India can't be complacent on innovation
The New Year is upon us. It has been 17 years into the 21st century and if one word has to define this period, ‘innovation is bound to reign supreme. Technological innovation in every field has taken place at such a rapid pace over the last two decades that most of it is taken as given.
 
It is hard to imagine that a world obsessed with acronyms like AI, VR, and EV was still very much dependent on the post office barely 17 years ago. It is unfathomable and potentially scary from some aspects as to what the future holds for mankind.
 
With the world innovating at breakneck speed, no country wants to be left behind the curve. China is the latest kid in the block. It is no longer the low-labour-cost country that makes it the manufacturing powerhouse of the world. Now, the country's manufacturing strengths lie in its strong supply chain networks and advanced production knowhow. In fact, in its 13 Five Year Plan that began in May 2016, China laid out a roadmap to become an "innovative nation" by 2020 and an "international innovation leader" by 2030.
 
Even before these goals were set, the country had doubled its spending on R&D between 2000 and 2016 from 0.9 percent of its GDP to 2.1 percent. It is no surprise then, that the greater Shenzhen-Hong Kong area finds itself ranked second in terms of global inventive clusters as measured by patents.
 
It is clearly time for India to adopt innovation as a paradigm and a long-term principle to be competitive on the world stage. Like China, it is critical that India works upon building an enabling conducive environment for innovation to take place. This includes, but is not limited to, access to technology required for scaling, availability of funding, leadership and skill, and also a market for all this. 
 
As per the Global Innovation Index, India has shown consistent improvement since 2011 and its performance has been ahead of the average lower-middle- and upper-middle-income countries of the world. However, the India State Innovation Report 2017 has brought out some interesting highlights on the state of innovation in India.
 
First, on a national scale India lags considerably behind the major economies of the world. As of 2015, India spent 0.88 percent of its GDP on R&D while Brazil, the US and Japan spent 1.2, 2.8 and 3.4 percent respectively. As for patents, India had filed 17 per million people while Brazil, China, the US and Japan were at 34, 541, 910 and 3,716 respectively. Finally, the India's share of global publications stood at 4.2 percent while China and the US were at 20.2 and 25.3 respectively. Therefore, there remains a vast gap for India to cover if it to catch up with the global economies in the field of innovation.
 
It is not a preposterous argument to make that the economy which stays ahead in the race for innovation will dictate global dominance. As things have panned out over the last year, USA seems to have been ceding that ground to China. Denying realities like climate change to support industries of yesteryears like coal and closing doors on the very people who built the country seem inimical to the innovative spirit that has come to define America. A huge vacuum will probably be left behind, and India needs to grasp the opportunity while the time is ripe.
 
Second, coming to the sub-national level, India shows a very mixed performance. Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were the most innovative states in 2017. A three-way categorisation was also done based on the classification for developmental stages of economies by Michael Porter, considered the guru of competiveness. Delhi, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh turned out to be the leading states in their respective stages.
 
A striking feature of the state performance on innovation is that there is a clear demarcation running across India where the western and southern belt of states score considerable better than the rest of the country. This belt of states also performs economically well than the rest of India, but per capita income explains only 60 percent of the innovation scores. Higher industry presence and better prevalence of institutes of higher education along with improving linkages between the two has a substantial impact making the environment conducive for innovation across these states.
 
However, there are a multitude of challenges faced even by these states in undertaking innovation. The first and most basic one is that the university system in India lacks focus on research and innovation. Inadequate funding dedicated to education does not help in building adequate facilities for research either. Second, the patenting process is quite cumbersome in India and significant amount of resources need to be devoted towards it, something which the industry typically lacks. Finally, India lacks stringent regulations and IP laws, which hinder any innovative activities. It is a telling fact that in the International IP Index released by the US Chamber of Commerce, which ranks 45 economies based on patents, trademarks, copyrights, enforcement and international treaties, India ranks 43.
 
There is simply no time for complacency for India when it comes to matters of innovation. The country has a perfect opportunity to get onboard the innovation train that is swiftly chugging away beyond its reach. Almost 15 percent of the start-ups in Silicon Valley have been founded by Indians. We clearly have the capability to do the same in India. Only the enabling factors are lacking. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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COMMENTS

Ramesh I

1 year ago

Innovation can thrive only in an environment which gives top priority to merit over reservations / quotas. India has adopted the wrong reservation policy and the entire British legacy of administrative and political systems discourage merit, in favour of entitlement for certain castes & classes, which further erodes meritocracy. Don't see this changing anytime soon.

ED summons Karti Chidambaram in INX media case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to Karti Chidambaram, son of Congress leader P. Chidambaram, in a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in FIPB clearance accorded to INX Media in 2007, an official said on Tuesday.
 
Karti Chidambaram has been asked to appear at the ED headquarters here on January 11 and record his statement before ED officials probing the case. 
 
The ED had registered a money laundering case against him in May 2017. 
 
Karti Chidambaram is also booked in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR which mentions names of INX media and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea -- both accused in the Sheena Bora murder case -- and others. 
 
He is facing a probe for his alleged role in facilitating the 2007 Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for INX Media Ltd when his father was the union Finance Minister.
 
He is alleged to have received Rs 3.5 crore from Mumbai-based INX media, now 9X Media, for helping it get FIPB clearance when it was run by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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Amol Chavan

1 year ago

This will end like the case of 2G. No big person will ever be jailed for the scams. Be it BJP or Congress in govt. I was highly disappointed with the 2G verdict.

IMA calls off strike after NMC Bill sent to select committee
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday called off its 12-hour countrywide shutdown of OPD services at all private hospitals in the country, after the government agreed to its demand and sent the National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 to a select committee.
 
"We have called off the 12-hour strike as we have just been informed that the government has agreed to our demands and has sent the Bill to a select committee," K.K. Aggarwal, former president of IMA, told IANS.
 
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) called for a 12-hour shutdown of all private hospitals in the country on Tuesday to protest the "anti-people and anti-patient" National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017, that seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI).
 
The IMA has 2.77 lakh members, which includes Corporate Hospitals, Poly clinics and Nursing homes, across the country. 
 
While private hospitals in other states followed IMA's call to keep OPDs shut for 12 hours, the national capital saw a mixed response.
 
Several big corporate hospitals, including Apollo, BLK Super specialty and Sir Ganga Ram among dozen others, preferred to keep their OPDs operational.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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