granted for. A grant can be used for validation of Proof of Concept, or prototype development, or product trials. A debt/ convertible debenture can be used for Market entry, Commercialization, or Scaling up.


Application Process


A. An online call for applications is hosted on an ongoing basis on the DCIS portal

A. The application submission is completely online, and no physical submission of documents is required.

A. There are no application fees for the scheme

A. For terms and conditions please go through the scheme guidelines available at

A. Application of each startup will be reviewed by the Technical Expert committee(TEC). The committee will also be responsible for future assessment of the performance of the startup and providing recommendations for the disbursement of further tranches.

A. The startups shall be selected through an open, transparent and fair process

A. Once the startup has submitted its application, a dashboard can be accessed using their login credential to check the real-time application status

A. In case of any issue, kindly reach out to us using grievance form at