Global Innovation Index 2021

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    • India has been ranked 46th in the Global Innovation Index 2021.

    Key Findings

    • India’s performance:
      • India has been on a rising trajectory, over the past several years in the Global Innovation Index (GII), from a rank of 81 in 2015 to 46 in 2021.
      • India ranks 2nd among 34 lower middle-income economies? and? 1st among 10 Central and Southern Asian economies.
    • Global scenario:
      • Switzerland topped the league table, followed by Sweden, the US and the UK.
      • Among Asian economies, South Korea jumped to the fifth position, up from 10 last year.
      • China was in the 12th position.

    (Image Courtesy: BS )

    Global Innovation Index

    • The Global Innovation Index (GII) project was launched by Professor Soumitra Dutta in 2007 during his tenure at INSEAD. 
    • The goal was to find and determine metrics and methods that could capture a picture of innovation in society that is as complete as possible. 
    • WIPO started its association with the GII in 2011 and began co-publishing the GII in 2012. 
    • The GII continued to be co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD and WIPO up to 2020. 
    • As of 2021, the GII is published by WIPO in partnership with the Portulans Institute, various corporate and academic network partners and the GII Advisory Board.
    • WIPO’s criteria to measure innovation cover institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, credit, investment, linkages, creation, absorption and diffusion of knowledge, and creative outputs.
    • Three measures are calculated:
      • Innovation Input Sub-Index: Five input pillars capture elements of the economy that enable and facilitate innovative activities.
      • Innovation Output Sub-Index: Innovation outputs are the result of innovative activities within the economy. Although the Output Sub-Index includes only two pillars, it carries the same weight as the Input Sub-Index in calculating the overall GII scores.
      • The overall GII score is the average of the Input and Output Sub-Indices, on which the GII economy rankings are then produced.

    (Image Courtesy: GII )

    Reason for this growth

    • The consistent improvement in the GII ranking is owing to the immense knowledge capital, the vibrant start-up ecosystem, and the amazing work done by the public and the private research organizations. 
    • The Scientific Departments like the Department of Atomic Energy; the Department of Science and Technology; the Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Space have played a pivotal role in enriching the National Innovation Ecosystem.
    • The NITI Aayog has been working tirelessly to ensure the optimization of the national efforts for bringing policy-led innovation in different areas such as electric vehicles, biotechnology, nanotechnology, space, alternative energy sources, etc. 
    • The India Innovation Index, the latest edition of which was released last year by the NITI Aayog, has been widely accepted as a major step in the direction of decentralization of innovation across all the states of India. 
    • A constant thrust in monitoring and evaluating India’s position in the global rankings has been provided by the NITI Aayog, including in the GII.

    Challenges to innovation in India

    • Academia – Industry Gap:
      • Steps like the Atal Innovation Mission and collaboration with institutions in countries like Switzerland and the UK are proving helpful but still there is a long way to go before we completely bridge the gap.
      • The growth requires a fundamental change in the Indian Education System
      • Top institutions in India are still focused on teaching Institutions. 
      • The research done in universities is not linked with the industry or real-world problems.
    • Taking more risks: 
      • It is high time that the Indian Education System starts taking risks. 
      • The recently announced National Education Policy provides a glimmer of hope towards solving this problem. 
      • Investment
      • India is the highest producer of Engineers but the number of innovations and start-ups don’t match up to this amount. 
      • Individuals will learn to take risks only if institutions do so. 
      • Funding both national and in the form of Foreign Direct Investment can steer start-up culture immensely. 
      • AIM has been working towards it but more incentives and remuneration are needed.
    • Collaborations: 
      • Interdisciplinary and international collaborations are the need of the hour, to ensure maximum impact and outcome.
    • Spending on R&D: 
      • Spending on Research and Development is another sector where India lags behind. 
      • Research investments are done out of faith with a small amount of risk involved.
    • Infrastructure:
      • This is an area in which India lacks the most. 
      • Good and efficient infrastructure can only be made available when the organizers know the needs of the innovators and scientists. 
    • Mindset of the citizens:
      • Generally, Indians are not team players. 
      • Unless a culture of raising your team with yourself is not developed, start-up culture is not likely to gain a lot of success.
    • Taking all the stakeholders on board:
      • Whether creating an innovative solution for rural India or a solution to a city’s waste management crisis, every stakeholder needs to be represented appropriately. 

    Way Ahead

    • Leveraging Power of Innovation: Confronted with an unprecedented crisis, it is important to fully leverage the power of innovation to collectively build a cohesive, dynamic and sustainable recovery. 
    • Changing Global Innovation Landscape: The high-income economies, notably from Northern America and Europe, continue to lead the GII ranks and have the strongest and most balanced innovation systems. There is an urgent need for this to change, particularly in countries like India.
    • Building Infrastructure: For any idea to succeed, infrastructure is the most important. 
    • R&D Investment: It is crucial that support for innovation becomes broader and that it is conducted in a countercyclical way (i.e., as business innovation expenditures slump, governments strive to counteract that effect with their own expenditure boosts to innovation, even in the face of higher public debt). 
    • Educational Partnership: Right implementation and partnership with educational institutions can prove instrumental to achieving the goal of transforming the Indian Education System.
    • Dialogue & Discussion: A simple culture of dialogue and discussion can prove ground-breaking. This will make sure that the innovation can be used for the betterment of society.
    • Atma Nirbhar Bharat: Innovation will be pivotal in driving the country’s resilience and self-reliance, as enshrined in the concept of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

    World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

    • It is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation.
    • It is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states.
    • Mission: To lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.
    • Its mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.

    Source: PIB