India’s Tryst with Innovation
The dream of a future constructed on the principles of science and technology and an economy based on Innovations was ignited by the President of India, addressing the parliament on 4th June 2009 and, declaring the next ten years to be the Decade of Innovation.
The Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh reiterated the intent of India leading the innovation arena across the globe in the 97th Session of Indian Science Congress held on 3rd January, 2010 at Thiruvananthapuram and declared the decade 2010 – 2020 the “Decade of Innovations”.
So, what really has driven the Indian leaders to stress on Innovation? Why is there a sudden urge to drive innovations in India?
The answer to all questions is the simple fact that Innovation as a phenomenon has had a huge impact on the global economy; it is now certain that the alchemies which will convert the resources of a country into tangible outputs will be innovation centers.
According to the Global competitiveness Index, India ranks as the 49th most competitive nation of the world and that after it is the 10th largest in terms of nominal GDP, 4th largest in terms of PPP and it is one of the world’s fastest growing economies. If all of the above is true why is India lagging behind the western world.
As we understand, India lacks competitiveness in terms of basic requirements (Institutions, Infrastructure and Primary Education etc) more than it lacks competitiveness in efficiency enhancers (Higher Education, Market Size etc) or Innovation. Though these parameters put a question mark on the government’s intention to put innovation as the highest priority goal for the country for the decade, but drilling deeper one will understand that innovation as a parameter has had a great impact in enhancing the basic requirements of a country.
How countries like the United States have focused on Innovation and have been able to reap benefits in long term is not a story that is hidden from anyone. Making an apple to apple comparison of the United States and India we would realize that the most important factors where the US scores over India will be Innovation and Business Sophistication.
The reason behind US leading the globe is because innovation centers like Silicon Valley have boosted the economy to a magnanimous extent and has been able to create the pillars of basic requirements for the USA.
What it means for India is that it has to focus on Innovation and create an ecosystem in the country to stimulate innovations and to produce solutions for the societal needs in terms of healthcare, energy, urban infrastructure, water and transportation.
The Government of India is now up to speed on creating this ecosystem and hence has marked the beginning of a beautiful “Tryst with Innovation”