Karnataka has retained its position as the top ranking major State in NITI Aayog’s India Innovation Index 2020, which ranked States based on how they support innovation and new technologies.


Maharashtra grabbed the No 2 position in the index, released on Wednesday, followed by Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kerala.

“Innovation will play a key role in upholding the spirit of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, by giving the required thrust through competitive federalism,” said NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, releasing the report.

Himachal Pradesh topped a separate index for 10 North-East and Hill States followed by Uttarakhand and Manipur, while Delhi was ranked No 1 among Union Territories and City States, with Chandigarh and Daman & Diu at the second and third places, respectively.

The first edition of the index was launched in October 2019 to showcase the government's initiative to create an innovation-driven economy. The index helps recognise areas of developmental intervention, with innovation as the driver for growth.

“Among major States, the average innovation score is 25.35. Karnataka tops at 42.5, which is attributable to its strong number of venture capital deals, registered GIs (Geographical Indications) and ICT (Information and Communication Technology) exports.

“Karnataka's high FDI inflow has also enhanced the innovation capabilities of the State,” the report said.

Bihar was last among the 17 major States with a score of 14.5.

‘On the right track’

The findings of the index show that “we are on the right track, with States taking several measures to improve their innovation ecosystem,” said NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

The 2020 edition builds on the previous year’s methodology by introducing metrics to provide a more holistic outlook of the economy.

“The framework is updated to include globally considered parameters for measuring innovation, such as the percentage of GDP spent on research and development, while keeping them specific to the Indian economy,” said the report.

With the pandemic triggering an economic shutdown, the role of innovation in revitalising the economy has never been more important, it added.