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Measuring India's technological competitiveness

23 September 2009

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World Economic Forum’s latest publication Global Competitiveness Report 2009–10 highlights the gaps between innovation and research in the Indian subcontinent. The document stresses the need for more technological readiness and penetration for holistic development.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010

Publisher: World Economic Forum, 2009.

The Report is a contribution to enhancing the understanding of the key factors determining economic growth and to explaining why some countries are more successful than others in raising income levels and opportunities for their respective populations.


It features a total of 133 economies, thus providing the most comprehensive assessment of its kind.

Switzerland tops the overall ranking followed by United States, with weakening in its financial markets and macroeconomic stability.

Singapore, Sweden and Denmark round out the top five. European economies continue to prevail in the top 10 with Finland, Germany and the Netherlands following suit.

India is placed thirty-fifth out of 133 countries behind China at 22 and Brazil at 28 for innovation capacity but fares better in the quality of its scientific research institutions.

Within South Asia, India is ranked first, followed by Sri Lanka ranked at 49 and Pakistan at 56, the report says.

The country fares better in quality of scientific research institutions, ranked at 25 ahead of China at 35 and Brazil at 41. India hosts some of the best universities in the world, and a number of Indian corporate giants have become major global players or even leaders in their fields".

These two key science indicators are part of a package of 12 development indicators that ranks countries according to a global competitiveness index (GCI).

The report highlights India's "reverse development pattern". The subcontinent has climbed up one place in the comparative growth ladder and "ranks an outstanding 28th in the most complex areas measured by the business sophistication and innovation sub-index ahead of several advanced economies”, but a wide gap between rural India and the rest of the country's thriving economic and technological hubs remains.

Computer and telephone penetration is also still low.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a large network of Indian business associations, released a report on India's information technology potential predicting the subcontinent will witness a five-fold rise to 75 million computers by 2010.

Sachin Pilot, India's minister for communication and information technology, told Connect-2009 — India's top ICT conference — that the government plans to network 5,000 research and 20,000 higher education institutions to share content and infrastructure. He said the project would be launched soon but was unable to confirm the date and allocated budget.

Source : SciDev

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