India climbed five places up in a global index of innovation, buoyed by improved productivity growth and exports of services related to information and communication technologies.
India’s jump to the 52nd spot in the 129-nation Global Innovation Index in 2019 is the biggest for any country in the last five years, a report released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, along with the World Intellectual Property Organization.
“I am happy that significant progress has been made and the culture of innovation is taking centre stage in the country,” commerce and industry Piyush Goyal said at the launch of the report.
He said while India was still a couple of ranks lower than what it was aiming at (rank of 50 or below), the country was well poised to focus on R&D and increase spending there.
India has maintained its top place in the Central and Southern Asia region and from 81 in 2015, its 29-place move up the GII represents the biggest jump by any major economy. The list continues to be topped by Switzerland. Israel has found a place in the top ten for the first time.
“This innovation will help us find sustainable solutions to challenges such as growing pollution, climate change and water crisis. We will do 1,00,000 patents every year from next year and bring down the timelines,” Goyal said.
He said India would not rest on past laurels until it achieved its target of positioning itself among the top 25 countries in the index in the next four years.
India improved its ranking in four out of the seven pillars of the index, such as knowledge and technology outputs (up 11 spots to 32nd), market sophistication (up 3 spots to 33rd), human capital and research (up 3 spots to 53rd) and institutions (up 3 spots to 77th). However, in business sophistication (65th), infrastructure (79th) and creative outputs (78th), it lost one, two and three spots, respectively.
In the “knowledge and technology outputs” criterion, which saw the highest 11-spot jump, India’s ranking improved for IP-related variables. India also lost relative strength to other countries with largest drops in logistics performance (down 9 spots to 43rd), women employed with advanced degrees (down 10 spots to 103rd) and printing and other media (down 12 spots to 88th).
Urging institutions, universities and the private sector to help transform the country into a hub of innovation, the minister suggested the WIPO to factor in India’s rural innovation as part of the innovation index in future. “Innovation does not come new to India … right from establishing hundreds of Atal Innovation Labs to Mangalyaan and Chandrayaan, this new approach and engagement adopted by the government has become the new hallmark of India as we move towards a more prosperous country,” he said.
Developed jointly by Cornell University, Paris-based business school INSEAD and WIPO, the index includes more than 80 indicators exploring a broad vision of innovation, such as political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication.