India 66th on Global Innovation Index 2013

The Global Innovation Index, released today, saw India ranked 66th this year – 2 ranks lower than their 2012 rank and 4 lower than its 2011 rank. The index, available here, is prepared by WIPO, Cornell and INSEAD with Knowledge Partners, Booz & Company, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), du and Huawei.
As per their Press Release:
“Despite the economic crisis, innovation is alive and well. Research and development spending levels are surpassing 2008 levels in most countries and successful local hubs are thriving. A group of dynamic middle- and low-income countries – including China, Costa Rica, India, and Senegal – are outpacing their peers, but haven’t broken into the top of the GII 2013 leader board. This year’s report casts additional light on the local dynamics of innovation, an area which has remained under-measured globally. It shows the emergence of original innovation eco-systems, and signals a needed shift from a usual tendency to try and duplicate previously successful initiatives.”
Switzerland and Sweden maintained rank 1 and 2 respectively while UK, Netherlands and USA took up the next 3 spots.
While India ranked 66th out of the 142 countries, it ranked 3rd amongst Lower Middle Income countries, 1st amongst Central and Southern Asia, and 11th in overall efficiency rating. The two positions dropped in the overall rankings occurred due to Mexico making a leap of 16 spots to rank 63, and the introduction of Barbados which entered in at 47th rank. According to the report, (on page 31):
“In fact, India performs remarkably well in six out of seven key indicators introduced for the first time this year: the cit- able documents H index (23rd), the QS university ranking average score of top 3 universities (27th), high- tech and medium-high-tech output (31st), GERD performed by business enterprise over GDP (42nd), logis- tics performance (46th), and pat- ent families filed in at least three offices (59th), with a single weak- ness in royalties and license fees receipts over services exports, where it is ranked 83rd. India has relative strength in the Output Sub-Index (ranked 42nd, down from 40th in all countries worldwide this year is 12.8%, it reaches a peak of 22.0% in Sub-Saharan Africa.1 Because no imputation of missing data is performed, the reliability of rankings is affected, as shown by the statistical audit performed by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, which provides a 90% confidence interval for the GII, Input, and Output rankings. For the past three years, all countries with indicator coverage 2012, and 1st in the region) over the Input Sub-Index (ranked 87th, up from 96th in 2012). This led to a fall in the efficiency ratio (to 11th this year, down from 2nd in 2012). Weak positions in Institutions (102nd) and Human capital and research (105th) remain, although rankings improved compared to 2012 (125th and 131st, respectively). The ranking in pillar 6, Knowledge and technology out- puts, also improved (from 47th to 37th), with a 1st place in communi- cations, computer and information services exports over total services exports providing the leverage for a 22nd world place in Knowledge diffusion.”
For the charts and details referred to, see the full report here. For an infogram that you can quickly glance over, see here.


