The purpose of the survey is to provide insights into how Indian manufacturing enterprises are undertaking Innovation and Technology Management to meet competition related challenges. The survey is aimed at small, medium and large firms (based on turnover) across ten sectors. Preliminary findings from this dataset were presented at the Asia Pacific Innovation Conference hosted by the Delhi School of Economics in December 2018.

We intend to expand this dataset by conducting this survey every two years, applying academic rigour to create high quality panel data.

Our aim is to make this dataset available to as many researchers who in turn, will contribute to existing research on Indian manufacturing.


India lags behind in healthcare indicators compared to most developing nations. Our poor performance has been attributed to exorbitant costs of private healthcare, poor quality of public alternatives, lack of accessibility and a dearth of trained healthcare professionals.A number of multi-national as well as domestic companies in India have begun manufacturing "frugal" products that are targeted at addressing the healthcare needs of emerging economies like India.

This study aims to identify the new technologies and obtain empirical evidence on the effectiveness of these products on the ground. The study also aims to uncover ways to create an effective ecosystem to promote affordable healthcare through the use of technology. The recommendations could also include policy for development of healthcare technologies, methodological aspects for the measurement of outcomes and the complementarity between higher education and the healthcare sector.

Phase one - Needs Assessment

Along with the KEM Hospital Research Centre, Pune, we conducted this study to evaluate the effectiveness of ‘frugal’ innovations in addressing healthcare challenges faced by India. We conducted a needs assessment to identify the most common ailments in and around Pune district. We studied 7 medical devices to understand how a case could be made to developing an innovative ecosystem for ‘frugal’ healthcare technology.

Providing an impetus to innovation through CSR spending

This policy brief begins with an overview of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) spending in India between 2015 and 2019 across different sectors and states. In late 2019, the scope of CSR was widened to also consider contributions to public research institutions. While considering the current status of CSR spending on research and technology which currently is only about 0.2 percent of the total CSR spending, the brief also covers the state-wise distribution of public funded R&D institutions, incubators, institutes in top 100 and institutes of national importance which can potentially absorb the CSR spending directed towards research and technology. We observe that the states that are among the top recipients of aggregate CSR funds are also endowed with a high number of these public institutions. It is thus likely that these very states will continue to benefit from any increased CSR spending towards research and technology. Policymakers need to not only encourage increased CSR spending towards research and technology, but also ensure an expanded reach of this increased funding to benefit several other states as well. There is scope for CSR spending towards research and technology to encourage more collaborations between industry and public institutions.
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A case for technological deepening in India’s healthcare sector

We examine the scope for increased public and private R&D expenditure in the healthcare sector in India. We then make a case for increased spend in the healthcare equipment and services sector that can lead to increased technological deepening in Indian healthcare as well as improve the affordability and accessibility of healthcare in India.
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Indian IT industry : Future competitiveness demands increased R&D spending

We compare Indian software firms with their global counterparts and look at how increased R&D expenditure can help Indian software firms to move up the value chain and become globally competetive.
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When we compare India's share of S&E doctoral degrees as a percent of total PhDs granted, with that of select global economies, we find that India compares well with Switzerland, performs better than Germany, Japan and Korea and lags behind the United States, China and Taiwan.
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Both the recent policies on innovation, the Science and Technology Policy of 2003 and the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy of 2013, emphasized the importance of R&D by private sector enterprises to achieve the national goal of raising Gross Expenditure on Domestic R&D (GERD) to at least 2 per cent of the country's GDP. If India is to emerge a major manufacturing hub, a broad based increase in investments in R&D is essential to both absorb imported technologies and indeed in developing local technological capabilities.

The Indian government's tax incentive for R&D has seen a reduction in the weighted deduction amount from 200 percent to 150 percent starting April 2017. From fiscal year 2020-21, the weighted deduction on R&D expenditure will be further lowered to 100 percent. Prior to the recent Union Budget announcement on the weighted deduction policy, there had been a genuine concern that the authorities would do away with the policy entirely. In that context, the decision to lower the weighted deduction amount in a phased manner has definitely been welcomed by many in Industry. There will always be questions about the decision and whether it was the right one. Based on our preliminary analysis we find that having a weighted deduction policy appears to benefit firms although the effect is mainly for small and medium sized firms. We argue that going forward it may be worthwhile to tailor the policy to these firms.
Download PDF EPW Commentary : "Is the Government Justified in Reducing R&D Tax Incentives?"
Download PDF Weighted deductions for in-house R&D: Does it benefit small and medium firms more?

India's National Innovation System

In this paper, written as a chapter for Dr. Rakesh Mohan's book 'India Transformed: 25 Years of Economic Reforms', Dr. Naushad Forbes argues that India's innovation system is half-formed, rather than transformed. He focuses on learning and R&D, leaving discussion of changes in the higher education system, trade policy, business, and manufacturing to the specialized chapters in this book. He end with a discussion of what we must do to move from this half-formed National Innovation System to one that is transformed. In particular, he argues that India's unusual pattern of specialization in skill-intensive and capital-intensive manufacturing demands much more investment in innovation than currently happens.
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