NEW DELHI: India has joined the group of top 50 countries in the global innovation index for the first time, moving up four places to the 48th rank and keeping the top position among the nations in central and southern Asia.
According to the Global Innovation Index (GII) list, 2020 released jointly by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University and INSEAD Business School on Wednesday, the rankings show stability at the top but a gradual "eastward shift in the locus of innovation" as Asian economies like China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam have advanced considerably in the innovation ranking over the years.
Switzerland, Sweden, the US, the UK and the Netherlands lead the innovation ranking, and the top 10 positions are dominated by high-income countries, WIPO said in a statement.
About India, the statement said it has become the third most innovative lower middle-income economy in the world, thanks to newly available indicators and improvements in various areas of the GII.
India ranks in the top 15 in indicators such as ICT (Information and Communication Technology) services exports, government online services, graduates in science and engineering, and R&D-intensive global companies.
"Thanks to universities such as the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, and its top scientific publications, India is the lower middle-income economy with the highest innovation quality," it said.
A total of 131 countries were analysed under the GII before arriving at the rankings.
The metrics include institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication and business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs and creative outputs.
Meanwhile, an official statement said WIPO had also accepted India as one of the leading innovation achievers of 2019 in the central and southern Asian region, as it has shown a consistent improvement in its innovation ranking for the last five years.
"The consistent improvement in the global innovation index rankings is owing to the immense knowledge capital, the vibrant startup ecosystem, and the amazing work done by the public & private research organization," the statement said.
It further said bodies like the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology and Department of Space have played a pivotal role in enriching the national innovation ecosystem.
The statement noted that NITI Aayog has been working tirelessly to ensure optimisation of national efforts in this direction by bringing policy-led innovation in different areas such as electric vehicles, biotechnology, nanotechnology, space and alternative energy sources.
The India Innovation Index, which was released last year by NITI Aayog, has been widely accepted as a major step in the direction of decentralisation of innovation across all states of the country, it said.
"The call for Aatma Nirbhar Bharat by the Prime Minister could only be realized if India punches above its weight class and compete with global superpowers in developing scientific interventions.
"It is time that India brings a paradigm shift and aims to be in the top 25 countries in the next global innovation index rankings," it added.