  1. Joseph Christie, Ph.D.

    The fact that India has been ranked 66th in the The Global Innovation Index 2013 out of 142 nations is hardly surprising, though to most Indians this doesn’t mean a damn thing, considering their deplorable apathy and disinterestedness to science and scientific knowledge. It is telling that the country’s performance in several fields is crying shame, such as education, sports , social development , worsening condition of women, except, perhaps, the whopping and shocking increase in population from 360 million in 1947 to 1.3 billion (1,300 millions). Nobody today would even believe the fact that India in 1947 was more developed and richer than Japan and China, and with the exchange rate of $ 1:00 = Rs. 1:00. When England handed over the nation to the triumvirate Gandhi-Nehru and Patel, everything seemed possible and great. The people were lulled with hope and lots of joie vive, soon to be followed by lackadaisical indolence of lassitude and languor.
    After 66 years of independence, quite strangely the nation also slipped to the 66th position, while countries like Japan, China, South Korea and tiny Singapore etc have skyrocketed ahead during these three score and six years. One measure of inventiveness and technological prowess of a nation is the number of high quality scientists it produces and thence Nobel Prizes and number of Patents bagged by the country.
    Thus when Kurt Wuthrich, the Nobel Prize winner from Switzerland, while recently addressing the IIT Madras quipped,”Does India need ten thousands of Engineers from its colleges or does it need several PhD holders? That is a serious question for India,” when asked about the dearth of students in India who take up research. Most humiliatingly, every IIT scientist at the Conference was at loss for words.
    IIT-M Director said while over the years the intake of students into graduation courses had increased manifold, the percentage moving towards research had not gone up. “The numbers remain almost the same. While earlier about 70 of the total of 150 students went on to take up research, today it is the same even though the intake of UG students have increased substantially,” he said.
    “In the institution which I worked in Switzerland, only 20 per cent of the faculty was Swiss-born, while 80 % are foreign-born scientists, which is not the case in Indian Institutes. BUT HERE IN IIT, THERE IS NOT EVEN A SINGLE FOREIGN PROFESSOR. IF AN INSTITUTION HAS TO PRODUCE THE BEST RESEARCH, IT SHOULD HAVE THE BEST MINDS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. IF IT IS RESTRICTED BY NATIONALITY, THEN YOU WILL HAVE SOME GOOD MINDS, BUT YOU WILL ALSO HAVE TO TAKE IN MEDIOCRE RESEARCH,” Kurt Wuthrich said.
    “The number of students who are interested in pursuing higher studies too at the IITs is dropping”, said the director of IIT, Madras. Let me add my real reason here: IITs CAN NEVER PRODUCE Nobel Prize winners, since they lure the best brains of India and turn them into money making automatons.
    Is it fair to say that Indian PhDs are all uniformly bad because Indian attitude to science is bad and apathetic? An enormously large population of 1.2 billion human MUST surely have its quota of geniuses and brilliant young men and women. How else would you reckon with the fact that such a poor Nation was able to produce some brilliant men before Independence? Men like Tagore, Ramanujan and so many other stalwarts did not drop out of heaven but were nurtured in the right and rigorous educational environment under the British Rule. As a matter of fact, the country still produces such intelligent people, but the flowers of genius are tramped upon and choked to death in the highly corrupt and totally mismanaged India. It is not vain vaunt when I say that out of the hundreds of thousands of young men and women who graduate from high schools all across the country, AT LEAST 15,000 TO 20,000 OF THEM MUST BE AS GOOD AS THE BEST BRAINS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. Alas! In the pathetically corrupt Indian society, which Mammon (greed and cupidity) seems to rule today, what good is it for these small percentage of brilliant young people to chase their dreams as scientists when their parents, who they depend on for their sustenance, and the ignorant society around them that looks down upon science education and prefer instead a far more lucrative professional degree ( Engineer or doctor) in the so called premier institutions, IITs, today.

    I am sure the Faculty and so-called researchers at IIT Madras must be hanging their heads in shame at the stinging criticism of Nobel Laureate Kurt Wuthrich regarding the deplorable status of fundamental research in India. The ” IIT researchers” , born and bred in lackadaisical India are like frogs in their own muddy waters, and they balk and frown at the idea of injecting fresh and invigorating blood from other countries in their midst to whip up research. At least, prior to 1947, several bright young men were drawn from all over India to some of the prestigious colleges in the erstwhile MADRAS PRESIDENCY, which turned out Nobel prize winners like C V Raman and Dr. Chandresekharan,. It is entirely possible if the education of India had continued under British sway till 2000,like Hong Kong for example, she would have racked up another half a dozen of these Nobel Prizes, notwithstanding the stigma of colonial yoke, SINCE QUALITY COUNTED MUCH MORE THAN CHEAP QUANTITY UNDER THE ENGLISH RULE. In my very recent communication to an IIT Professor, I averred that I was under the impression that IITs all over India are projected mainly as engineering school factories with MOST of its brightest students seeking the more lucrative engineering careers with very little scope for real fundamental science research to flourish, thereby making Nobel Prize in chemistry and physics an unattainable dream to Indians in India, as the “Venky” Ramakrishnan, -the Nobel laureate- story clearly proved.

    1. Anonymous

      Dear PhD Holder,
      Is this meant to be a troll? You really haven’t put much thought into things you’ve written, have you? Did you even carefully read the above post? If the answer to either of these questions is “No”, then it boggles the mind to see that someone gave you a PhD.

      1. Joseph Christie, Ph.D.

        Hey ! Some ANONYMOUS guy ( a chicken really) has bothered to read my comments. I am glad that I have piqued the curiosity of an INDIAN? who has scratched his head and emboldened himself to ask questions !Let me tell you something Mr. ANONYMOUS, in USA no one gives you a Ph.D but you work your rear end off to EARN IT.


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