Saturday, September 18, 2010

National Innovation Council: Its Purpose

It took 3 years between declaration and formalisation – that’s fine. The National Innovation Agenda needs to be in place before the decade is over. At the beginning of the 11th five year plan in 2007, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared the decade beyond as the decade of innovation and infrastructure.

In August 2010, The Prime Minister approved the setting up of the National Innovation Council.  In September  2010, newly appointed head of the National Innovation Council, Sam Pitroda, announced the setting up of a $ 1 bn fund to promote new ideas for inclusive development and innovation in the country. Now the NIC is formulating among other things a roadmap for the next decade. It runs the risk of not formulating an inspirational roadmap before the decade is over.

Picture Source: Famous Scientist Blog

The functioning of an apex body to manage national innovation is an entire chapter titled “Formalising innovation through a national innovation system” in India’s Innovation Blueprint.  What the Council states as its mandate is to evolve an Indian model of innovation focusing on inclusive growth and creating an appropriate ecosystem conducive to fostering inclusive innovation. It will delineate appropriate policy initiatives within the government required to spur innovation. This is a leaf off the book. Literally.  

So what should the NIC do?
1. Define and implement the National Innovation System (NIS)
2. Play an apex role in the NIS
3. Govern at least three minimum layers of policies   

If you enjoyed reading this, consider buying India's Innovation Blueprint


  1. Transforming system and making an impact in a short period has been an issue to all Think Tanks in India. Is it because they have no budget to implement their recommendations?

  2. Thanks Dr Rao for your comments. I am inclined to believe that budgets cannot always be a bottleneck (please see a recent post

    I believe leadership and execution are critical.