As the Covid-19 virus wanes and wanes, post-pandemic realities are starting to emerge. They point to a growing set of understandings and arrangements that form the basis of an emerging world order.
Empirically, slowdowns are followed by recovery. The Indian economy is starting to rebound with booming economic production and activity. A vaccination campaign of unprecedented scale and complexity has improved health security and reduced vulnerabilities in record time. The stage is set for a return to normalcy and more.
It is therefore a moment of opportunity. The choices India is making at this point are an indication of where it sees the promise of a better future.
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The pandemic has demonstrated that we need a more, not less, interconnected world. Common problems must have common solutions. Over the past few months, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has participated in the G7, G20, COP26, the first Quad Summit, the United Nations General Assembly and as President of the United Nations Security Council, BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Council of Heads of Government, formulated a vision of a new world order adapted to the challenges of the post-pandemic world. It has also, through a variety of national and international platforms, defined a set of strategies and goals that will align Indian priorities with this vision of a better future for all.
A major global challenge that India has acted on to provide leadership and direction is climate change. Despite our development needs, we have demonstrated a strong commitment to climate action.
Speaking more recently at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, the Prime Minister outlined India’s climate ambition through Panchamrit which will put India on a fast track to increase non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW and meet 50% of our energy needs from renewables by 2030 while reducing projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes and carbon intensity to less than 45% by 2030, and ” net zero âby 2070.
Expressing the concerns of the developing world, the Prime Minister also called on developed countries to increase their ambition in the transfer of climate finance and low-cost technologies.
Two international organizations, the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, initiated by India, have begun to play an important role in global climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. . At COP26, the Prime Minister launched âOne Sun, One World, One Gridâ for globally interconnected solar energy infrastructure and âInfrastructure for resilient island statesâ for climate and climate resilient infrastructure. disasters in small island developing States through these organizations.
India is also seeking to become a global hub for the production and export of green hydrogen as part of its national hydrogen mission.
The Prime Minister’s call to promote sustainable lifestyles to tackle the climate crisis was echoed at the G20 summit in Rome. He proposed a one-word movement, ie LIFE or Lifestyle for Environment. Adopting India’s example of a sustainable global lifestyle would be transformational in our fight against climate change.
The pandemic has highlighted the need to reduce the risks of supply chains and make them more resilient. The Prime Minister focused on three key factors to improve our supply chains: a reliable source, transparency and deadlines.
Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan values ââresilience and reliability and aims to make India a trusted supply chain hub. This is part of a broader policy framework aimed at increasing capacity through fiscal and monetary support, cash injection, financial support to industry, greater ease of doing business. ambitious business and structural reforms. A historic production-related incentive program attracts investment, stimulates domestic manufacturing and creates globally competitive Indian businesses. Previously restricted sectors such as space, defense and atomic energy have been opened up to greater private participation.
A national education policy created the framework to train a 21st century workforce and make India a global center of education and skills.
India is also making massive public investments in improving its infrastructure. Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti – the national master plan for multimodal connectivity – is poised to create a seamlessly connected India. It introduces an open-ended approach to connectivity and brings together enforcement and policy entities on a common platform.
Improvements in physical infrastructure will be accompanied by a focus on SDG goals through initiatives such as those on digital connectivity, financial inclusion and immunization. The JAM Trinity, made up of Jan Dhan, the world’s largest financial inclusion program; Aadhaar, the world’s largest biometric program; and one of the largest mobile phone networks in the world; enabled the transfer of direct benefits on a transformational scale. It is now fueling a fintech revolution. Jal Jeevan and Ayushman Bharat are changing lives by providing access to clean water and health care to all Indians, respectively.
SDG 3 places us all towards the goal of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. At the G20 Summit, the Prime Minister presented the holistic âOne Earth – One Healthâ vision for the world.
The pandemic has moved international systems to the digital space. Whether it was the CoWin portal that managed one of the most ambitious immunization operations in the world in a user-friendly, transparent, fair and efficient manner; the Digital India initiative; digital payment solutions; or the 24/7 BPO and ITES sector; India has adapted and continues to go digital.
Speaking at the G20 summit, the Prime Minister stressed that India has certified large-scale solutions for many development problems. It is a testing ground for development. He also has extensive experience in South-South development cooperation and can offer many models to other developing countries. Earlier, at the G7 summit, the Prime Minister announced that India’s open source digital solutions would be accessible to everyone.
Even during the darkest days of the pandemic, India has not forgotten that it is part of an international community. It has done everything possible to provide essential medicines to more than 150 countries. She received, in turn, the support of all, during her “second wave”.
While conducting a successful vaccination campaign in her country, India has also resumed the export of vaccines to its neighbors and partners.
Through all of this and more, India is acting as a key and constructive player in the creation of a new world order capable of meeting the challenges of tomorrow. A world order which goes beyond the purely economic framework and places the human being and his well-being as the ultimate objective.
Harsh Vardhan Shringla is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Indian government. The opinions expressed are personal.