Viewpoint: India and the Innovation Index

06 SEP,2020 | MEDC


India has been ranked 48th on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020. This is the first time we have come in the list of the top 50 countries on the GII. No doubt, it is a time for celebration, but it is also a time for introspection. Amongst the 131 economies surveyed for the GII, India ranks 75th in the infrastructure This calls for some serious soul-searching. Infrastructure is a key ingredient for unleashing the creative capabilities of innovators. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 does hold a lot of promise as far as boosting India’s innovative potential goes, but the key lies in its implementation. The GII, compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), ranks global economies according to their innovation capabilities. It includes roughly 80 indicators, grouped into innovation inputs and outputs. It is to the country’s credit that, along with three other Asian economies (China, Vietnam and the Philippines), India has made the most significant progress in the GII ranking over time. This tempo needs to be maintained if India is to become a $ 5 trillion economy by 2024. It is also heartening to know that, moving up four positions from last year, three “clusters” from India viz. Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai – feature in the top 100 science and technology hotspots globally. This further endorses India’s arrival in the global innovation economy.At 27, India’s score is highest in the knowledge and technical outputs category, followed by market sophistication (31). The areas where we fall relatively short are business sophistication (55), human capital and research (60), institutions (61), creative outputs (64) and infrastructure (75). Much of this was largely expected. There is a lot more that we need to invest in human development and physical infrastructure. Our institutional setup also needs to be bolstered. A successful NEP 2020 will lead to enhancing our global competitiveness in the creative outputs Closely related to all these indicators is the all-important ease of doing business. The top-performing economies in the GII are still almost exclusively from the developed world. China (at 14th place) remains the only middle-income economy in the GII top 30, and Malaysia comes in at the 33rd position. India’s performance is commendable, but we still have a long way to go to catch up with the world on many vitally important socioeconomic indicators. Essentially, our economy needs much more sustained and strategic investment in infrastructure development (physical, financial and human) if it is to maximize its innate potential.

*Photo Credit: Google


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