On Dec 1, India will take over the Presidency of the G20, the premier global forum for dialogue and cooperation on global economics and financial issues. This is a unique grouping, where developing and developed countries come together with equal status. Understanding its mission, past trajectory, institutional mechanisms, work methods, and the multiplicity of challenges it addresses, is critical today and requires a serious examination.
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India's G20 Presidency in 2023 will be the time of the global stocktake on climate change negotiations under the 2015 Paris Agreement and the upcoming COP28. It's an opportunity for the G20 troika of Indonesia, India and Brazil to move the needle on the key challenge of climate financing and turn the G-20 away from hegemonistic power control to being a global support mechanism.
Space and undersea cables are critical to India’s communications infrastructure. While India’s space programme has been largely successful, in undersea cables, India is barely present. As global reliance on undersea cables and the data it carries, grows, India’s security interests strategically converge with maritime cables and space, and opens opportunities for international cooperation.
Agriculture has been integral to India’s food security and employment. While salient policies are in place, India has yet to achieve its food security and farmer-income goals. Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers innovative solutions for the agriculture sector. AI technologies will help India take the necessary leap forward to enhance agriculture productivity, farmer income and food security.
India is rapidly progressing in its digital goals with missions like Make in India and Digital India having a positive effect across the economy. But its dependence on interconnected networks and systems means that cyber security IS a challenge. As one of the most attacked countries in cyberspace, India’s resilience in cybersecurity is key to safeguarding critical assets.
The Indo-Pacific region envisages the Indian and Pacific Oceans as a continuum and stands on two central pillars – maritime security and economic development. The public discussions, however, are focused on maritime security, strategy and geopolitics, while economic development has received less attention. This imbalance can be corrected by creating an awareness on how to harness the potential of the region's Blue Economy and its vast resources and opportunities.
The supply of critical minerals, crucial for new and emerging technologies such as electric vehicles, electronics and renewable energy production, faces a significant disruption due to Covid and the Ukraine crisis. As the prices of these valuable resources surge, India can secure its supplies through the sagacious use of financial investments, efficient policies, and propriety technology. A collaboration with Japan can offer multifaceted benefits.
India’s technology industry grew 15.5% during the pandemic, and so have the cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure and stealing of intellectual property (IP). While an exhaustive data protection bill introduced by MeitY is under consideration, India must study and can benefit from Japan’s existing data protection law to protect consumer privacy and implement cybersecurity measures.
Low global commodity prices, strong FDI inflows, and sustained growth have boosted the Indian economy in the preceding decade. This favourable economic climate, however, was disrupted by the pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine, exposing vulnerabilities in the global economic system. This paper focuses on India’s economic security challenges, particularly in six sectors - Food, Energy, Finance, Data, Space & Undersea Cables and Critical Minerals - and suggests possible courses of action.
The Quad has agreed to launch a satellite-based maritime security initiative to curb illegal fishing by China. India is a global leader in satellite launches, especially in Earth Observation (EO) satellites. The Indo-Pacific nations are looking at the Indian model because it is applicable, economical, and sustainable.