2018 K.R. Narayanan Oration

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Rising inequality is a matter of global concern, with increasing social disharmony being its visibly disturbing consequence. Dismantling income inequality will take decades. Can we do the magic of achieving equality of access, or at least access to the essentials of life, despite income inequality? The National Innovation Foundation in India proposes that ASSURED innovation is the way to do it.

ASSURED stands for A (Affordable), S (Scalable), S (Sustainable), U (User friendly), R (Rapid), E (Excellent) and D (Distinctive). We show how a game-changing combination of policy innovation with technological and non-technological innovations can achieve ASSURED innovation. We illustrate some recent ASSURED innovations which had high impact, done by government and also by industry, explaining how they were driven by a strong sense of purpose backed up by bold policy and imaginative disruption.

Dr R A Mashelkar is National Research Professor, Chairman of India's National Innovation Foundation and President of Global Research Alliance, a network of major global publicly funded research and development institutes with around 60,000 scientists. Dr Mashelkar has done pathbreaking research in polymer science and engineering. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS); Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science and US National Academy of Engineering; Associate Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK; Foreign Fellow of the Australian Technological Science and Engineering Academy; Corresponding Member of the Australian Academy of Sciences; and Fellow of the US National Academy of Inventors. Dr Mashelkar has played a critical role in shaping India's Science and Technology policies and also in influencing global thinking on inclusive innovation through his mantra of 'more from less for more'. He was a member of the Indian PM's Scientific Advisory Council for over three decades.

The K R Narayanan Oration Series is presented by the Australia South Asia Research Centre, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, Crawford School of Public Policy. We would like to acknowledge the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for this series.