Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic this year, the significance of innovation is even more greatly felt. While innovation has always been pivotal for higher productivity and economic growth, it is also crucial for bolstering a post-crisis economy. In this light, the foresight of the central government in fostering a culture of innovation through initiatives like the Atal Innovation Mission, Startup India, etc. is laudable. 

To instil a culture of innovation amongst the states, NITI Aayog had introduced the first-ever India Innovation Index in 2019. A year later, it is safe to say that we are on the right path toward transforming India into an innovation-driven economy. The index has not only served as a useful tool for governments to assess the innovation landscape in their states, but has also helped strengthen competitive federalism and create synergies between different stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem. 

The second edition of the index will allow states to continue to evaluate their innovation environment and assess their progress. The division of innovation into two dimensions, namely innovation capabilities (Enablers) and innovation outcomes (Performance) will give the states a better perspective for identifying the critical focus areas. To facilitate policymaking, the index also highlights the challenges present in the way of improving innovation in the country and creates a distinction between issues that can be tackled at the national and state levels. 

I hope the second edition of the index continues to foster a competitive spirit among the states, and enables them to learn from their peers. 

I congratulate the Science and Technology Vertical of NITI Aayog for its effort in bringing out the index. My compliments to the Central Ministries/Departments, the states’ Nodal Officers, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and our knowledge partner, Institute for Competitiveness, for their contribution in developing the India Innovation Index 2020. 

© 2021 Institute for Competitiveness, India

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