India Innovation Index 2019: Naming and shaming of states through ranking would lead to growth, says NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant

  • Delhi has emerged as the best performer among the group of Union Territories and city states.

  • The report mentions that regional imbalance is a result of an equally skewed concentration of educational and research institutions across the country.

  • Among the major states, Karnataka topped the list with a score of 35.65, while Jharkhand (6.20) finished last.

Karnataka has clinched the numero uno position among major states, while Delhi and Sikkim have topped among Union Territories and North East and Hill states categories respectively in the India Innovation Index 2019 report released for the first time by the NITI Aayog along with Institute for Competitiveness (IFC) at India’s National Competitiveness Forum and #Porter Prize 2019.

“Such an index will not only help states to devise their own strategy for fostering innovation climate, but it will also enable them to benchmark their performance with other states,” said Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman, NITI Aayog while releasing the report in New Delhi on Thursday.

 India Innovation Index 2019: Naming and shaming of states through ranking would lead to growth, says NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant

NITI Aayog along with IFC releasing first-ever ‘India Innovation Index 2019’ in New Delhi in the presence of Rajiv Kumar, Amitabh Kant, Ashutosh Sharma, Renu Swaroop and Amit Kapoor. Debobrat Ghose/Firstpost

The India Innovation Index examines the innovation ecosystem of the states and the Union Territories. The objective of the index is to help policymakers design policies aimed at driving innovation across regions.

India Innovation Index 2019: Key findings and ranking

Among the major states, Karnataka topped the list with a score of 35.65, while Jharkhand (6.20) finished last. The former is the result of the prevalence of numerous higher education institutions, research labs and a cluster of businesses that help drive innovation forward. The three of the top five major states are from southern India.

The report mentions that regional imbalance is a result of an equally skewed concentration of educational and research institutions across the country.

Delhi has emerged as the best performer among the group of Union Territories and city states with a score of 42.98 – which is the best-performing state among all the Indian states taken as a whole. The reason: Delhi has the unique advantage of being the capital city of the country, having a high concentration of universities and research labs, and close proximity to Gurgaon and Noida – the thriving business hubs.

Among NE & Hill states, Sikkim is the best performer with a score of 15.49.

  • Top five major cities: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Telangana, Haryana.
  • Top five UTs/City states: Delhi, Chandigarh, Goa, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Top five NE & Hill states: Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir.

In the post-launch panel discussion — The innovative capacities of State — being partnered with Firstpost, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that the aim is to award the performers (performing states) and shame those states, who don’t perform. “Naming and shaming of states through ranking would lead to growth,” he said.

Citing the government’s 115 Aspirational District programme, he said ranking of these backward districts helped them to improve on various parameters like education, nutrition, health, etc.

“Other districts will follow the best districts in term of innovation, and this, in turn, will transform one district after the other.”

Highlighting a few major initiatives taken, Kant said NITI Aayog has taken substantial steps towards transforming India towards an innovation-driven economy and India Innovation Index would be a useful tool to analyse and enhance the innovation environment at state-level in India.

“Challenges have led to solutions. India due to various challenges it faces has got an opportunity to find solutions through innovation. We have introduced innovations among school children and found that children from slum schools did better than public schools due to the challenges they face,” said Kant.

Rajiv Kumar said that India Innovation Index would set a new trend and a higher degree of competitiveness needs to be introduced in the system.

“Our prime minister constantly emphasises on innovation. Only jugaad (technology) won’t help. As public and private sectors have worked in silos, it has led to mistrust. They need to work together and bring synergy for growth,” Kumar said.

To attract investments, Kumar’s prescription was to move from competitive populism to competitive good governance; bring synergy between various agencies and innovation index needs to be performance-based.

“Competition is a necessary condition for competitiveness,” said Kumar, a noted economist.

Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Department of Science and Technology emphasised on using the corporate social responsibility (CSR) money for research and development (R&D), and incubation.

“We need to have a model where all components like R&D, technology, incubation, etc. are integrated. There’s a need for a new way of thinking, access to information resources, a new model of incubation, infrastructure for successful innovation and incubation,” said Sharma.

On the importance of innovation index, the other panellist Renu Swarup, secretary, Department of Bio Technology emphasised on scalability and sustainability factors. “States are one of the stakeholders and we’ve to bring all stakeholders together. The states need to take ownership to bring innovation and competitiveness,” she said.

“Start-up ecosystem is not connected to large industry and the latter has to come forward in mentorship,” said Swarup.

Panel moderator and chairman, IFC, Amit Kapoor said, “The index is aimed at providing stakeholders with an effective tool to track the progress of innovation in India at both the national and the state level. It can help Central and state governments benchmark regional performance with respect to innovation and provide policy insights on what needs to be done to improve and enhance it.”

Updated Date: Oct 18, 2019 12:42:01 IST