NEW DELHI: The government will set up a team to look into India’s positioning as an innovative country, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. The team, which will comprise government officials and experts from private organisations, will be formed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), she said.
“We will take a look at challenges and weaknesses and figure out the areas where government needs to stay away or get more involved,” Sitharaman said on Friday at the launch of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016 on which India is ranked 66th.
India had shown a downward trajectory during 2013-2015 in its ranking for inputs and outputs. According to the GII report this year, however, the rank in both inputs and outputs has increased significantly, reaching its best performance for inputs in four years.
The group will take an in-depth look into the report launched by industry lobby CII, Cornell University, INSEAD, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and AT Kearney.
“Investing in innovation is critical to raising long-term economic growth. In the GII, India performs better than other countries at a similar level of economic development,” said WIPO director general Francis Gurry.
The index ranks innovation performance of 128 countries and economies around the world, based on 82 indicators. The report has pointed to areas including ease of starting business, environmental performance and education as weaknesses in India’s performance. To references that Indian innovation is capable of only “jugaad” technique, the minister said, “India’s innovation is not limited to the jugaad technique. That has simply been a way to survive in the absence of services,” she said.
Sitharaman also cited the example of Mangalyan as an instance of frugal innovation. The commerce minister praised the setting up of think tank NITI Aayog, crediting the Prime Minister for “bringing the ultimate disruption to the country”.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that unlike the West, India needs innovation that will cater to billions of people in areas ranging from seed productivity and highway construction to water conservation.