The world’s fastest growing major economy is still far behind its Asian counterparts in terms of innovation, according to data released by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). India saw a drop in international patent applications to 1,423 under the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 2015, while Japan (44,235), China (29,846) and Korea (14,626) figured in the top-10 list, registering a rise of 20%, 14% and 7%, respectively, from last year. India fared no better in terms of global trademark filings under the Madrid System; it ranked 36th with only 150 trademarks filed in 2015, down from 153 in 2014 when it had seen a more than 70% increase in trademark registrations.
Data from the WIPO report, Breakthrough Innovation and Economic Growth, highlights that IITs are among the top-20 international institutes for research in nanotechnology, with over 5,000 scientific papers and 14 patents since 1970. The list had the Chinese Academy of Sciences at the top with 29,591 publications and 705 patent filings. While the country has still some distance to go in promoting innovation and research, a good start would be to implement the recommendations of committee set up by the NITI Aayog, headed by Harvard professor Tarun Khanna, which had suggested US-styled prizes to boost innovation, tax benefits for companies willing to invest towards research in universities, and Rs 1,000 crore allocation to be channelled to incubators and setting up of tinkering labs.