NITI Aayog with Institute for Competitiveness as the knowledge partner released the India Innovation Index (III) 2019. 

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 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.

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.

Release of National Innovation Index by NITI aayog.

The index was released in the presence of Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science; Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology and Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, AYUSH.

The study examines the innovation ecosystem of Indian states and union territories. 

Dr. Rajiv Kumar expressed hope that “the India Innovation Index would create synergies between different stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem and India would shift to competitive good governance.”

The aim is to create a holistic tool which can be used by policymakers across the country to identify the challenges to be addressed and strengths to build on when designing the economic growth policies for their regions.

Shri Amitabh Kant added that “India has a unique opportunity among its myriad challenges to become the innovation leader in the world.”

The states have been bifurcated into three categories: major states, north-east, and hill states, and union territories/city states/small states.

Shri Ashutosh Sharma said, “The index is a great beginning to improve the environment of innovation in the country as it focuses on both the input and output components of the idea.”


The study is an outcome of extensive research and analysis, which looks holistically at the innovation landscape of India by examining the innovation capabilities and performance of Indian states and union territories.

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.

It 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 factors

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

The Performance dimension captures benefits that a nation derives from the inputs, divided in two pillars:

(6) Knowledge Output and (7) Knowledge Diffusion.

The index presents the latest findings and highlights the regional catalysts and caveats for promoting innovation readiness.

The Report offers a comprehensive snapshot of the innovation ecosystem of 29 states and seven union territories.

It also includes a section on state profiles covering 33 indicators looking at the different facets of innovation in India.

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.

What can be learned from National Innovation Index at national level ?

The broad level learnings and some policy imperatives at the national level include:-

1-increasing the spending on research and development,

2-improving the capability of top rung educational institutions in the country to produce greater innovation outputs.

3-There is a need for greater coordination and collaboration between the industry and educational institutions for enhancing innovation capability.

4- A collaborative platform consisting of all the stakeholders of innovation – innovators, researchers, and investors from the industry should be developed.

This will help in strengthening the industry-academia linkages and will ease the process of technology transfer by providing a platform for innovators to showcase their inventions.

What can be learned from National Innovation Index at state level ?

At the state level, broad level key learning includes:-

1-Forming policies at the state level that seek to improve the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

2-Cluster development programs are also an area in need of greater coordination.

3-A more open collaborative approach is needed to be adopted by states.

4-The industrial policies at the state level should focus more on innovation.

5-All states need to adopt an uniform innovation policy.At present only a few policies exist for innovation even in the most innovative states and union territories.

Emergency Manager magazine regularly cover news related with innovation and research.We think that innovation should be given top priority to promote economic growth and ensure better life for Indians.

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