One way for a developing country to quickly meet the socio-economic standards of the developed world is to seamlessly integrate science and technology in prudent public policymaking that enables such standards. We study the antecedents of innovative thinking among public administrators through the ordered logit model. Data was collected from 218 public administrative leaders. Innovative thinking as a competency is not gendered. Age and the education background seem to affect innovative thinking marginally. We contribute to cementing our understanding of the individual-level antecedents affecting innovation as a competency for a complex context like India. Practical and policy implications of our findings include recruiting relatively young officers into service and providing foundational training or courses to officers from arts and law backgrounds, as they seemed to have slightly lower levels of innovative thinking.