PIB – November 11 , 2019


GS- 2nd Paper

Topic Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

11th BRICS Summit

Context

Commerce and Industry and Railway Minister to participate in 9th BRICS Trade Ministers Meet in Brasilia.

About

  • The 9th BRICS Trade Ministers Meet is being held in Brasilia, Brazil.
  • The 9th BRICS Trade Ministers Meet will be focussed on opportunities for enhanced intra-BRICS trade and investment cooperation.
  • Issues like cooperation in e-commerce, investment facilitation, MSMEs, Intellectual Property Right, will be discussed during the meet.

About 11th BRICS Summit

The 11th BRICS Summit will convene in Brasília, Brazil.

Theme

  • The 2019 Brazilian Presidency focuses on the theme, ‘BRICS: Economic Growth for an Innovative Future’.
  • The new areas of BRICS cooperation spearheaded by Brazil, are-
  1. Strengthening of cooperation on science, technology and innovation; enhancement of cooperation on digital economy; invigoration of cooperation on the fight against transnational crime, especially against organized crime, money laundering and drug trafficking;
  2. encouragement to the rapprochement between the New Development Bank (NDB) and the BRICS Business Council.

What is BRICS?

  • BRICS is the group composed by the five major emerging countriesBrazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • It together represents about 42% of the population, 23% of GDP, 30% of the territory and 18% of the global trade.
  • The acronym BRIC was coined by by economist ‘Jim O’Neill’ of Goldman Sachs in 2001 to indicate the emerging powers that would be, alongside the United States, the five largest economies of the world in the 21st century.
  • In 2006, BRIC countries started their dialogue, which since 2009 takes place at annual meetings of heads of state and government.
  • In 2011, with South Africa joining the group, the BRICS reached its final composition, incorporating a country from the African continent.

Structure

  • 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.
  • BRICS cooperation in the past decade has expanded to include an annual programme of over 100 sectoral meetings.

Objectives

  • 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.
  • To emerge as a new and promising political-diplomatic entity with diverse objectives, far beyond the original objective of reforming global financial institutions.
  • The BRICS countries act as one to promote a more legitimate international system, including advocating reform of the UN Security Council.
  • The BRICS group is a South-South framework for cooperation.
  • 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.
  • To assist developing countries in gaining an advantage in trade and climate change negotiations, as well as on issues related to the export of manufacturing products.
  • The BRICS also formed an information-sharing and exchange platform that expands beyond economic cooperation to also involve educational, cultural, and environmental engagement.
  • To provide an alternative of the current governance of Western financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for that they have announced the establishment of the bank.

New Development Bank

  • New Development Bank(NDB) is a multilateral development bank operated by BRICS states.
  • NDB is headquartered in Shanghai.
  • At the Fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi (2012) the possibility of setting up a new Development Bank was mooted.
  • During the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014) the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB).
  • Fortaleza Declaration stressed that the NDB will strengthen cooperation among BRICS and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development thus contributing to sustainable and balanced growth.

The main objectives of NDB operations are

  • Fostering development of member countries
  • Supporting economic growth
  • Promoting competitiveness and facilitating job creation
  • Building a knowledge sharing platform among developing countries
  • To fulfill its purpose, the Bank will support public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments.

What will NDB do?

  • The bank’s primary focus of lending will be infrastructure projects.
  • The bank will have starting capital of $50 billion, with capital increased to $100 billion over time
  • Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will initially contribute $10 billion each to bring the total to $50 billion
  • The NDB functions on a consultative mechanism among the BRICS members with all the member countries possessing equal rights.
  • Unlike the World Bank, which assigns votes based on capital shares, here each participant country will be assigned one vote, and no country will have veto power.
  • Countries apart from the BRICS countries will also be members- the bank will have some countries from ‘the south’ on a rotational basis, on the board of the bank, and they will be allowed to vote.
  • The bank will allow new members to join but the share of BRICS countries cannot drop below 55%
  • NDB’s key areas of operation – are clean energy, transport infrastructure, irrigation, sustainable urban development and economic cooperation among the member countries.

BRICS on global institutional reforms

  • The BRICS was formed initially for co-operation to start among the BRICs nation was the financial crises of 2008.
  • The crises raised doubts over sustainability of the dollar-dominated monetary system.
  • The BRICs called for the “the reform of multilateral institutions in order that they reflect the structural changes in the world economy and the increasingly central role that emerging markets now play”.
  • BRICs managed to push for institutional reform which led to International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota reform in 2010.

Challenges before BRICS

  • The marked dominance of big three Russia-China-India is challenge for the BRICS.
  • To become a true representative of large emerging markets across the world, BRICS must become pan-continental.
  • Its membership must include more countries from other regions and continents.
  • The BRICS will need to expand its agenda for climate change and development finance, aimed at building infrastructure dominates agenda.
  • As BRICS moves forward foundational principles of BRICS i.e. respect for sovereign equality and pluralism in global governance are liable to be tested as the five member countries pursue their own national agendas.
  • The issue such as, the military standoff between India and China on the Doklam plateau, is a threat to the notion that a comfortable political relationship is always possible amongst the BRICS members.

For Prelims

MILAN exercise

Context

The Mid Planning Conference (MPC) for MILAN exercise concluded at Visakhapatnam.

Highlights

  • MILAN exercise 2020 scheduled to be conducted at Visakhapatnam in Mar 2020.
  • MILAN series of biennial a multilateral, multi- countries naval exercise was commenced in 1995.
  • It features professional exercises and seminars, social events and sporting fixtures between participating nations
  • It was conducted at Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) until last year,
  • It is being conducted for the first time on the mainland at Eastern Naval Command (ENC) with increased scope and complexity of the Exercise.
  • MILAN 2020 is aimed to enhance professional interaction between friendly foreign navies and learn from each other’s strengths and best practices in the maritime domain.
  • The event would also provide an excellent opportunity for Operational Commanders of friendly foreign navies to interact with each other in areas of mutual interest.

National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019

Context

Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship conferred the National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019 to Enterprises and Ecosystem builders.

Highlights

  • The National Entrepreneurship Awards have been instituted by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE) in 2016.
  • It aims to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship across the country.
  • These premier awards seek to recognise and honour entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship ecosystem builders for their outstanding efforts.
  • The fourth edition of the award ceremony was organized today to mark the completion of 5 years of setting up of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in 2014.
  • A total of 45 Awards under NEA2019 have been carefully considered to enable participation of young entrepreneurs upto the age of 40 years.
  • Winners will receive a Trophy, Certificate and a Cash Prize of ₹5 lakh (enterprises/ individuals) and ₹10 lakh (organizations/ institutes).