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Based mostly on pre-Modi data, top report finds India "jumping" 15 points in Global Innovation Index 2016

Modi aide and Niti Ayog vice-chairman Panagariya's tweet
By Rajiv Shah
While top aides of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have declared, on the basis of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016, that India showing an improvement of 15 points in a year suggests the Modi government’s strategy to encourage innovation, significantly, most of the GII score is based on data collected in 2014 or earlier.
Of the 82 indicators, on the basis of which the GII score has been worked out, just 22 are based on data from 2015, while 41, or exactly half, on data from 2014. Modi came to power in May 2014. Rest of the data is either of the year 2012 or 2013, when the UPA was firmly in the saddle.
While the 451-page GII 2016 report, which has been jointly sponsored by top institutes Cornell University, INSTEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization, its knowledge partners include Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India’s top industries body, followed by well-known consultants AT Kearney, and the European Innovation Management Academy.
Prepared by Soumitra Dutta, Bruno Lanvin and Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, the report says, “Gone are the days when the local could not drive the global. As nations in the developing world become ever more globalized, innovation linkages are quickly gaining prominence, leading to collaboration among nations involving academia and industry as a key driver of economic growth.”
“India maintains its top place in the region (South Asia), moving up 15 spots from 81st last year to 66th overall”, the report states, adding, the second country to come close to India is Kazakhstan, moving up seven spots, from 82nd to 75th overall. The Islamic Republic of Iran ranks 78th, followed by Tajikistan 86th, Sri Lanka 91st, Bhutan 96th, Kyrgyzstan 103rd, Nepal 115th, Bangladesh 117th, and Pakistan 119th.
Switzerland ranks No 1 in GII 2016, followed by Sweden, UK, US, Singapore, Ireland, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany and South Korea. Japan ranks No 16, Australia No 19, China No 25, Russia No 43, South Africa No 54, and Brazil No 69.
Indicators that that “helped” improve India’s overall performance, the report indicates, include “bilateral or plurilateral” funding for R&D partnerships and policy dialogues such as the US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.
The report includes an article“Leveraging Talent Globally to Scale Indian Innovation” by Gopichand Katragadda, Tata Sons, Aravind Bharadwaj, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, which claims, “India has all the ingredients needed to become a global driver of innovation: It has a strong market potential, an excellent talent pool, and an underlying culture of frugal innovation.”
“The country maintains stable or improved rankings across all pillars, with the most significant improvements in human capital and research (up 40 spots) and business sophistication (up 59 spots)”, “India’s ranking in the business sophistication pillar is affected most by a substantial improvement in knowledge workers (up 46 spots) and knowledge absorption (up 33 spots).”
At the same time, the report regrets, “India shows weakness in two sub-pillars: Business environment (117th) and education (118th). In the former pillar, ease of starting a business (114th), and in the latter, the pupil-teacher ratio (103rd) and tertiary inbound mobility (99th) are three areas where India can seek improvement.”
“Progress is also needed in environmental performance (110th) on the input side; on the output side, indicators measuring new businesses (101st), global entertainment and media market (59th), and printing and publishing manufactures (84th) all show room for improvement”, it says.

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