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“Building interactive systems reflects supportive innovation policy”

In his valedictory address during the CPP conference on Public Policy & Management, Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan talks about Indian innovation policies and their key drivers

24 August, 2023, Bengaluru: After a series of expert talks, academic sessions, topical policy debates, workshops, panel discussions and practitioner-oriented discussions on contemporary topics on public policy and management, the third day of the XVIII International Conference on Public Policy & Management featured the valedictory address by Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director, IIM Bangalore. The conference on Public Policy & Management was hosted from 22nd to 24th August 2023 by the Centre for Public Policy (CPP) at IIM Bangalore.

Prof. RT Krishnan’s talk titled: ‘Towards an Indian Innovation Policy’ detailed innovations at different levels, including industry and Government. He listed the leading innovations in India during 2011-2020. “Affordable vaccines to address public health, Aadhaar, UPI, Government e Marketplace (GeM), Aspirational District Program, Mylab test kits, Mangalayaan, the drug Saroglitazar, deep tech healthcare start-ups, Tejas Netwoks’ optical transmission system in the telecom space, etc. are among the top innovations in the last decade.”

Comparing these innovations with those made in the decade before that (during 2000 to 2010), he said the recent ones are on a more national scale. “They are related to creating platforms and public goods, use of digital and data, financial inclusion, etc. Healthcare has gained more importance with Covid being the main driver. There is a reduction in big-ticket, high visibility corporations, and start-ups are emerging as major innovators. The key enablers have been the digital backbone, volunteers creating platforms ensuring public access, Startup India and other Government intervention.”

He went on to explain policy implications. “End-to-end support for innovation, especially in healthcare and structured programs for technical development, are a few such examples. During Covid plenty of measures were taken which need to be sustained. Coordination will help build roadmaps and capacity.”

He further pointed out that supportive innovation policy will be in nature of creating interactive systems. “Coordination/collaboration between different players like Government, industry, R&D, etc. will be the key driver and funding can facilitate that kind of coordination.” 

Prof. Gopal Naik, Chairperson, Centre for Public Policy, IIMB, moderated the session and delivered the vote of thanks. He added, “Through forums like these, we strive to make research more useful and impactful. Through special sessions and intensive interactions with practitioners and academicians for inputs on needs for research, we have tried to identify how learnings can be incorporated in policy.”

This year’s event had kicked off with the pre-conference Prof. M. R. Krishnamurthy Memorial Lecture on, ‘Making Bangalore an Ecologically Smart City’, by Prof. Harini Nagendra, Director of the Azim Premji University Research Center, on 21st August 2023. 

The morning session on the first day of the conference included an address by Dr. Arvind Virmani, Member, NITI Aayog, during which he spoke on India’s goals for growth by year 2050, external threats and opportunities, domestic weaknesses and strengths, key new drivers of growth and expected outcomes, relative to the rest of the world. Prof. Trilochan Sastry, faculty of the Decision Sciences area of IIM Bangalore, delivered a talk on: ‘Association of Democratic Reforms’ efforts and achievements in strengthening Indian electoral process’, during the evening session of Day One of the conference. 

Prof. Pulak Ghosh, faculty of the Decision Sciences area of IIM Bangalore, offered a Researcher’s Perspective on ‘Making Policy Research Impactful’, during the evening session of the second day. Amarjeet Sinha, Former Rural Development Secretary, Government of India, provided the Practitioner’s Perspective on the same subject.

The CPP International Conference on Public Policy & Management is an interdisciplinary conference which draws scholars representing a diversity of perspectives on public policy issues and provides a forum for showcasing the latest developments in policy research and practice. The conference hosts academic sessions, topical policy debates, workshops, panel discussions and practitioner-oriented discussions on contemporary topics on public policy and management. The conference is ideal for academicians, students, research scholars, policy regulators, auditing and rating agencies, lawyers, NGO professionals and anyone with an interest in public policy. 

This year, the focus of the conference was on the themes of urban planning, inclusion, water resources and health. There were 132 full paper submissions, out of which 27 were selected for presentation, and seven tracks. To facilitate interaction between policy makers, implementors and researchers, two sessions were introduced this year – one with the policy makers and one with NGOs who have been instrumental in implementing educational services.