Member, NITI Aayog
The rich cultural history of the Indian Subcontinent is dotted with illustrative instances of a dynamic past in the fields of mathematics, science, arts, architecture, and metallurgy, to name a few. Much of this glorious past is accredited to the ideas that were developed in the very heart of this soil, which were new at the time, but led India to prosperity. A millennium hence, India continues ahead with the same determination to chalk out a new destiny in the manner it wants.
In the 21st century, technology and science have played an indisputable role in helping India address the challenges of droughts, poverty and hunger, among others. Innovation has been instrumental in ushering in the Green, White, and Blue revolutions, and bringing millions out of poverty, generating livelihood opportunities, and paving the way for a young and self-reliant nation.
The pandemic has confronted us with unprecedented challenges. We must use science and technology to address these grave issues. But first, we must create a conducive culture, and reorient our education system to encourage young minds to think out of the box. Policy interventions such as Atal Innovation Mission strives to create a platform that not only generates new ideas, but also helps in making them more accessible to help resolve societal challenges.
The India Innovation Index depicts the innovation landscape of the country at the sub-national level. It portrays the innovative capabilities of the States, highlighting their strengths, which can be replicated in others, and weaknesses, which can be rectified. It will also help states to assess their own capacities in identifying areas that have the potential to boost the development of innovation-led entrepreneurship and attract start-ups and hi-tech companies.
India’s innovation journey has been strictly restricted to certain regions that have been privileged with economic growth and have a legacy of industrialization. This index, in the spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism, will allow the sharing of good practices between States/UTs, to widen and replicate the innovation landscape across the country, especially in the parts that have the potential to become hubs of innovation. But most importantly, this index will help other important stakeholders to assess these areas of the innovation landscape, and the value they holds for businesses so they can partake in this innovation journey.