Focus: GS II- International Relations
Why in News?
Prime Minister led India’s participation at the 14thBRICS Summit, convened under the Chairship of President Xi Jinping of China, in a virtual format.
Highlights of the Summit:
- The leaders held discussions including in fields of Counter-Terrorism, Trade, Health, Traditional Medicine, Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation, Agriculture, Technical and Vocational Education & Training, and also key issues in the global context, including the reform of the multilateral system, COVID-19 pandemic, global economic recovery, amongst others.
- Prime Minister called for strengthening of the BRICS Identity and proposed establishment of Online Database for BRICS documents, BRICS Railways Research Network, and strengthening cooperation between MSMEs.
- India will be organizing BRICS Startup event this year to strengthen connection between Startups in BRICS countries.
- Prime Minister also noted that as BRICS members we should understand security concerns of each other and provide mutual support in designation of terrorists and this sensitive issue should not be politicized.
- Prime Minister highlighted India’s development partnership with Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and from Pacific to Caribbean; India’s focus on a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based maritime space; respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations from the Indian Ocean Region to Pacific Ocean;
- Reform of multilateral system as large parts of Asia and all of Africa and Latin America have no voice in global decision-making.
- Prime Minister noted the importance of circular economy and invited citizens of participating countries to join Lifestyle for Environment (LIFE) campaign.
- At the conclusion of the Summit, BRICS Leaders adopted the ‘Beijing Declaration’.
What is BRICS?
- BRICS is the international grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- This was set up as a move towards greater multipolarity; hence the spread across three continents and both hemispheres.
- In terms of GDP, China occupies the second position; India the fifth; Brazil the ninth; Russia the 11th; and South Africa the 35th.
- In terms of growth rates, China grew at 6%; India at 4.5%, Russia 1.7%, Brazil 1.2% and South Africa 0.1%.
- BRICS does not exist in form of organization, but it is an annual summit between the supreme leaders of five nations.
- The Chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
- The BRICS seeks to deepen, broaden and intensify cooperation within the grouping and among the individual countries for more sustainable, equitable and mutually beneficial development.
- BRICS takes into consideration each member’s growth, development and poverty objectives to ensure relations are built on the respective country’s economic strengths and to avoid competition where possible.
- BRICS is emerging as a new and promising political-diplomatic entity with diverse objectives, far beyond the original objective of reforming global financial institutions.