Insights Current Affairs

Fact Box: Global Innovation Index 2017

In the Global Innovation Index 2017, co-authored by Cornell University, INSEAD and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), India has moved up 6 places to reach 60th place among 130 countries emerging as the top-ranked economy in Central and South Asia.

This is the 10th edition of the Global Innovation Index 2017 (GII).

Salient Highlights

Top 10 most Innovative countries: Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the US, the UK, Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Germany and Ireland. Switzerland leads the rankings for the 7th consecutive year.

The index is dominated by high-income economies which took 24 of the top 25 spots except for China which is ranked at 22nd spot.

Among India’s neighbours, Sri Lanka has managed to bag 90th spot and Nepal stood at 109th place. Pakistan has been ranked as 113th followed by Bangladesh at 114.

BRICS countries: Brazil (69), Russia (45), China (22), South Africa (57).

India  

India has made improvements in the rankings after five continuous years of decline in the ranking. The report has observed that India’s rise in innovation has benefitted its neighbouring countries.

The index has highlighted the continuous improvement of India in terms of investment, tertiary education, quality of its publications and universities, ICT service exports etc.

Task Force on Innovation

To assess India’s position on the innovation front, the Ministry of Commerce and Industries had set up a task force on innovation. The task force comprising of government officials and experts from private organisations & academia, has recently come up with its report that detailed specific measures to improve India’s ranking in GII.

GII

GII surveys are conducted every year which analyses 130 economies and aims to capture the multi-dimensional facets of innovation. The index makes use of a dozen parameters ranging from patent filings to education spending and offers the decision makers a high-level look at the innovative activity which are drivers of economic and social growth. GII, over the last few years has established itself as a leading reference on innovation.

World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is the global body for promotion and protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Fact Box: Tele-Law Initiative

The Ministry of Law and Justice has launched the ‘Tele-Law’ initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to provide legal aid services to the marginalized communities and citizens living in rural areas through the Common Service Centres (CSC) at the panchayat level, spread across the country.

Salient Highlights

‘Tele Law initiative would help people to seek legal advice from lawyers with the help of video conferencing facility available at the Common Service Centres (CSC). Apart from the lawyers, law school clinics, District Legal Service Authorities, voluntary service providers and Non-Government Organisations working on legal aid and empowerment can also be connected through the CSCs.

In the initial phase, the initiative will be tested as a pilot project across 500 Common Service Centres (CSC) in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In this phase, challenges to the initiative would be identified and necessary corrections would be made and would eventually be rolled out across the country in a phased manner.

A new portal called ‘Tele Law’ will be made available across the CSC network to connect the citizens to legal service providers with the help of technology-enabled platforms. The initiative would strengthen access to justice for the marginalized communities.

The government will also put in place a robust monitoring and evaluation system to assess the quality of the legal advice delivered to the people.

Under the initiative, a Para Legal Volunteer (PLV), would be employed in each CSC. The volunteer would serve as the first point of contact for the marginalized communities in the rural areas who will help them understand the legal issues, explain the advice given by lawyers and assist in further action as per the advice of the lawyer.

Around 1000 women Para Legal Volunteers will also be trained under this initiative to provide legal aid services through the CSCs. This is expected to promote women entrepreneurship and empowerment.

Further, the National Legal Service Authority (NALSA) will also provide a panel of lawyers who will provide advice from the state capitals to the applicants in the CSCs through video conferencing.

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