Even as India is fast emerging as a top innovator on the global radar of high-tech sectors such as IT and biotechnology, the disparity at home in productivity continues to be a drag on the economy. Therefore, argues a new World Bank report released on Thursday, the benefits of knowledge must include the poor.
Particularly, it says, the country needs to promote more formal R&D efforts and more creative grass roots initiatives, and to improve the ability of informal enterprises to better use existing knowledge. One classic example of where this combined strategy can work is the huge gap in rural electrification. This has been lagging due to the high cost of laying wires to connect villages to the national grid-based electricity supply.
Localized power generation, using renewable energy, offers the answer. This would, in the process, involve local entrepreneurship and create livelihoods, while improving productivity in rural enterprise.