India considering new innovation, peace funds for Commonwealth

By: |
March 10, 2020 10:37 PM

Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Patricia Scotland, who was in India on an official visit recently, said that one of the funds could be named after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel - India's first Home Minister.

Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Patricia Scotland, commonwealthCommonwealth Secretary General Baroness Patricia Scotland. (File photo: Reuters)

India is in discussions with the Commonwealth of Nations over the introduction of new targeted funds to promote innovation and peace within the 54 member-countries.

Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Patricia Scotland, who was in India on an official visit recently, said that one of the funds could be named after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – India’s first Home Minister.

“Many people outside India do not realise what Sardar Patel did for India as a great administrator and implementer of the vision of a united India,” said Scotland, on the sidelines of a reception to mark Commonwealth Day in London on Monday evening.

“One of the things we are exploring is an opportunity for a Sardar Patel Good Governance Innovation Fund, where India could share some of her wisdom and creativity with the rest of the Commonwealth,” she said.

Highlighting India’s role during the World Wars as part of the estimated 1.5 million volunteers from the subcontinent, the Secretary General also referred to the possibility of a dedicated peace fund.

“A Peace Fund because we have never needed peace more. We are now living in a very dangerous and volatile world and we need to honour that peace because the world’s peace is very fragile right now,” she said.

Reflecting on her recent India visit, Scotland – who heads the Commonwealth Secretariat based in London – said she was inspired by the “new technically switched on” India, which as a fast developing country has rapidly invested in its human capital as well as technology and innovation.

“What India has successfully demonstrated is jugaad or frugal innovation, which has been very exciting because many of the developing states look at that and see if something can be developed for a dollar-per-citizen in India, that is something which is within my reach as well. This willingness of India to share is incredible,” she said.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London in 2018, India had said it would double its contribution to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC), from GBP 1 million to GBP 2 million.

The CFTC, used for funding important development projects within Commonwealth member-countries, was in the news recently when its other major contributors -– the UK, Australia and New Zealand –- decided to withhold their contributions for the 2019-20 financial year amid allegations of mismanagement.

The Commonwealth Secretariat has denied any irregularities and stressed that it has implemented all the recommendations of an internal audit report.

“The follow up audit, in April, will test and verify this position. We hope that the withheld discretionary funding, which is for the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, will then be reinstated, allowing the Commonwealth to continue delivering vital work on behalf of member countries,” the Secretariat had said last month

Do you know What is Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Finance Bill, Fiscal Policy in India, Expenditure Budget, Customs Duty? FE Knowledge Desk explains each of these and more in detail at Financial Express Explained. Also get Live BSE/NSE Stock Prices, latest NAV of Mutual Funds, Best equity funds, Top Gainers, Top Losers on Financial Express. Don’t forget to try our free Income Tax Calculator tool.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Rates for RoDTEP likely to be announced in 2 weeks: DGFT
2PM-KISAN benefits reach WB farmers; 7.03 lakh farmers get 1st installment of Rs 2,000 each
3PM Modi’s Akshaya Tritya bonanza for farmers, Rs 20,000 crore under PM-KISAN scheme directly transferred to nearly 10 crore farmers