India’s Changing Role in G20: Amitabh Kant Explains

Amitabh Kant at AIMA’s 49th National Management Convention.

Amitabh Kant  addressing at AIMA’s 49th National Management Convention

India has to push the narrative of the growth model during its presidency as it will be challenging leading G20 next year due to the geopolitical wrangling, Russia-Ukraine war, weakened economics and post-pandemic effects, said Mr. Amitabh Kant, India’s Sherpa for the G20 explained what role can India assume in a fractious G20at AIMA’s 49th National Management Convention.

While India has been a key member of the G20 elite group since the trans-Atlantic financial crisis, India’s importance to global order has never been felt more strongly than during the recent crises of covid and the US-Russia standoff over Ukraine. Given India’s geographic and economic heft, the scope, direction and effectiveness of G20 (Group of Twenty) rely on India’s consent and leadership.

India is now expected to step up and help reform and renew the values and institutions of global governance in partnership with the west. Mr. Amitabh Kant, India’s Sherpa for the G20 explained what role can India assume in a fractious G20 at AIMA’s 49th National Management Convention.

Mr. Amitabh Kant started off by saying that “it is a fractured world outside.” The Russia- Ukraine war, the China-Taiwan crisis and global supply chains are disrupted. The post-Covid era has seen businesses adopt sustainable development goals as Health, Education and more have been impacted. Global Trade has also slowed down and Global Debt has expanded enormously.

The West while industrialising, has already polluted and carbonised the whole world. So, India’s key challenge will be that it has to grow at a time when Global Trade will have slowed down, geopolitical affairs will have gotten more complex, and it has to be the first country in the world to industrialise without carbonising.

G20 is a grouping of 20 leading countries in the world that account for about 85% of the Global GDP (Gross Domestic Product), account for about 70% of the Global Trade, account for about 2/3rd population of the world and they account for about almost 90% of the Global Patents. G20 is important as UN (United Nations) is too large a platform to be attentive to trivial issues of the countries in the world. Even in the Russian-Ukraine crisis, the UN Security Council has not been able to play a critical role to solve it.

G7 (Group of Seven) on the other hand, was not able to solve the economic crisis of 2008-2009 and many other problems of the world, so that is how G20 came into being. While having the leading countries in the world, G20 also covers a lot of emerging markets, that which is why it is known to be the most powerful grouping in the world.

While the UN and G7 take care of the worldly conflicts and wars, G20 is an economic and financial grouping. India will take over the presidency of the G20 later this year. So, by that time, the dollar would have strengthened, and inflation would have accelerated hence there will be a recession. Global growth will be a key challenge. Climate action will also be the centre stage of issues to be solved. Besides, India has to push the narrative of world growth.

India is the 5th largest Economy and is headed to be the 3rd largest in the world mainly because of the things that it has done, It has created an advanced tech culture alike the west. 1.4 billion people have bank accounts and mobile. In terms of Housing, affordable houses have been provided to people under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Over 50,000 kms of Highways have been built over seven years and 2 ½ billion Covid vaccines have been administered.

If we look at Health Insurance, India has the world’s largest publicly funded Health Insurance Scheme covering over 500 million Indians in the form of the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Over 30 million houses use electricity. “India has done transformational change in terms of providing water, electricity, and housing, healthcare besides leveraging technology,” he said.

India has to grow at rapid rates despite global challenges. “The growth of states like Bihar, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh will, however, be an indication of India’s ultimate transformation,” Mr. Amitabh Kant said. And that would determine the true growth of India, he added.

India’s challenge is very different from the western world. India needs solutions for Health, Education, Nutrition and Agriculture. The start-ups are finding solutions for these. India also needs to create top-class urbanisation in a sustainable manner. India’s narrative to the G20 is to demonstrate the best of India to emulate the same for the world, he concluded.

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