India improved its rank by five places to stand at 52 in an index of the world's most innovative economies, and maintained its position as the top exporter of IT services, according to a report released on Wednesday.
The country's three cities, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and New Delhi, also featured in the world's top 100 science and technology clusters, according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2019.
The GII ranks 129 economies based on 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending, and scientific and technical publications.
Switzerland retained its number-one spot on the GII rankings. It was followed by Sweden, the US, the Netherlands, the UK, Finland, Denmark, Singapore, Germany, and Israel in the top 10 places.
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal released the Global Innovation Index (GII) rankings here.
Goyal said that the government is committed to further improving the ranking as innovation is key for the country's economic growth. "I assure you that going forward, the country will not rest until we achieve the target of coming in the top 25th and then in top 10th in the world."
India maintained its top place in the Central and Southern Asia region.
The country improved its position the most in certain pillars including labour productivity growth, knowledge and technology outputs, intellectual property related variables. It also witnessed improvement in institutions, human capital and research, and market sophistication indicators.
Notable gains were also found in political and operational stability where a new indicator is used this year and in ease of starting a business.
It, however, lagged logistics performance and females employed with advanced degrees. "The largest drops are found in logistics performance, females employed with advanced degrees, and printing and other media," the report said.
DPIIT Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said that the government is working to improve its intellectual property rights (IPR) regime.
"We are increasing manpower, simplifying procedures and using technology to significantly reduce the time for examination of applications," Abhishek said.
The GII rankings are published annually by Cornell University, INSEAD and the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and GII Knowledge Partners. Industry body CII has been the GII knowledge partner since 2009.
Speaking at the function, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said that the GII shows that countries that prioritise innovation in their policies have seen significant increases in their rankings.
"The rise in the GII by economic powerhouses like China and India have transformed the geography of innovation and this reflects deliberate policy action to promote innovation," he said.
Further, the report stated that despite signs of slowing economic growth, innovation continues to blossom, particularly in Asia, but pressures are looming from trade disruptions and protectionism.
"Most top science and technology clusters are in the US, China, and Germany, whlie Brazil, India, Iran, Russia, and Turkey also feature in the top 100 list," it said.
In Central and South Asia, Iran ranked 61st and Kazakhstan at 79th. Pakistan ranked at 105th.
India remained at the top in the region and moved up to the fourth position in the GII rankings among lower-middle-income economies. India has also outperformed on innovation relative to its GDP per capita for nine years in a row.
"The country confirms its rank among the top 50 economies in two pillars Market sophistication (33rd) and Knowledge and technology outputs (32nd) with the latter being the pillar in which India ranks the highest this year," it said.
In Global R&D companies, India reached the 15th spot as the second middle-income economy.
"In this pillar, the indicator graduates in science and engineering (7th) remains a relative strength for the country. Thanks to the quality of its top 3 universities IITs (Delhi and Bombay) and the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, India achieves a relatively strong ranking in the indicator quality of universities (21st)," the report added.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)