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India jumps five places in Global Innovation Index

  • India has risen 29 spots in Global Innovation Index in last 5 years from 81 in 2014 to 52 in 2019
  • The improvement was due to India’s performance, and not due to new GII data set or methods

NEW DELHI : India improved its ranking in Global Innovation Index, 2019 by five notches to 52nd position in a survey of innovative capacity among 129 countries by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). India also outperformed on innovation relative to its GDP per capita for nine consecutive years, only matched by three other countries. (Vietnam, Republic of Moldova, and Kenya)

While Switzerland continued to top the ranking, Israel (10) was the only new entrant in the top 10 ranking, China further improved its ranking to 17th position from 20th last year.

India has improved its innovation ranking from 29 spots in last five years from 81th position in 2014 to 52th position in 2019. In comparison, India’s rank in World Bank’s Doing Business survey has improved 65 spots to 77th position in 2018.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal releasing the report said the government will work hard to take the country to 25th ranking in next four years to meet the target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India improved its ranking in four out of seven pillars of GII, such as knowledge and technology outputs (up 11 spots to 32nd), market sophistication (up 3 spots to 33rd), human capital and research (up 3 spots to 53rd), institutions (up 3 spots to 77th). By contrast, in business sophistication (65th), infrastructure (79th), creative outputs (78th), it lost one, two and three spots respectively.

WIPO said India’s improvement this year is largely due to its relative performance and less so to new GII data or methods.

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In the “knowledge and technology outputs" pillar, which saw the highest 11 spot jump, India’s ranking improved for IP-related variables, notably patents by origin (52nd) and PCT patents by origin under Patent Cooperation Treaty (51st), and IP receipts (50th). In this pillar, India maintained its top position in ICT (information and communications technology) services exports, where it ranks 1st in the world, and in labor productivity growth with 4th position.

“India is consistently among the top in the world in innovation drivers such as ICT services exports, Graduates in science & engineering, the quality of universities, Gross capital formation—a measure of economy-wide investments—and Creative goods exports. India also stands out in the GII ranking of the world’s top science and technology clusters, with Bengaluru, Mumbai, and New Delhi featuring prominently among the global top 100 clusters. Given its size—and if progress is upheld—India will make a true impact on global innovation in the years to come," the report said.

Among the sub-pillars, where India lost relative strength to other countries, the largest drops are found in logistics performance (down 9 spots to 43rd), Females employed with advanced degrees (down 10 spots to 103rd) and Printing and other media (down 12 spots to 88th).

“While India improved in the GII ranking, some relative weaknesses still persist. These include Environmental performance (125th), New businesses (100th), and Entertainment and media market 60th)," the report said.

When it comes to quality of innovation which includes quality of local universities, internationalisation of patented inventions and quality of scientific publications, China, India, and the Russian Federation hold the top 3 positions among middle income countries with India ranking 26th globally. “India ranks 2nd among the middle-income economies, with top positions in quality of universities and in quality of scientific publications," the report said. Indian Institute of Technology situated in Bombay, Bengaluru and Delhi occupied the 8th, 9th and 10th rank respectively among the top 10 universities in the middle income countries.

In “Human capital and research" pillar, two important variables have improved for India: Gross expenditure on R&D (50th) and expenditure by global R&D companies (15th) which is a relative strength for the country. “Its (India’s) share in world R&D expenditures has increased since the mid-1990s, but less sharply than other middle-income countries, such as China, or other Asian powerhouses, such as the Republic of Korea. In Global R&D companies, India reaches the 15th spot as the second middle-income economy. In this pillar, the indicator Graduates in science and engineering (7th) remains a relative strength for the country," the report said.

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