India has moved up as much as 15 places in the Global Innovation Index 2016 rankings. The country has scored a victory by moving up to the 66th rank, as against 81 last year. This is the same position that it had in 2013. Not only that, India is the top-ranked economy in Central and Southern Asia. “It shows particular strengths in tertiary education and R&D, including global R&D intensive firms, the quality of its universities and scientific publications, its market sophistication and ICT service exports where it ranks first in the world,” says the The Global Innovation Index 2016 report. “India also over-performs in innovation relative to its GDP. It ranks second on innovation quality amongst middle-income economies, overtaking Brazil,” the report notes. That makes India second only to China in innovation quality among middle-income economies!
What are India’s achievements and what’s helped it leap 15 places to reach the 66th spot and 2nd in quality of innovation among middle-income economies? What are India’s pillars of strength?
1) According to the report, India is a good example of how policy is improving the innovation environment. In some dimensions — such as ICT services exports and creative goods exports — India is starting to excel, the report lauds. China is the only middle-income country showing a comparable innovation quality. India comes in second among middle-income economies, it adds.
2) Within middle-income economies, India has swapped the 3rd for the 2nd position with Brazil. This the report credits to India’s performance in university rankings, where the country comes in 2nd among middle-income economies and 20th overall; and in patent families, where—also because of methodological changes—it now ranks 3rd among middle-income economies and 37th overall for this indicator.
3) As stated above, in the Central and Southern Asia region, India continues to rank 1st. It ranks among the top 50 economies overall in two pillars: Market sophistication (33rd) and Knowledge and technology outputs (43rd). “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),” the report states. “Within Human capital and research, India data coverage increased, specifically in graduates in sciences and engineering (ranked 8th overall in 2016, while this was a missing value in 2015), affecting the jump in its ranking. 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); India improves in the ranking of firms offering formal training by 56 spots to reach 42nd place,” the report elaborates.
WATCH: Global Innovation Index: India Moves Up To 66th Rank
4) Making progress on multiple fronts, India moved up across all indicators within the Knowledge absorption sub-pillar. It has also exhibited a solid performance in the GII model’s newly incorporated research talent in business enterprise, where it ranks 31st.
5) Additionally, India along with Brazil, and South Africa this year have scores in the quality of universities and number of citations that are close to those of China, and similar to or above the high-income group averages. Although India and Brazil still rank below China on the patent family metric, their scores are beginning to approach those of China and thus helping reduce this income group divide.
However, 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,” the report suggests.