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Q. India's Global Innovation Index: Comment on India's status on recently released global innovation index.
Aug 18, 2016 Related to : GS paper-3

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently, Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) together released Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016.  Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, the US, Finland and Singapore lead the 2016 GII rankings. India has got 66th rank, by climbing 16 spots in comparison to 2015.

Key findings of GII 2016-

  • Switzerland maintained top rank in GII, which was followed by Sweden, the UK, the US, Finland and Singapore in descending order.
  • China joined the world’s 25 most innovative economies, becoming the first middle income country to enter the top 25 of the index.
  • India climbed 16 spots, from 81 last year to 66 this year, on the Global Innovation Index and maintained the top spot in the Central and South Asia regions.
  •  According to report, India scored high on tertiary education and R&D, the quality of its universities and scientific publications, its market sophistication and information and communication technology service exports, where it ranks first in the world.
  • Report says that India has all the ingredients needed to become a global driver of innovation including strong market potential, an excellent talent pool, and an underlying culture of frugal innovation.

Analysis-

  • Though India has improved its rank in comparison to last year, but it still remains a lowly 66th, well below Malaysia and Vietnam, leave alone China in the middle-income category and far below countries other developed countries.
  • Though India’s rank improved, but it is mainly due to large scale spending in R&D by foreign companies. It means Indian brawn working to bring foreigners’ innovation to fruition, for the most part.
  • India showed weakness in the business environment indicator, and in education. Ease of starting business was ranked as difficult, student-to-teacher ratios were too high, and tertiary inbound mobility needed improvement.

Suggestions to improve innovations-

  • We must improve the quality of education across all levels.
  • A comprehensive technology policy that incentivises genuine R&D needs to be prepared and implemented.
  • Ease of entry and exit of firms, competition, a vibrant financial sector that allocates capital to new profit potential, a culture of entrepreneurship and an end to failure-shaming would help.
  • Finally the most important requirement is political empowerment of the common man.

Conclusion-

Huge research and development expenditure in last year by global majors in their units in India has helped raise the country’s ranking in the global index. To unleash Indian innovation, we need Indians to shed their fascination for imitation, develop a culture of questioning established wisdom and a culture of confidence in their own original ideas without waiting for validation by a foreign investor.


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