The India-EU summit held May 8, was more ambitious than previous ones. Now the summit’s words must turn into action, an effort that will require continuous discussion, patient negotiation and uninterrupted dialogue between Delhi and Brussels. Will the two capitals be willing to compromise and find common ground that they have not managed to demonstrate before?
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This India-EU summit was different from the ones past, and India is a significant gainer. A trade agreement and connectivity partnership aside, the EU has stepped up to help India during this emergency, viewing it not as a weak state but as a partner in distress. The geopolitical indicators for an enhanced engagement are now also in place.
Digital Manufacturing in India can bring in a new age globalisation of manufacturing, and developing resilient, transparent and trusted supply chains. With the help of MNCs, start-ups and government in accelerating digital adoption, and India must become part of the emerging global trading system, using the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate digitisation.
Following the lead set by the U.S. and Israel, India is now tapping its domestic start-up ecosystem for technological innovation and self-reliance in defence. Indian entrepreneurs are developing niche technologies which will boost the Indian military’s combat capabilities. They are also enabling the much-needed commercial synergy with Silicon Valley venture firms.
Tata Steel is one of the few global companies on the prestigious Global Lighthouse Network for its advanced digital manufacturing systems - and it was the first Indian company on the list. The vision of a digitally integrated manufacturing facility was introduced when the Tata Steel Kalinganagar plant (TSK) was conceptualized in 2006. The subsequent implementation and continuous upgrade of the facility has made it a global benchmark. This case study on TSK's journey can guide other companies to overcome challenges in upgrading systems, using artificial intelligence and big data analytics to increase efficiency and drive innovation.
COVID-19 has forced India and its manufacturers to quickly step up their adoption of digital manufacturing processes. There are four elements of this ecosystem already in place – the digital infrastructure, government schemes, academic learning, and a burst of start-ups. This, supported by key policy decisions by the Indian government, will propel Indian manufacturing to higher levels of efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness.
The U.K. is out of the EU, and re-positioning itself into the idea of Global Britain, seeking partnerships into diverse groupings and regions. India was an early strategic, defence and digital outreach, but a serious pivot has been made to broader Asia for trade and investment linkages, with vigorous follow-up. The re-entry and acceptance of Britain in Asia, has implications.
The Jan 26 riots by the protesting Punjab farmers, is a set back both to the reform of India's domestic agriculture sector, and to the country's external agriculture trade. Nevertheless, willing farmers and communities can improve their engagement with the market, start inter-state trade, and build the farming infrastructure necessary to prepare for a fully free agriculture market. This will ready India to fulfil its commitments and find its rightful place in the international trade system.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's controversial wading into the Punjab farmers' protests has obfuscated the hard work done by diplomats and think tanks on both sides over the past three years, to boost the bilateral. India and Canada have much to gain from each other's strengths in technology, natural resources and investment, and even more if they collaborate internationally to develop an alternative to the current bipolar world order
India will host the 19th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government on 30 November 2020. This will be the first meeting of the grouping’s second highest organ, hosted by India. The significance of the event lies in the timing – India’s relations with two fellow memberstates, China and Pakistan, are at an exceptionally low ebb; yet the clear message from the SCO Secretariat and other member-states is: India’s presence in the SCO is highly beneficial to the latter and should be fully leveraged to strengthen it as an important and upcoming intergovernmental organisation. This necessitates a fresh appraisal of options for India.