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TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving Indiaand/or affecting India’s interests
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
In news: The 9th BRICS summit was held in Xiamen, China. Many points in the declaration have been satisfactory for India. India’s main concerns were economic and trade related but one of specific concern about terrorism has been forthrightly shared by all countries. For first time in BRICS forum, two terrorist organization which have been attacking India- LeT and JeM- have been named. This is recognition by other BRICS members that source of problems in India and Af-Pak region lies in Pakistan. Members have said that ‘responsibility of all states to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories’. This directs implicitly towards Pakistan. This is a victory for India as this can be a warning to Pakistan that it might lose friends if it is going to pursue terrorism.
China invited 5 guest countries- Egypt, Mexico, Thailand, Tajikistan and Guinea but not Pakistan. The omission is significant as in neighborhood, Pakistan is close to china. In this action, there can be an invisible hand of India to prevent Pakistan getting invited as India has said that Pakistan is sponsorer of terrorism and whatever china and Pakistan’s bilateral relations have been, it has to be kept aside.
Key Highlights of 9th BRICS Summit
- Affordable and sustainable access to energy is crucial for development of BRICS nation. It is important initiative of India- International Solar Alliance. Only Russia is energy surplus. So the direction of affordable and sustainable energy is the direction in which BRICS members will work together. This matches with
- PM also stressed on people to people exchange and advocated inclusive development agenda. This is the dilemma of development- growth is there but in many countries it is not percolating down to all sections of society. In India, employment generation is a big issue. So along with growth and development, it should be inclusive growth. It should not be only seen in economic and statistical terms but in terms of its impact on common man.
- Urbanization is a big challenge for China, India, South Africa and Brazil. In all the highly populated countries, people are shifting from rural areas to urban areas. So to manage the growing migration and changing lifestyle, use of new technology and information technology to manage the urban growth and employment has to be encouraged and implemented.
- The theme was – strong partnership for better future. Partnership between BRICS nations is there. It is known that some BRICS countries are facing economic difficulties so together it will be easier to face them by sharing their experiences.
- It is good signal for India-china friendship. China has been sensitive to India’s concern against cross-border terrorism. Also, there was no reference to OBOR of china. In diplomatic sense, India has been able to convince China to look at concern of other countries and not to push much. In this concern’s support, China has told that BRI is not to advance geopolitical agenda but a platform for practical cooperation.
- For international banking related issues, India is still dependent on western agencies. That’s why there was an idea of creation of BRICS rating agency. All rating agencies are western so they rate Indian, Chinese institutions with their own perspective. This ignores the actual yardsticks to be used for measuring growth. The 5 BRICS countries are major developing economies. With their own rating agencies can give independent views pertaining to their environment.
Developed vs Developing groups
The formation of BRICS was to have a common position among major developing countries because major developed countries were united in G7. There are two parts of BRICS
- Have a common position on international issues- finance, trade, economy, climate change
- How to have more cooperation among the BRICS countries.
The concerns of the developed countries are different. So how to harmonize the two or atleast make sure the developed countries which are economically more powerful and better organized are not able to only push their own agenda is one of the focus. For example
- During the climate change negotiations, developed countries were trying to put some restrictions on India’s and china’s development. But when many developing countries came together, they had to change their position.
- BRICS countries account for 43% of population, 50% of world economic growth, 23% of global GDP and 35% voting power in World Bank. BRICS has a way of including views of other developing countries in emerging economy. In a way BRICS provides voice to developing countries. It is a bridge between developed world and developing world.
Recently, it also took strong positions in security arena- Syria, North Korea.
BRICS countries have to make sure that their economy grows well, consistently by 6-7%. Internally there should be political stability.
The BRICS spirit refers to mutual respect and understanding, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation. Many of the fruitful results of BRICS cooperation are establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), formulating the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, strengthening political and security cooperation. Thus, BRICS nations should aspire now to embrace cultural diversity and promote people-to-people exchanges to garner more popular support for BRICS cooperation.
Connecting the dots:
- BRICS nation are the future leaders of world. Critically analyse.
- BRICS represent the aspirations of developing countries. Comment.