This chapter has two main sections. The first one deals with the conditions of emergence of the Indian state and the Indian National System of Innovation (NSI), mainly analysing the last period of the colonial rule, particularly after the First World War. The next one characterises the Indian statebuilding and the NSI evolution and configuration between independence in 1947 and the external crises of 1989–1990, dividing it into three sub-phases: Nehru’s government, Indira Gandhi’s first phase, and the 1980s, first led by Indira Gandhi and then by her son, Rajiv Gandhi. The main objective of the chapter is to contextualise the emergence of the Indian state with a focus on the NSI and their different configurations since the Indian independence to the 1980s, during the Cold War. The main contribution of this chapter is to present an articulated narrative of the conditions of emergence and main configurations of the Indian state and its NSI.