Global Innovation Index 2015: Looking at India’s performance

The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2015, released yesterday, saw India ranked a disappointing 81 out of the 141 countries surveyed. Topping the list for the 5th year running is Switzerland, followed by UK and Sweden.

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View full infographic here

The GII, currently in its 8th edition, is an annual report co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Using 79 indicators from over 30 international sources, and with a transparent and replicable computation methodology, it is widely recognized as the leading measure of the innovation power of economies around the world. This year’s report has been themed “Effective Innovation for Development”.

India, receiving a score of 31.74 (out of 100) ranked 81st of the 141 countries surveyed, 8th amongst 34 Lower-Middle Income Countries, 1st from the 11 Central and South Asian region countries, and 31st out of 141 countries in terms of efficiency ratio.

Year Rank
No. of Countries
2008 23 107
2009 41 130
2010 56 132
2011 62 125
2012 64 141
2013 66 142
2014 76 143
2015 81 141


While India’s continually dropping rank ought to raise some cause for worry, it is interesting to note that the Report refers to India as an “Innovation Achiever”  a term they use to describe economies that are performing at least 10% better than their peers for their level of GDP. India also is ranked 3rd for “Innovation Quality” amongst Middle Income Countries, behind China and Brazil.

While I haven’t yet looked at the Report in depth, it promises to be an interesting study. Those interested in viewing the full report can see it here: PDF. There is also a shorter infographic here for those interested: PDF.

I’ve only taken a cursory glance at the report but I found it interesting to see that there isn’t much emphasis on IPRs through the report. Readers who’ve had a chance to look at it in more depth, please feel free to chip in on what they think of the Report, its indicators and its methodology!

View our posts on the previous GII reports: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.


  1. ipenthusiast

    The Global Innovation Index has some very puzzling components. What do applied tariffs have to do with the ability of a country to innovate? Obviously all developed countries with low tariffs but very high non-tariff barriers will rank at the top. Female employees with advanced degrees is another curiosity- what is this some kind of gender report? Similarly wikipedia monthly edits, video uploads on youtube?! All this seems to just give a rank advantage to developed countries.
    Another issue is non-availabilty of data. India boasts of the highest number of science and engineering graduates, GII quotes n/a for this data. Similarly for the female employees bit I just mentioned.
    Thirdly, 9 indicators in the creative outputs area are per million population of 16-69 years. Obviously, young countries with large populations will suffer badly in rankings although they may have done very well otherwise in those areas.
    The political stability component is supposed to capture perceptions of the likelihood that the government will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means, including politically motivated violence and terrorism. India ranks an astonishing 124 out of 141 here. That’s laughable.
    There are several other components which are prima facie loaded in favour of rich countries.
    The conclusion I draw is that GII hasn’t got much to do with the quality/capacity of a country to innovate. No need to feel bad that we rank 81st or whatever. This is just another one of those churnouts from the international index industry.


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