In the last three years — 2017-18 to 2019-20 — as many as 53,399 patent applications were filed from India of which 27,934 applications, that is 52 per cent, were from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Maharashtra topped with over 12,000 patent applications.

Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha filed less than 1,000 patent applications each while Chhattisgarh and Bihar filed just above 160 applications each. The North-Eastern States filed the least patent applications.

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, Maharashtra contributed 24 per cent of the total patent applications in the three years, followed by Tamil Nadu (16 per cent) and Karnataka (12 per cent).

India’s global position

The Ministry informed the Lok Sabha this month that India ranks 8th in patents filed by resident scientists/innovators from the respective country according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). India’s global position, both in innovations and publications, has been rising over the years. According to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020, India’s GII ranking has improved significantly to 48 in 2020 from 81 in 2015. India made it to the top 50 in GII ranking for the first time in 2020. In terms of scientific publications, India ranked third in 2018 compared to sixth in 2014, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF) USA 2020. Interestingly the data provided by the Ministry show that 99 per cent of funds allocated by the government to various departments for encouraging innovations, scientific activities and infrastructure were utilised. The number of researchers per million increased to 255 in 2017 compared to 110 in 2000.

“The gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) in the country has been consistently increasing over the years and has nearly tripled from .₹39,437.77 crore in 2007- 08 to ₹1,13,825.03 crore in 2017-18. It is estimated to be ₹1,23,847.70 crore in 2018-19,” the Ministry informed the House.

The government announced in the Budget for FY22 an allocation of ₹50,000 crore over five years for the National Research Foundation (NRF), an autonomous body envisaged supporting researchers working across several streams of science and technology, especially in universities.

Start-up India Mission

The Start-up India Mission, since its launch in 2016, has provided a boost to innovators/start-ups in converting their ideas into patentable innovations, according to the Ministry. A total of 3,683 patent applications were filed by the Indian start-ups during 2016-17 to 2019-20.