The liberalization of economic policies in the last two decades and intensifying market competition tend to be a cause of policy concern for the survival of SMEs in emerging economies like India. These SMEs account for the largest chunk of industrial units and employment in the national economy. Yet, most of them are competing with deeply inadequate resources, especially by means of weak technological capabilities. The present study has provided not only preliminary estimates on SME R&D investments in Indian manufacturing and their broad trends and patterns, but also contributed to the understanding of factors driving the SME in-house R&D activities. It shows that Indian SMEs continue to be vulnerable among all firms as they have the lowest incidence of doing in-house R&D and their R&D intensities have fallen in the last decade. Based on the results from three-step Censored Quantile Regression, this study has suggested a set of useful policy implications for enhancing SME R&D.