Business and Development Sector Reports

Report to the People 2011 : National Innovation Council of India

Last fortnight , the National Innovation council released it’s report titled Report to the People 2011. The release of the report was accompanied with the announcement of Rs.100 Crore being sanctioned to set-up the India Inclusive Innovation Fund and Rs. 1200 Crore being allocated for a National Knowledge Network to Connect All Major National Institutions. The full report is given below :

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Download Report to the People 2011

at the link below

Report to the people-2011-pdf-58-pages

Contents of Report to the People 2011

  • Foreword
  • Executive Summary
  • Financing Innovation: The India Inclusive Innovation Fund
  • Increasing Skills, Productivity and Competitiveness of Industry:Industry Innovation Clusters
  • Nurturing Innovation through Action in Education: Innovation Scholarships, National Knowledge Network and Meta University
  • Connecting People for Innovation: Rural Broadband in 250,000 Panchayats
  • Communication and Advocacy for Innovation: National Innovation Portal
  • Institutional Framework for Promoting Innovation: State and Sectoral Innovation Councils
  • Complementary Action by Multiple Agencies of Government to Facilitate Innovation
  • Challenge Funds for Innovation
  • Partnering for Innovation: Collaboration and Networks
  • National Innovation Council: Members
  • Annexures

Foreword of Report to the People 2011

Realising that innovation is the engine for national and global growth, employment, competitiveness and sharing of opportunities in the 21st century, the Government of India has declared 2010-2020 as the ‘Decade of Innovation’. To prepare a roadmap for innovation
in the country, and formulate and implement a model of inclusive innovation, the Prime Minister constituted the National Innovation Council (NInC) in September 2010. The National Innovation Council began its work in November 2010 and is happy to present its first Report to the People which provides an overview of the activities and initiatives of the Council.

While India has a significant legacy of innovation evidenced in its imagining the “city”, the earliest “university” and path-breaking ideas in mathematics, there has been a disjuncture in the recent past in its quest for knowledge and failures in its education system to sustain the spirit of innovation. India has unique challenges and large unmet needs across diverse areas such as health, education, skills, agriculture, urban and rural development, energy and so on. The country also has significant challenges of exclusion and inequitable access due to multiple deprivations of class, caste and gender – all of which require innovative approaches and solutions, and looking beyond the conventional way of doing things.

Innovation is going to be central to providing answers to the most pressing challenges in our country and for creating opportunity structures for sharing the benefits of the emerging knowledge economy and knowledge society. India is also uniquely poised to reap the advantages provided by a nation of a billion connected people, with over 800 million mobile phones, and global leadership in Information and Communication Technology and software. This connectivity as well as ICT talent is changing the nature of processes, business, industry, governance, education and delivery systems: and our innovation thinking has to leverage the unprecedented advantages provided by this changing landscape of connectivity, networks, openness, technology and collaboration.

However, the challenge before India is to develop an inclusive model of innovation that will move the country to become not merely a knowledge-producing economy but a knowledge-sharing society that will have relevance to many parts of the world. This is a challenge that the National Innovation Council has taken upon itself. In doing so, it seeks to reclaim India legacy in global thought leadership.

Innovations in the last two centuries have been driven by the needs of the developed world. India has continuing challenges arising from unmet needs in critical areas like health, education, employment and economic and social wellbeing. Its complex challenges cannot be addressed through incremental approaches. Instead it calls for massive change – in fact, tectonic shifts that only innovation can enable. Innovation for India and many such developing countries is therefore not just a need but an imperative.

Our efforts at NInC have been aimed at developing an inclusive innovation strategy geared towards creating ‘more from less for more’. India needs more ‘frugal, distributed, affordable’ innovation that produces more ‘frugal cost’ products and services that are affordable by people at low levels of income without compromising the safety, efficiency, and utility of such products. The Indian approach could also provide an innovation model for developing countries across the globe confronting similar challenges of inclusion.

