In news : As per UNCTAD’s report, India was the biggest ‘overperformer’ in frontier technologies among developing countries
About the report
- Report by: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
- It analysed the progress of countries in using frontier technologies, considering their national capacities related to physical investment, human capital and technological effort.
Key findings of the report
- According to the country-readiness index released by the UNCTAD, India was the biggest ‘overperformer’ in frontier technologies than the country’s per capita GDP
- As per the report, not only India, but several developing countries showed stronger capabilities to use and adapt frontier technologies above their GDPs, the report highlighted.
- India’s rank: Country’s actual index ranking was 43, while the estimated one based on per capita income was 108. This meant that India overperformed other countries by 65 ranking positions.
- India was followed by the Philippines, which overperformed by 57 ranking positions.
Performance of other countries
- Overperforming countries relative to per capita GDP:
- But Most of the 158 countries assessed were lagging behind.
- The Philippines has a high ranking for industry because of high levels of foreign direct investment in high-technology manufacturing, especially electronics.
- Technological change and inequality through the ages:
- As per the report, both India and China performed well in research and development(Because-availability of qualified and highly skilled human resources)
- The report highlighted that the United States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom were “best prepared” for frontier technologies
- According to the report, Most of the best-prepared countries are from Europe, except the Republic of Korea, Singapore and the United States. Some transition economies, such as Russia, also perform well on the index.
Suggestions of the report:
- The report urges all developing nations to prepare for a period of deep and rapid technological change that will profoundly affect markets and societies.
- All countries will need to pursue science, technology and innovation policies appropriate to their development stage and economic, social and environmental conditions.
- This requires strengthening and aligning Science, Technology and Innovation systems and industrial policies, building digital skills among students and the workforce, and closing digital divides.
- Governments should also enhance social protection and ease workforce transitions to deal with the potential negative consequences of frontier technologies on the job market.
- The report also calls for strengthened international cooperation to build innovation capacities in developing countries, facilitate technology transfer, increase women’s participation in digital sectors, conduct technological assessments and promote an inclusive debate on the impact of frontier technologies on sustainable development.