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Mumbai: India has been ranked 48th on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 among 131 economies, breaking into the top 50 countries for the first time. Moving up four positions from last year, three ‘clusters’ — Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai — feature in the top 100 science & technology hotspots, further endorsing India’s presence in the global innovation economy.
High-income countries Switzerland, Sweden, the US, the UK and the Netherlands lead the innovation ranking, with a second Asian economy — South Korea — joining the top 10 for the first time. Singapore is ranked at the eighth position.
The GII by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) ranks global economies according to their innovation capabilities, including roughly 80 indicators, grouped into innovation inputs and outputs. Together with three other economies — China, Vietnam and the Philippines — India has made the most significant progress in the GII innovation ranking over time, it said.
The Covid-19 pandemic is severely pressuring a long-building rise in worldwide innovation, likely hindering some innovative activities while catalysing ingenuity elsewhere, notably in the health sector, according to the GII 2020.
WIPO director-general Francis Gurry said, “Even as we all grapple with the immediate human and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, governments need to ensure that rescue packages are future-oriented and support individuals, research institutes, companies and others with innovative and collaborative new ideas for the post-Covid era. Innovations equal solutions.” WIPO statement said India, on its part, has consistently outperformed on innovation relative to its level of development for 10 years in a row, a record only matched by three other countries.
Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said, “To promote innovation and its culture in India, the government is formulating the new education policy 2020, which we are sure will be in the long term, as we shift gears and accelerate our efforts towards a mindset of innovation, towards the spirit of inquiry among our youngsters right from a very young age. The National Innovation Council, which promotes innovation in our micro, small and medium enterprises, is also working in a variety of ways, particularly through the India Inclusive Innovation Fund, to support activities around innovation. They are voting very strongly to promote ‘Make in India’ products being made in India, to develop a self-reliant India, but also become a trusted partner of global value chains.”
India excels in the innovation outcomes it produces, and also in relation to its innovation efforts and investments. India’s role in the global ICT (information & communication technology) services industry is reflected in it being ranked first in the sector’s exports. It also stands out for its rate of productivity growth, for which it ranks ninth globally.
Significantly, India also outperforms in a new GII indicator — global brand value, producing more valuable brands than could be predicted from its income level. It ranks 31st in this indicator. It hosts 164 of the world’s top 5,000 brands, including top brands Tata Group, LIC (insurance) and Infosys. The top-performing economies in the GII are still almost exclusively from the high-income group, with China (14th) remaining the only middle-income economy in the GII top 30, and Malaysia at the 33rd position. The data shows a gradual eastward shift in the locus of innovation as a group of Asian economies — notably China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam — have advanced considerably in the innovation ranking over the years.

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