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It’s time to build BRICS better

  • IASbaba
  • September 1, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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INTERNATIONAL / SECURITY

  • GS-2: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. 
  • GS-2: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

It’s time to build BRICS better

Context: The 13th BRICS summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is set to be held on September 9 in digital format under India’s chairmanship. 

  • India held the chair in 2012 and 2016 too. 

Importance of BRICS: It represents 42% of the world’s population, 30% of the land area, 24% of global GDP and 16% of international trade.

Successes of BRICS

  • It tried to serve as a bridge between the Global North and Global South. 
  • It actively championed for multipolarity in world (against dominance of US)
  • It developed a common perspective on a wide range of global and regional issues (Ex: Climate Change & Trade) 
  • It established the New Development Bank.
  • It created a financial stability net in the form of Contingency Reserve Arrangement.
  • It is on the verge of setting up a Vaccine Research and Development Virtual Centre.

Challenges of the grouping

  • India aligning with US and Russia-China coming together in geopolitics.
  • India-China relations at the lowest since China’s aggression in Ladakh in 2020.
  • Serious internal challenges preoccupying both Brazil and South Africa (Political instability).
  • Inadequate trade and investment ties among its member states and China’s centrality & dominance of intra-BRICS trade flows.
  • BRICS countries have not done enough to assist the Global South to win their optimal support for their agenda. 

As the current chair, India has outlined four priorities

  • Though not a new goal, India wants BRICS to pursue reform of multilateral institutions ranging from the UN, World Bank, IMF, WTO and WHO. 
  • Combat terrorism by crafting the BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan containing specific measures to fight radicalisation, terrorist financing and misuse of the Internet by terrorist groups
  • Promoting technological and digital solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals 
  • Expanding people-to-people cooperation among BRICS countries in the post-COVID era where travel restrictions are lifted.

Conclusion

  • The idea of BRICS – a common pursuit of shared interests by the five emerging economies from four continents – is fundamentally sound and relevant. 
  • The governments have invested huge political capital in pushing the BRICS experiment forward. Therefore, the strains in the grouping needs to be addressed to keep alive the relevance of it.

Connecting the dots:

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