On Dec 1, the Reserve Bank of India introduced the Indian Digital Rupee-R (retail) on a pilot basis with four participating banks. Reserve Bank historian and former central banker Bazil Shaikh explains what a digital rupee is vis a vis traditional money, the advantages and concerns, and its future in cross-border transactions.
Gateway House is the only institution in India that has hosted official and independent meetings under the annual G20 process since 2015. In October 2022, Gateway House initiated an independent G20 Task Force on Energy Transitions and Climate Finance, the first task force of India's G20 Presidency of 2023. In this compendium of reports, Gateway House assesses and includes its engagement with this influential multilateral through task forces, research and meetings of the last nine G20 Presidencies.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's essay on Zeitenwende emphasises a strong Germany as a guarantor of European security. It has attracted global attention - but has virtually no mention of India. In parallel, however, the visit of Foreign Minister Annalenna Baerbock reinforced Germany's interest in India, and suggested an upgrade to the bilateral. It is necessary, if India is to seek expanded economic ties with Berlin.
The author participated in the B20 Summit in Bali and saw in it a reflection of Indonesia’s culture and hospitality, but also its attraction for investors despite geopolitical stresses. Indian business can take a cue from Indonesia, and use India’s B20 engagement to push for ease of doing business and improved quality of life indicators – an additional condition for India’s G20 Presidency’s success.
Trade-shy India is now energetically embarking on a series of trade agreements to boost exports, remove barriers for skilled Indian professionals and secure imports of essential raw materials for manufacturing growth. New trade agreements signed with Australia, the UAE and soon the U.K. will be templates for more to come.
India is geopolitically committed to a ‘free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous’ Indo-Pacific. But unless these five adjectives are viewed and acted on with seriousness, via the country’s North East both developmentally and culturally, the country will be unable to take advantage of its regional proximity to the Indo-Pacific.
Many western governments and pressure groups are now turning to agriculture to curb carbon emissions. Given the legitimate concerns about security of food, nutrition and livelihoods, they may be looking in the wrong direction. If these groups are serious about reducing emissions, activities such as crypto-mining, with no positive net contribution, should be targeted first.
India has not invested much in multilateral rule-making institutions like the G20, but it is never too late to start. India is ahead in some aspects, particularly technology with digital public goods and its governance. But it will certainly need help and expertise.
Cambodia’s chairmanship of ASEAN exposed the grouping’s inherent incongruities and cleavages, despite its best intentions. To be taken seriously by its partners, ASEAN needs to first take itself seriously and adhere to the core of its charter.
Despite the current tense global atmosphere, India and its foreign policy have remained true to its core of peace and security for all and equity and justice for the developing world. Throughout history, dialogue and diplomacy has been supported as a solution to dispute. Now, as G20 President, New Delhi can sow these seeds of peace in an increasingly multipolar world.