Saturday, October 06, 2007

World Bank says continued growth in India contingent on innovation

India to grow faster if firms innovate - Reuters
India lags in patent race - Telegraph

India requires innovations in technology and education to incite rapid growth; Mark dutz, senior economist at the World Bank, commented that India needs to facilitate competition and increase skill development of its workforce while bolstering efforts at research and development if it is going to keep pace with its competition: other developing countries. China, Mexico and Russia all currently outpace India in terms of innovation and productivity levels.

Yet, if India effectively implemented new strategies, it could increase its economic output fives times over. Unfortunately, much work is to be done; for example, experts say the country would require 2.3 million new highly-trained professionals in just 3 short yeas in order for its institutions of higher education to maintain parity with its competition.

Currently, the most salient weakness in India’s economy is the lack of talent – there is growth of opportunity, but an inadequate supply of qualified persons who can take advantage. Unfortunately, if such shortages persist, the economy could stagnate, and India could lose its appeal to foreign firms that currently seek it out as a place for investment.

Meanwhile, while the country is currently regarded as a hub for technological development, foreign corporations are largely responsible for that development: a small percentage of endemic firms and individuals contribute to research and development in the region. For instance, of the top 50 applicants for patents in India, 44 were foreign firms, while only six were Indian firms, and only two of the six were private Indian firms. Thus, India could do much to fortify its position if only it would take the reigns of innovation.

Question: is education the best means of catalyzing innovation in India?

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