Success of a country will depend upon capital it has and the capital it can generate. Capital is mostly generated by innovation. Whenever innovation comes down or the countries stop investing in education and research the result shows directly on their economy. Innovation is the hallmark of developed nations. The Global Innovation Index is a barometer of the countries wealth, knowledge and competitiveness.
As always the United States stood number one followed by Germany and Sweden. No surprises there. The countries listed in the top 10 are the developed nations. Which again tells us why they are developed nations. Credit crunch or the global contagion has its root in innovation. In fact, it was innovated in US. I am referring to the credit default swaps which took the whole markets down with it.Â It is also the only American export which had a broader reach than Coca Cola.
List of the top 10 innovative countries :
- South Korea
- The Netherlands
The methodology involves rating the countries on 5 inputs for getting 3 outputs. Based on the score of the 3 outputs the ranking of the countries are decided. The Inputs and outputs are classified even further to a more granular level which can be found here.
- Institutions and policy
- Human capability
- Research sophistication
- Business market and capital
India is ranked 41 for 2008. It was ranked 23 in 2007. The reason for such a drastic drop is introduction of few additional parameters. Along with that few smaller countries has done remarkably well when compared with India. China was ranked slightly above India at 37.
To be fair to India, it has started to see the fruits of global economy only recently. New India or India 2.0 is only 17 years old if we start counting from the golden summer of 1991. Since then India grappled with its uncertain polity and expanding economy remarkably well. Many say that India is a great follower but never a leader. There is no real innovation coming out of India other than the services and body shopping.
I disagree. You start with small and move your way up the value chain. There are lot of things which are happening in India. Be it Chandrayan or the Pentium chip or the Nano car, these things couldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for innovation. But are these enough to keep a country going whose population is 1.2 billion? May be not. But that is the cost you pay for running such a big country. India cannot move with Chinese aggression or precision. Yet India moves.
The only real job which I know of while growing up is that of a teacher, banker, railway employee or if you aim high IAS. But look what we have now. Financial advisor or a fund manger is the most an alien subject. It is one of the respected and highly paid job now. You got Software Engineers, wealth managers and lotÂ of other things which were almost unheard of in the 90’s. These new jobs and new economy has created knowledge, made people competitive and pulled many people out of poverty.
Indian government is all set to table the National Innovation BillÂ which will make private investment easier for research and development. The government also plans to launch a $183 million World Bank-funded programme to accelerate innovation. As Sam Pitroda says – these things take time. It took 20 odd years from setting up a STD-PCO to the giving mobiles to 320 million people. It might not take 20 more years to put something truly Indian which the whole world uses but these things take time.
Until then, India might slip in the short-term, but in the long run India gains.
*Image source : Vermin Inc via flickr