By Rajoli Siddharth and Shweta Chand
With barely weeks to go before India hosts the G20 summit, a conference in Delhi showcased the role of youth, academia, and intellectuals in the success of India’s G20 presidency, with a senior official underlining the country’s global leadership in addressing cross-cutting challenges.
“India’s sheer size, being the mother of democracy, the fifth largest economy, and one of the oldest civilizations, demands global recognition. G20 provides us with the platform to seek global leadership and a place in the United Nations,” said Muktesh Pardeshi, Special Secretary (G20-Operations) at a conference held in the prestigious Miranda House College in New Delhi.
Mr Pardeshi stressed said that the focus of India’s G-20 presidency was on promoting “sustainable consumption” which was embodied in Prime Minister Modi’s mantra of ‘Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE). “We are speaking about reforming multilateral institutions, including UN, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” said Pardeshi, a former ambassador of India to Mexico and New Zealand. He was speaking at a panel discussion entitled, ‘Making India Count: Role of Youth, Academia and Intellectuals.’ The conference was co-organised by Miranda House and Centre for Global India Insights (CGII), a think tank focused on global affairs and a venture of India Writes Network.
“Diplomacy is thought of as restricted in drawing rooms of educated people, the elites of Delhi. Through the G20 presidency, we are taking G20 to the grassroots and the people,” stressed Mr Pardeshi.
Describing the G20 summit New Delhi will host on September 9-10 as India’s “Olympic moment,” Mr Pardeshi said: “It is a high-point for India’s global leadership. It is a high-point for India’s policy-making and showcasing India to the world.” He added that the G-20 presidency would leave a “lasting legacy”, in terms of shaping a “global narrative about India” as well as “augmenting the capacities” of the youth in hosting mega-events like G20.
Besides Mr Pardeshi, the speakers at the conclave included Mr Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator, India; Ms Bansuri Swaraj, Supreme Court advocate and a Women20 member; Professor Rajni Abbi, Chairperson, Miranda House Governing Board; Professor Bijayalaxmi Nanda, Principal, Miranda House, and Mr Manish Chand, Director, Centre for Global Insights and CEO, India Writes Network. A special edition of India and the World entitled “The G20 Way: Inclusion, Innovation and Ideas,” was also launched at the panel discussion.
In his remarks, Mr Manish Chand, Founder-CEO, India Writes Network and CGII, focused on the transformative potential of G20 and the significance of youth and intellectuals in actualizing India’s G20 presidency. “India’s G20 presidency is unfolding at a time when three Cs Crisis, Conflict and Chaos permeate the current international landscape. In such a dire situation, India’s G20 presidency has emerged as a beacon of “Hope, Harmony and Healing.” “
India is now seen as the voice of moderation and reason without which no global issue can be solved. India has, therefore, become indispensable to addressing the global issues of the day. By harnessing the energies of civil society actors and the power of youth, the G20 can become a catalyst for transformation of the world, which is currently assailed by multiple crises,” he said.
UN Resident Coordinator Shombi Sharp underlined India’s critical role in achieving SDGs. “At present the SDGs are off track, and will only achieve 12% by 2030. The need for global cooperation is more than ever before, and dependent on the youth of India, including the young women and girls,” said Mr Sharp.
“India gives me so much optimism; it is India’s movement to drive a global Jan-Andolan for sustainability. These targets are dependent on India. As India achieves, the world will achieve. India has long been the voice of the global south and at the centre of the world’s economic decision-making,” said Mr Sharp. “India has shown in recent years its own ability to demonstrate development achievements at an unbelievable scale. This is a powerful story; bringing millions of people out of poverty, with the fastest- growing economy in the world. Insia has the world’s greatest youth generation in the history,” he said.
Ms Swaraj lauded India’s resilience during the pandemic and its contribution to global vaccination efforts. “It is really sad that the youth of India has inherited a difficult world coming out of the pandemic which created catastrophic world crisis, India came out triumphant in these crises and became the pharmacy of the world by providing vaccines to 101 countries”. “Chandragupta Maurya was shaped because of Chanakya. The role of teachers is critical to ensure that the youth don’t get misguided,” she said.
Professor Bijyalakshmi Nanda stressed on core values such as Collaboration, Cooperation and Consensus which guide India’s G20 presidency. “We are celebrating India’s leadership of G20. Young people will play a vital role in finding solutions to global challenges such as climate change and sustainable solutions.” She argued for advancing research and stronger academia-industry linkages. “India’s R&D capabilities must be enhanced, and academia must collaborate closely with industry to drive innovation and progress.”
Prof. Rajni Abbi stressed the importance of education and digital literacy in India’s progress. “Education is the cornerstone of progress it is our academic institutions that nurture the minds of the next generation. As the G20 leader, we must commit to strengthening and investing our educational infrastructure to ensure access to quality education for all, by providing a strong educational foundation. We empower our youth to become responsible global citizens capable of making informed decisions that benefit society at large.”
- India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. Centre for Global India Insights is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs.
- India and the WorldMarch 2, 2024Jaishankar charts India’s ascent to a leading power
- India and the WorldMarch 1, 2024India-Mauritius Connect: From Runways to RuPay
- India and the WorldFebruary 28, 2024Gaza crisis: Jaishankar pitches for sustainable solution, says terror unacceptable
- India and the WorldFebruary 26, 2024Raisina Call: It’s time for a female UN Secretary-General