Global Innovation Index 2020

Context: India has climbed 4 spots and has been ranked 48th by the World Intellectual Property Organization in the Global Innovation Index 2020 rankings.

  • India was at the 52nd position in 2019 and was ranked 81st in the year 2015.
  • Switzerland is the world’s most-innovative economy followed by Sweden, the United States of America (U.S.), the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the Netherlands, according to the GII 2020.


  • India ranks 1st among the 10 economies in Central and Southern Asia.
  • India has been an innovation achiever for ten consecutive years, holding that record together with Vietnam, Republic of Moldova, and Kenya.
  • Economies outperforming on innovation relative to GDP are called innovation achievers.
  • India’s role in the global ICT services industry is reflected in it being ranked first in ICT services exports.
  • India also outperforms in a new GII indicator – Global brand value –, producing more valuable brands than could be predicted from its income level.
  • Relative to GDP, India is performing above expectations for its level of development.
  • India produces more innovation outputs relative to its level of innovation investments.

Overview of India Rankings in the seven GII areas

  • India performs best in Knowledge & Technology Outputs and its weakest performance is in Infrastructure.
  • The India Innovation Index, which was released last year by the NITI Aayog, has been widely accepted as the major step in the direction of decentralization of innovation across all the states of India.
  • India stands third in innovation among the BRICS nations, but is far from China, according to the Global Innovation Index.
  • China (14) > Russia (47) > India (48) > S. Africa (60) > Brazil (62).

Global Innovation Index 2020

  • The Global Innovation Index 2020: “Who Will Finance Innovation?” is co-published annually by Cornell University, INSEAD (a leading business school), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.
  • The Index ranks around 131 economies based on 80 indicators ranging from the creation of mobile applications to education spending, scientific and technical publications, and intellectual property filing rates.
  • The GII is calculated as the average of two sub-indices.
  • The Innovation Input Sub-Index gauges elements of the national economy which embody innovative activities grouped in five pillars:
  • (1) Institutions,
  • (2) Human capital and research,
  • (3) Infrastructure,
  • (4) Market sophistication, and
  • (5) Business sophistication.

The Innovation Output Sub-Index captures actual evidence of innovation results, divided in two pillars:

  • (6) Knowledge and technology outputs and
  • (7) Creative outputs.
  • For the first time, the GII launch was being hosted by the Government of India at New Delhi in 2019, which uses the GII in creative ways to strengthen its policy framework for innovation at both the national and regional levels.

Knowledge Partner: CII

  • The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India’s development process.
  • Founded in 1895, India’s premier business association has around 9,000 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs.

About WIPO

  • specialized agency of the United Nations, assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs.

NITI Aayog launches India Innovation Index 2019

  • NITI Aayog with Institute for Competitiveness as the knowledge partner released the India Innovation Index (III) 2019. 
  • In terms of overall score, Karnataka tops the Innovation Index followed by Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Delhi
  • Karnataka is the most innovative major state in India.
  • Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Telangana, Haryana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh form the remaining top ten major states respectively.
  • The top ten major states are majorly concentrated in southern and western India. 
  • Sikkim and Delhi take the top spots among the north- eastern & hill states, and union territories/city states/small states respectively. 
  • Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh are the most efficient states in translating inputs into output.


  • The index attempts to create an extensive framework for the continual evaluation of the innovation environment of 29 states and seven union territories in India and intends to perform the following three functions-
  • 1) ranking of states and UTs based on their index scores,
  • 2) recognizing opportunities and challenges, and
  • 3) assisting in tailoring governmental policies to foster innovation.
  • The India Innovation Index 2019 is calculated as the average of the scores of its two dimensions – Enablers and Performance.
  • The Enablers are the factors that underpin innovative capacities, grouped in five pillars:
  • (1) Human Capital,
  • (2) Investment,
  • (3) Knowledge Workers,
  • (4) Business Environment, and
  • (5) Safety and Legal Environment.
  • The Performance dimension captures benefits that a nation derives from the inputs, divided in two pillars:
  • (6) Knowledge Output and
  • (7) Knowledge Diffusion.
  • Examples of enabler indicators include number of students of engineering and technology, FDI inflows and number of incubators. Performance indicators include number of patents filed, number of Geographical Indication tags etc.
  • The index shows that the innovation ecosystem of the country is strong in south and western parts of India.
  • In fact, three of the top five major states are from southern India.
  • Delhi and Haryana seem to be an exception to this rule and seem to be doing well on the Index.
  • Thus, there seems to be a west-south and north-east divide across the country.
  • The states have been bifurcated into three categories: major states, north-east and hill states, and union territories / city states / small states.
  • Karnataka is the leader in the overall rankings in the category of major states.
  • Karnataka’s number one position in the overall ranking is partly attributed to its top rank in the Performance dimension.
  • It is also among the top performers in Infrastructure, Knowledge Workers, Knowledge Output and Business Environment.
  • Among the category of major states, Maharashtra performs the best in the dimension of Enablers.
  • This implies that it has the best enabling environment for innovation, even though the state comes in at the third position in the overall innovation index.

Input-outcome gap

  • In 29 out of 36 States and UTs, the scores of the enabler metrics are higher than the performance scores (ranges 0-100) indicating an outcome gap relative to inputs.
  • The gap between the two scores is highest for Punjab and Gujarat (among major States).

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