8   The Future of Indian Innovation

The time has come for Indian science to once again think big; think out of the box; and think ahead of the times. This year . . . we also usher in the “Decade of Innovation.”

Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, 2011 Indian Science Conference Opening Address

BACK IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY, when China was the world’s largest economy and its seagoing expertise was substantially ahead of Europe’s, the Asian country pioneered new methods of sailing that made it possible for ships to cross oceans more easily. But Europe rather than China was the main beneficiary of these advances, because the geographical fact that Western Europe was only three thousand miles from America’s east coast whereas China was eight ...

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