NInC is focused on encouraging and facilitating the creation of an Indian Model of Innovation by looking at five key parameters: Platform, Inclusion, Eco-system, Drivers and Discourse. The aim is to re-define innovations to go beyond formal R&D parameters and look at innovation as a broader concept that breaks sectoral silos and moves beyond a high-tech, product-based approach to include organisational, process and service innovation. The core idea is to innovate to produce affordable and qualitative solutions that address the needs of people at the Bottom of the Pyramid, eliminate disparity and focus on an inclusive growth model. NInC’s initiatives are also aimed at fostering an innovation eco-system across domains and sectors to strengthen entrepreneurship and growth, and to facilitate the birth of new ideas. While conceptualising these initiatives, the key drivers will be parameters of sustainability, affordability, durability, quality, global competitiveness and local needs. Finally, through its various initiatives, NInC will aim to expand the space for disruptive thinking, dialogue and discourse on innovation.

India, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh repeatedly says, is a global experiment at promoting economic development along with political democracy for a billion plus people. Innovation holds the capacity to both accelerate economic development through cheaper and affordable products and services, but also share social opportunity. In doing so it can become the “tide that lifts all boats”, an orbit-changer and help radicalise its democracy to unleash the energies of over a billion people. This in turn can co-create a more prosperous, more informed, more humane and more equal society.

The National Innovation Council sees itself as a catalyst in this effort to break barriers that constrain us and enable us to see and seize new opportunities. To achieve this objective it is working with multiple agencies in Union and State governments, academia, professional groups, industry and collectives of communities. The Report presents an overview of the first year of our work in this direction. In this endeavor the support and commitment of all the members of the National Innovation Council, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet Secretariat and all the Ministries concerned has been critical.

Some key initiatives that NInC has focused on in the past year include:

(a) Developing a framework to finance innovation for the Bottom of the Pyramid through the creation of an India Inclusive Innovation Fund;

(b) Creating an eco-system for seeding innovations in regional industry with a focus on MSMEs, by facilitating the creation of Industry Innovation Clusters to drive job creation and productivity;

(c) Leveraging our demographic dividend for innovation by creating a connected India through the spread of rural broadband in two years time to all 250,000 panchayats;

(d) Nurturing innovation in the education system through action in schools and colleges by intervening in curriculum, talent-spotting of innovators among students and award of Innovation Fellowships, creation of a Meta University, as a global first, that rides on the National Knowledge Network to promote multi-disciplinary learning, facilitating the creation of innovation ecosystems at Universities through University Innovation Clusters;

(e) Promoting an innovation culture through action in areas of communication and advocacy through an Innovation Portal and
working through mass media organisations;

(f) Creating an institutional framework for innovations in Government by facilitating the setting up of State Innovation Councils in each State, and Sectoral Innovation Councils aligned to Union Government Ministries;

(g) Promotion of projects that create an innovation dividend like the setting up of a Rabindranath Tagore Knowledge City in Kolkata, setting up twenty Innovation Design Centres co-located in existing institutes;

(h) Setting challenges for the Indian imagination to come up with solutions, especially those that relate to inclusive innovation;

(i) Promoting co-creation and sharing of knowledge through Global Knowledge Partnerships, beginning with a Global Roundtable on Innovations for sharing ideas. By creating a national level Council focused on innovation, we have attempted to mainstream the dialogue on innovation and taken the first step in creating an innovation mindset in the country as well as opportunities for the billion plus people. However, it is important to emphasise that innovation is a journey and our task is just beginning. The Government has demonstrated that it can bring in radical change through rights-based initiatives such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Right to Information, Right to Education, Aadhar or the Unique Identification Programme, and the proposed Food Security Act. We especially need to create mechanisms of collaboration among Government, industry, R&D institutions, academia and the community at large to drive long-term transformation through innovation.

The idea is to encourage, inspire and empower people to think, discover, deliberate, innovate and implement novel solutions at the local and national level to expedite the process of development for the benefit of the nation. We feel that such an innovation movement, with the involvement and commitment of the people at all levels, would not only be critical for solving challenges of inclusion in our society, but set India on the path of inclusive growth and sustainable development.

Sam Pitroda

Chairman, National Innovation Council

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