It is not uncommon these days to see India referred to as an ‘innovating developing country’ and people speaking about the ‘Indian innovation system’. Innovation has become popular within the scientific establishment and is often seen as ‘the way’ for a country like India spurred by recent success and confidence from the IT and BT booms. The Innovation Systems concept started by an adoption of the OECD studies in the late nineties and was set in the developed world. This concept has recently been extended to agriculture and developing countries. Within India, some of the key scientific organisations such as the CSIR and ICAR are seeking to adapt these ideas. The World Bank has used Mashelkar’s report on the Indian innovation system to bring about changes in the ICAR. The new policy of the Bank to support Indian agriculture has a very strong innovation focus, the National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) being reinvented as the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP). Grassroots innovation, a concept popularised by Anil Gupta, now has official recognition with CSIR being an active promoter of the National Innovation Foundation and President Kalam supporting a movement for creativity at the grassroots and highlighting the need to develop an efficient innovation system in India.
Dissent and Innovation: Science and Civil Society in India
by C. Shambu Prasad, Xavier Institute of Management, 01 January, 2005