G20 University Connect: Inclusiveness of Indian Presidency

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensnared the nation to prepare for the G 20 summit subsequently, increasing its efficacy to solve the challenges that lie ahead for all of us.

g20, g20 presidency, g20 summit, g20 india, g20 presidency, g20 india presidency

By Syed Ali

India assumed the G20 presidency on December 1, 2022, with this the G-20 forum under the Indian leadership, will witness the largest-ever participation with 43 Heads of Delegations in the final New Delhi Summit in September 2023. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas (Leave no one behind) is fused in with India’s execution of its G-20 presidency. G20 is a unique grouping accounting for 85 percent of the global GDP, 75 percent of global trade, and 65 percent of the world’s population. As the leader of the Global South; India with its indispensable role in multilateral forums like the G20 is championing the cause of being the articulate voice of the unheard nations.

Internally, the G20 Indian presidency has received unprecedented national acceptance with the help of the government’s massive outreach campaigns, educating people about India’s role in the Global order and seeking suggestions from the public to form an inclusive G-20 Agenda from India to the world. In the aftermath of the COVID pandemic; the role of specialized International forums has increased to focus on urgent development agendas; including; Sustainable development, Health, Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Climate change, and Anti-corruption. Subsequently, India’s theme for its presidency is enshrined in the civilisational value system of  ‘Vasudeva kutumbakam’: One Earth, One Family, One future, with an emphasis to recalibrate the much-needed global governance for a hyper-connected world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensnared the nation to prepare for the G 20 summit subsequently, increasing its efficacy to solve the challenges that lie ahead for all of us. Government institutions are working tirelessly to merge their existing goals with the G20 agenda in order to have a comprehensive impact on the proceedings of the year-long high-level consultations and meetings being indiscriminately organised around the country. These meetings cover a wide agenda specific to development challenges in high GDP countries; Business community (B20), Civil society (C20), Labor unions (L20), Scientists (S20), Think tanks (T20), Urban cities (U20), Women (W20) and Youth (Y20) from the G20 and with recent addition by India Startups (S20). Besides the engagement groups of high-level professionals deliberating on synergies for cohesive outcomes with the G20 members’ countries, Prime Minister has also initiated a campaign to engage with students from 75 universities in approximately 56 locations across India. The intended purpose of this marathon of lectures across the nation is to engage with the youth in the G-20 process and sensitise them to the deliberation during the presidency and the impact it bears for them.

The G20 ‘University Connect’ was recently inaugurated by the External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar during a curtain raiser event at the Sushma Swaraj Bhawan on 1st December with Vice Chancellors from 75 universities joining in virtually and physically to bring the lessons back to their respective institutions. During the event, while addressing the students the EAM said “Our endeavour is to make that consensus more relevant through a wider process of consultation. As the mother of democracy, India’s G20 presidency will be consultative, collaborative and decisive. As a result, the project ‘University Connect’: Engaging young minds organised jointly by the New Delhi-based Think Tank; RIS and the Ministry of External Affairs has planned a series of lectures and sessions parallel to  high level meetings.

The University connect series will be executed in the form of Lectures, Mock G20 and other interactive activities enabling students to engage and be involved in the G20 process on the sidelines. The Project is leveraging the capabilities of the partner institutions with Research support from RIS offering its prodigious Intellectual resources and network of experts including former diplomats, academics, and subject experts to maintain the academic nature of the deliberations. Prior to the main event, the partner institutions are encouraged to organise essay competitions, quizzes, and other stimulating activities to keep the interest of the students geared towards the year-long G-20 proceedings in most cases happening in their hometowns.  The students part of the G 20 university connect series can also highlight their suggestions through social media to bring attention to their inputs.

The culmination of G20 proceedings along with ‘University Connect’ aims to harbour an all-inclusive outcome of the G-20 summit. In a time where multilateralism has taken a beating around the world through the isolationist policies of few leaders, India is rapidly filling the gap to bring agreements to a table without conflict, directing to solve global problems that need collective effort. At this point in time, with increasing global temperatures, terrorism, border aggression, market volatilities, all tied to the impending and major crisis of Climate Change, India is taking the charge by launching major global initiatives like the International Solar alliance (ISA) and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

India realizes that Multilateralism is needed more than ever before however with its conspicuous decline being replaced by self- interest policy making obstructing interconnected supply chains and information channels. The G20 is an opportunity at an opportune time to bring consensus between major countries to strengthen the global agenda and solve development challenges, climate, and energy and security challenges. 

Author is a Public policy professional. Tweets @alinyst

(Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online. Reproducing this content without permission is prohibited.)

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First published on: 31-12-2022 at 16:33 IST
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