The report assessed all 29 states and seven union territories in the country on seven factors that drive innovation.

Southern states ace NITI Aayog India Innovation Index among top ten in the countryImage for representation
news Governance Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 14:33

Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana found place among the top five states in the India Innovation Index as per NITI Aayog. The report, which was released on Thursday, put the five southern states -- Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana -- among the top ten big states in terms of innovation in the country. 

The report sought to assess each state and union territory in the country so as to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and assist in drawing up customised policy for them. For this purpose, the NITI Aayog divided the 29 states and seven union territories in India into three categories -- major states, northeast and hilly states, and union territories and city states (smaller states). The categorisation was aimed at grouping states that are comparable, together.

All of the five southern states were grouped in the ‘major states’ category.

For the purpose of assessment, the NITI Aayog zeroed in on five enablers (that which affect innovation in a state) and two performance indicators (output).

The five enablers of innovation are human capital, investment, knowledge workers, business environment, and safety and legal environment. The two indicators which measure the innovation output are knowledge output (in the form of number of patents filed from that state, number of scientific articles published etc.) and knowledge diffusion (volume of information technology experts from the state etc.). The Innovation Index is an aggregate score of all the seven factors of each state. 

NITI Aayog attributed the southern region doing better in most innovation indicators due to skewed concentration of educational institutions in southern India when compared with rest of India. However, when it came to the ‘safety and legal environment’ indicator, southern states ranked much lower than other states despite doing better in terms of business environment. The NITI Aayog report said that this might be due to better reporting of crime in the southern states in relation to rest of India, leading to more crimes being recorded here, pulling down the ranking significantly. 

While Delhi topped the India Innovation Index with a score of 42.98, Jharkhand came last with a score of 6.20. Among the major states, Karnataka topped the index with 35.65 points followed by Tamil Nadu with 32.98 points. NITI Aayog attributed this lead to Karnataka due to the prevalence of a large number of higher education institutions, research labs and “clusters of businesses that help drive innovation forward.”

While Telangana grabbed the fourth spot among the major states category, Kerala stood at the sixth place and Andhra Pradesh at the tenth place with 14.51 points. 

Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – in that order – were the top five states as far as ‘enablers of innovation’ category was concerned. Under the ‘performance output’ aspect, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Telangana grabbed the top four spots. 

Among the union territories and city states, Delhi grabbed the top spot due to a large concentration of educational and research establishments, and also because it is situated very close to the industrial towns of Noida and Gurugram. Chandigarh and Goa grabbed the second and third spots in this category. Among the northeast and hilly states, the top three spots were earned by Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. 

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