Publish Date: August 12, 2021

National Health Authority and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi join hands to scale high-potential healthcare innovations

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Through a blended financing facility, this partnership will support innovators and entrepreneurs in their efforts to further improve healthcare delivery in India

New Delhi- Recognising the role of innovations to strengthen India’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and preparedness for emerging healthcare needs, National Health Authority (NHA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi). Through this partnership, NHA will be a technical collaborator on the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-supported by SAMRIDH Healthcare Blended Financing Facility. IIT Delhi serves as the hosting entity for SAMRIDH. This initiative implemented by a Technical Support Unit, managed by IPE Global.

SAMRIDH Healthcare Blended Financing Facility aims to catalyse market-based health solutions to improve access to affordable and quality healthcare services for poor and vulnerable communities, particularly for Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) beneficiaries. SAMRIDH has mobilised a capital pool of $100+ million from private sector and development funders. It leverages this fund to offer both grant and debt financing provision to healthcare enterprises and innovators.

Through this partnership, NHA and IIT Delhi will support innovative solutions to address the needs and priorities of the AB PM-JAY ecosystem. This collaboration will be crucial to support rapid scaling and absorption of health innovations across more than 23,000 PM-JAY empanelled hospitals. The innovations supported through the SAMIRDH Facility will improve the health infrastructure, build capacity of healthcare providers, and build effective COVID-19 mitigation - all in the pursuit to achieve ‘health for all’ in India.

Expressing his views about the collaboration, Dr R.S. Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority remarked, “It is our pleasure to collaborate with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi on SAMRIDH Facility. Through this partnership we will work with diverse health sector players to scale high potential health solutions and amplify the impact of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY. I am extremely confident that in years to come, this partnership will be a key enabler in making quality healthcare services in India more accessible and affordable.”

Reflecting on the scope of the partnership, Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said, “We welcome this opportunity to work with the NHA to deconstruct the key challenges in delivering healthcare services across PM-JAY empanelled health facilities, and support enterprises in addressing the gaps with indigenous innovations. SAMRIDH will provide a platform to facilitate affordable capital for scaling up of commercially viable innovations. The facility will also extend mentorship to enterprises from clinical, technology and business experts.”

Highlighting on the importance of this collaboration, Ms. Sangita Patel, Director, USAID/India Health Office said: “The success of this initiative is rooted in partners that are committed to promoting the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. USAID welcomes NHA and IIT Delhi’s collaboration on the SAMRIDH initiative, which is addressing the challenges of the pandemic and bringing healthcare services to those who need them most.  Their combined network and expertise will help ensure that high impact market-based solutions are available to address the COVID-19 pandemic and future health crises.”

This partnership, leveraging distinct sources to identify innovative healthcare solutions, will provide a platform for diverse set of organisations, including manufacturers/suppliers of drugs, vaccines and health-tech, private healthcare networks, innovation incubators, social enterprises/NGOs, research & academic institutions, to come together towards solving complex healthcare challenges in India. This shared commitment of a wide spectrum of public and private stakeholders is envisioned to create the much-needed momentum to build an inclusive and sustainable healthcare system for India.


National Health Authority (NHA) is an independent autonomous body responsible for the implementation of PM-JAY across the country. Headed by a full-time Chief Executive Officer (CEO). It is governed by a Governing Board chaired by the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare. Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY), is the flagship scheme of Government of India, aimed at providing cashless secondary and tertiary care from empaneled public and private hospitals to over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable beneficiary families (over 53 crore beneficiaries as per Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011 database). AB-PMJAY is an attempt to move from sectoral and segmented approach of health service delivery to a comprehensive need-based health care service. The objective of the scheme is to reduce the financial burden on the poor and the vulnerable people arising out of catastrophic hospital expenditure and ensure their access to free and quality healthcare services.


Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi is one of the 23 IITs created to be National Centres of Excellence for training, research and development in science, engineering, and technology in India. Established as College of Engineering in 1961, the Institute was later declared as an Institution of National Importance under the ‘Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Act, 1963’ and was renamed as ‘Indian Institute of Technology Delhi’. Since its inception, over 50,000 have graduated from IIT Delhi, of which more than 5500 are with a Ph.D. degree, in various disciplines including Engineering, Physical Sciences, Management and Humanities & Social Sciences. In 2018, IIT Delhi received the special status of Institution of Eminence (IoE) by the Govt. of India, giving it greater autonomy in various matters including hiring of foreign faculty and starting collaborations with foreign institutions.


As a strategic partner and ally in maintaining regional stability, expanding regional trade and addressing development challenges, the U.S. supports India’s efforts towards delivering access to quality health care, potable water, education and clean energy. USAID leverages India’s growing human and financial resources through partnerships that catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship to solve critical local and global development challenges. USAID has a wealth of experience in leveraging private capital through traditional funding mechanisms. With the increasing focus on enterprise-led development, USAID is exploring opportunities to collaborate with new partners to create new financial mechanisms to entice investment and build on its activities to accelerate sustainability. Among the innovations that USAID is using are development impact bonds, venture grants, and first-loss guarantees.