The year 2021 will be remembered for the indefatigable human spirit. India’s achievements and challenges during the second wave of the Covid pandemic must be duly analysed. But what will go down in history is that even in the face of great crisis and uncertainty, we did not give up hope. The Government of India was able to create a robust platform for incentivising innovative solutions to address the crisis. The states and union territories played a critical role in strategizing and strengthening the innovative ecosystem at a sub-national level.
India’s performance has been consistently improving in fostering innovation, as attested by our ranking in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021, where India moved up two positions since 2020. India has been on track with nurturing an innovation ecosystem with government initiatives such as ‘Start-up India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. To foster innovation and entrepreneurship in schools, colleges, and the society at large, NITI Aayog established the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in 2016.
In the spirit of competitive federalism, the states and union territories need to promote environmentally and socially sustainable economic development through innovation-induced policy interventions. The current edition of the India Innovation Index has matched the GII framework to bring out a more comprehensive and nuanced index to measure the innovation performance of the country. The index will act as a benchmark to compare and contrast the performance of states and union territories against their peers to develop appropriate policy mechanisms to promote innovation-driven growth at the sub-national level.
I extend my regards to the Science and Technology team at NITI Aayog, various Central ministries, state governments and other departments, as well as the team at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for their inputs towards the preparation of this report. I thank our knowledge partner, Institute for Competitiveness, especially the institute’s chairman, Dr Amit Kapoor, and his team for their invaluable contribution in developing the India Innovation Index 2021.