Chair, Institute for Competitiveness

Over the last decade, India has laid a policy emphasis on innovation as a growth strategy. The fact that India has been instrumental in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine validates the success of this policy focus. As we enter a new decade and explore ways of recovering from the shock of a pandemic, it has become even more crucial to strengthen the economy’s innovative capacity. The second edition of the India Innovation Index has been compiled keeping these new realities in mind. 

The study’s objective is to provide policymakers and other key stakeholders with a comprehensive assessment of the spatial dynamics of the innovation ecosystem of India. It offers insights into how Indian states can achieve the dual goals of economic and social development by focusing on the innovation landscape. The findings from the study can also be used to identify the challenges that persist across regional economies in maximizing their innovative capacities and provide solutions to address them. The focus on regional economies becomes pertinent when it comes 

to innovation since the level of development and industrial base vary significantly across Indian states. 

The 2020 edition of the index builds upon its maiden edition with the addition of new indicators for a more robust assessment of the innovation ecosystem. The current set of indicators have evolved as a result of extensive deliberations on possible means to better capture the innovation landscape. For instance, R&D expenditure by the state governments has been added to better understand the regional disparities in investment toward innovation. 

I am grateful to NITI Aayog, who gave the Institute for Competitiveness the opportunity to take this important body of work forward. I could never hope to name all those who have helped us, but I would like to highlight the following individuals for their contributions. I would like to thank Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Dr. VK Saraswat, Shri Amitabh Kant and Shri Neeraj Sinha for their guidance and feedback. 

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support of my team at the Institute for Competitiveness, including Harshula Sinha, Sreetama Basu, Jatin Nair, Aniruddh Duttaa, Adya Behera, Manisha Kapoor, and Chirag Yadav in preparing this report. 

I am certain that the study will enable change in India’s innovation landscape by helping the states in identifying areas of strengths and weaknesses. 

© 2021 Institute for Competitiveness, India

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