Indian government panel to report on innovation

A panel set up by India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, which is looking at how to increase innovation in the country, prepares its report for publication.

National Institution for Transforming India Aayog (Niti Aayog), a policy think-tank of India’s government, is finalising a report on ways to promote innovation in domestic companies and foster a better ecosystem, the Economic Times has reported.

Niti Aayog conducted the research through a panel of experts set up by finance minister Arun Jaitley in April 2015. The panel has been led by Tarun Khanna, an economic strategist and professor at Harvard Business School.

The panel is expected to recommend the government looks at setting up a cash prize of up to Rs 300m ($4.6m) for entrepreneurs and for companies to set aside 1% of corporate profits for out-of-the-box thinking.

The cash prizes will take the form of time-bound “grand challenges”, with the money being claimable by an entrepreneur if they achieve a specific target within a set time frame. The panel suggests that these challenges be vetted by the ministries relating to the field of the challenge.

The panel also advises that the 1% of profits held back by companies be used for research and development at university laboratories or for industry-university collaborations.

Other ideas planned to be proposed include a percentage of corporate profits being used to create venture capital funds and all contracts with foreign defence companies above $5bn having a clause that states 5% of the contract's value go to creating research-focused universities.

See more from this Government Report: India

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