A government task force on innovation has raised concerns over the methodology used by institutions like World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to rank India in the Global Innovation Index (GII). GII ranks countries on an annual basis on 82 parameters for their contribution towards successful innovations based on their capacity. It is published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in partnership with other organisations and institutions. Although India has moved up six places to the 60th spot among 130 nations on the GII 2017, in certain indicators like political environment and absence of violence/terrorism, the country is ranked low at 113. “Clearly, with a vibrant and stable democracy, the largest in the world, ever since Independence 70 years ago, India deserves much better. The ranking needs to be based on a
quantifiable methodology approach, rather than the present composite indicators approach,” the task force said in its its
report. An objective measure such as the number of unconstitutional changes in government in last 50 years or since independence should be used to better capture the status of any country under this indicator, it said.
It added that “violence and terrorism are a sad fact of life that all nations have to face. Thus, adding this factor here may not really be appropriate”. These recommendations of the report titled ‘Task force on Innovation: Report on Global Innovation Index: An Indian perspective’ was made to WIPO, an official said. The official added that there is a need to change the methodology for certain indicators as India is pursuing lot more reforms. Similarly on the indicator of ‘business environment’, India was ranked at 117. “In order to truly understand the business environment of a country in terms of innovativeness, the entire set of values need to be accounted for. “…There is a need to enhance the indicators in GII to include more, if not all, of these 10 indicators (of the World bank’s ease of doing business).
For starting a business, a basic requirement of industry is getting an electricity connection. The ease of ‘Getting Electricity’ from World Bank Doing Business report for assessing the business environment of country should be included as a data point, it suggested. A new indicator that could potentially be included in this sub-pillar (tertiary education) is the share of science
and engineering (S&E) doctoral degrees as a per cent of total doctoral degrees granted. Further it said that instead of ‘percentage of households with internet access’ which is included in the methodology, it is recommended that ‘Internet access to individuals on a periodic basis’ should be considered’. Last year, the commerce and industry ministry set up this eight-member task force, which includes people from both private and public sectors, to assess India’s position as an innovative country and suggest measures to enhance the innovation ecosystem. Members from private sector include Naushad Forbes (Co- Chairman, Forbes Marshall Group and Kris Gopalakrishnan (Executive VC, Infosys). The convenor of the task force is Rajiv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)