India moves up on innovation index
India moved up five places to 52nd in the world’s most innovative countries 2019 ranking, in what is the biggest jump by a large economy this year, according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) released on Wednesday.
The GII ranks 129 world economies on 80 innovation indicators such as intellectual property filing rates, mobile app creation, education spending, and scientific and technical publications.
India, which was ranked 81 in 2015, has steadily improved its ranking in the last four years. It went up to the 66th spot in the 2016 and improved its ranking by six positions in 2017.
Switzerland retained the first rank as the world’s most innovative country, followed by Sweden, the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Finland, Denmark, Singapore, Germany and Israel.
At 14, China is the only middle-income economy to be ranked in top 30.
“India jumped 29 notches in Global Innovation Index rankings in 4 years, and makes it to 52nd rank With PM Narendra Modi ji’s focus on improving innovation including Information & Communications Technology (ICT), patents and R&D, we are certain to make it to the top 25-club soon,” said Piyush Goyal, minister of commerce and industry, after releasing the report in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The Union minister added that the central government is committed to improving the country’s ranking. “I assure you that going forward, the country will not rest until we achieve the target of coming in the top 25th and then in top 10th in the world.”
Three Indian cities -- Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi -- are among the world’s top 100 science and technology clusters, according to the report.
India maintained its top place in Central and Southern Asia, improving its position in labour productivity growth, knowledge and technology outputs, and intellectual property related variables, among other parameters.
In Central and South Asia, Iran ranked 61 and Kazakhstan 79. Pakistan was ranked at 105.
“Thanks to the quality of its top 3 universities — IITs (Delhi and Bombay) and the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, India achieves a relatively strong ranking in the indicator quality of universities (21st),” the report said. It also witnessed improvement in institutions, human capital and research, and market sophistication indicators.
India moved up to the 4th position in GII rankings among lower-middle-income economies, and outperformed on innovation relative to its GDP per capita for nine years in a row.
“The rise in the GII by economic powerhouses like China and India have transformed the geography of innovation and this reflects deliberate policy action to promote innovation,” Francis Gurry, director general of WIPO, said during the event in New Delhi.
However, India lagged in indicators such as logistics performance and women employed with advanced degrees. “The largest drops are found in logistics performance, females employed with advanced degrees, and printing and other media,” the report said.
The report’s authors said spending on innovation was still growing and appeared resilient despite the slowdown amid trade tensions. But they also warned of signs of waning public support for research and development in high-income economies usually responsible for pushing the innovation envelope, and increased protectionism. “In particular, protectionism that impacts technology-intensive sectors and knowledge flows poses risks to global innovation networks and innovation diffusion,” they said.
The GII report is compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Cornell University, INSEAD and other GII knowledge partners. The theme for this year was ‘Creating Healthy Lives -- The Future of Medical Innovation’.
(With inputs from agencies)