India climbs five ranks in global innovation index to the 52nd position

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 24, 2019

Piyush Goyal, Commerce and Railway Minister, flanked by Francis Gurry, D-G WIPO, and Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary DIPP, during the the launch of Global Innovation Index 2019 in New Delhi on Wednesday   -  Kamal Narang

But performs poorly in education, female employment with advanced degrees, ecological sustainability

India climbed five notches on the global innovation index (GII) this year to the 52nd position amongst 129 countries ranked on the basis of more than 80 indicators measuring various aspects of innovation.

While India exhibited strengths in indicators such as graduates in science and engineering, global R&D companies’ expenditure, quality of universities and market sophistication, it lagged behind in education, ecological sustainability, females employed with advanced degrees, ICT access and use and environmental performance.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that although India was still a couple of ranks lower than what it had been aiming at (rank of 50 or below), he was happy that progress was being made.

“The culture of innovation is taking centre-stage in the country. India is well poised to focus on R&D. Our push on innovation will help us find sustainable solutions to challenges such as growing air pollution, climate change and water crisis,” said Goyal speaking at the launch of the GII 2019 report in New Delhi on Wednesday co-organised by the Commerce Ministry, WIPO and CII.

Goyal said that he hoped that not only would India make it amongst the top 25 innovative countries globally, it would also work towards the ultimate goal of being in the top-10 group.

The GII has been jointly developed by Cornell University, Paris-based business school Insead and WIPO and includes more than 80 indicators exploring a broad vision of innovation, including political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication. It is aimed at helping policy makers better understand how to stimulate and measure innovative activity. This is the first time that the GII has been launched in Asia or in an emerging economy.

Switzerland continued to top the index in 2019 while Israel made its way into the top 10. China, too, improved its ranking to 14th from 17th last year.

WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry cautioned that basic research had started suffering from slowdown and it needed to be reversed. “We need to pay attention to basic research as it is the beginning of the long process of innovation,” he said.

“India’s consistent improvement in ranking since 2015 is largely a result of our focus on improving innovation system in the country. We are very pleased with the improvement we have made, but we have a long way to go. We will keep improving,” said Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

Over the last five years, India moved up 29 positions from 81st in 2015 to 52nd in 2019. It represented the second largest upward movement by any economy in the GII.

Abhishek pointed out that India had cut down heavily on the time required to issue patents and also made a number of changes in its IPR regime to increase efficiency.

Published on July 24, 2019

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