The NITI Aayog released the second edition of ‘India Innovation Index 2020’ on 20th January 2021, in collaboration with the Institute for Competitiveness. The objective of the report is to ‘develop a comprehensive tool for benchmarking the innovation ecosystem of the country’. The report provides a ranking of states and UTs as well as highlights their strengths and weaknesses relative to similar states. The Index measures innovation inputs through ‘Enablers’ and innovation output through ‘Performance’.
The Innovation Index report raises concerns about the GoAP’s intent regarding investments. Andhra Pradesh scored a dismal 3.07 out of 100 in the indicator for FDI inflows. While India recorded the highest ever total of FDI in 2020, Andhra Pradesh accounted for only 0.45% of the total FDI inflow in 2019-20.
Another indicator in the report is ‘knowledge output’, where Andhra Pradesh stood 16th out of 17 states and a score of 9.35 out of 100. Maharashtra ranked first with a score of 34.57. Andhra Pradesh scored 0.37 for ‘Grassroot innovations’, 7.5 for ‘Presence of startups’, and 0.31 for ‘New businesses registered’. Knowledge output refers to the commercialization of intellectual property, handicraft, or high-tech manufacturing exports. Additionally, for ‘knowledge diffusion’, Andhra Pradesh underperformed with respect to the indicator on ‘citations’ compared to other states and scored 30.84. Knowledge diffusion reflects the degree to which a state can develop and apply knowledge to increase the value-added components in products and services, and help move the state towards an innovation-driven economy.
The report indicated that innovation scores show a positive correlation with the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), meaning higher economic growth leads to more innovation and vice versa. Innovation is one of the key elements for a prosperous economy. The current government has underperformed in a majority of innovation indicators. While the state does not provide adequate support or environment for innovation, it will lead to a decline in entrepreneurial spirit among the people of Andhra Pradesh, and in turn wealth creation.