PM Modi shows global leadership with G20 presidency

Tarun Chugh
Indian G20 presidency has caught the global attention. India has become a host of several meetings taking place in all parts of the country in search for solutions to pressing global challenges. India will host the Leaders’ Summit in September this year. India by then would have guided the G20 member nations and special invitees on the solutions-oriented path. This is in departure to multilateral meetings which fail to give solutions.
Resolve to tackle challenges with perseverance and innovation defines Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approach to global challenges. India’s G20 presidency is marked by people-oriented governance model, which addresses problems. People across the globe must gain from the advancement of the economies, and if there is economic slowdown they must be protected from the ill-effects.
The world since 2020 has seen the debilitating impact of the Covid-19. The global community has suffered the worst. The Indian presidency of G20 is faced with challenges which became acute majorly because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Rising sovereign debts of several countries in the Global South, credibility of the multilateral development banks (MDBs), cross-border terrorism, drug-trafficking, cybercrimes, multilateral institutions, food shortage, climate challenge, disruptions of global supply chains, health emergencies, income inequality and several others are the challenges staring at the global community now.
The last three years have accentuated some of the global challenges, which require credible and sustainable solutions. India, in fact, has shown that a prudent governance can address the challenges effectively. The Economic Survey of this year revealed that the government’s expenditure on efforts to improve the quality of life of the people has been steadily growing even during the pandemic years.
From Rs 5.26 lakh crore spent on education in 2018-19, the government expenditure was Rs 7.57 lakh crore in 2022-23, as per the revised budgetary estimate, revealed the Economic Survey. From Rs 2.66 lakh crore spent on health in 2018-19, the government expenditure was Rs 5.49 lakh crore in 2022-23. On other areas, which help in enhancing the quality of life of the people, the government expenditure grew up from Rs 4.86 lakh crore in 2018-19 to Rs 8.26 lakh crore.
The efforts have also been captured in data revealed by the Economic Survey, as the drop out ration in the primary schools came down from 4.7 per cent in 2013-14 to 1.5 per cent in 2021-22. Pupil to teacher ratio in 2012-13 was 34 and it was 26.2 in 2021-22. This is a clear message for the G20 nations, accounting for 85 per cent of the global GDP, two-third of the world population and 75 per cent of the global trade, that the path to sustainable socio-economic development is laid by according topmost priority to the people in the governance and charting the course of reforms to ensure an inclusive development model without burdening the future generation with debts.
Thus, the Finance Ministers meeting in Bengaluru of the G20 saw the issue of addressing the rising debts of the developing and poor nations at the centre stage. Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman sought a global consensus on mitigating the indebtedness of the vulnerable nations. It’s in the interest of the global financial stability that no country faces the economic collapse of the magnitude of Sri Lanka. It will be possible only if the multilateral development banks rise to the occasion and protect the vulnerable nations from predatory countries with deep pocket seeking debt trap for strategic aims.
Global South has found a votary in India. Several countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world even after constituting the largest share in the global population were without a collective voice on the international stage. Global South is facing the consequences of the climate change. In India, the Global South for the first time found during the Indian presidency a voice which can negotiate with the developed world on equal terms. In this context, the G20 this year is giving utmost importance to the issue of climate change. India has shown the world with International Solar Alliance (ISA) that the energy transition to the clean sources is not a matter of choice but abundant urgency. With Indian presidency of G20, the developed world is rightly being persuaded to share capital and technology for energy transition on an accelerated pace.
The world currently is facing the consequences of ugly war in Ukraine. Sadly, there are few countries who have not taken sides in this war. India remains the voice of sanity in such tough time. PM Modi told Russian President that today’s era is not of war. Diplomacy alone can bring peace. India is being seen with expectations during the G20 presidency from the global community to work for peace. The G20 under the Indian presidency is uniquely positioned to deliver on the global aspirations of peace.
(The author is the national general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party)