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G-20: India’s presidency- Why it is important

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G Indira
G Indira
Author of the book: The India I Know and of Hinduism. Ex-Publications in -charge Pragna Bharati Organisation, Hyderabad. Academician and free-lancer

This is for general understanding- What’s G-20 all about? Why is India’s presidency this year 2023 so important? What would be the deliberations? How would it be conducted? What are G-20’s benefits? – these are questions to the common man. The Government of India (GOI) has made many awareness campaigns and has also developed the logo: One earth, one family, one future with a Globe (earth) placed inside Lotus Flower.

The prime minister addressed the nation, while unveiling the logo. He said that the world had witnessed two huge crises viz. Covid-19 Pandemic and Russia- Ukraine war that had had a huge affect. The major impact was on world- economy. In this connection, he said, the G -20 summit that India was holding would become important.

Historically, G-20 (the Group of Twenty countries) is a body that focuses solely on international economic and policy coordination matters. G-20 was set up by G-7 (Group of Seven viz. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K and the U.S, in addition- the European Union), after the financial crisis in 2008 that hit the western developed nations badly. The idea of G-20 was to broaden the economic base, by co-opting developing nations in the world.

This time round, in India’s presidency of G-20, India is working with developing and developed nations to lead on different issues pertaining to — trade, climate change, sustainable development, health, agriculture, energy, environment, climate change and anti-corruption. This way, India has expanded the agenda, to discuss in the intergovernmental forum of G-20. While using the forum, India could use its diplomatic dexterity on many world controversies such as: Russia– Ukraine war impasse, major tension between the U.S and Russia and The U.S. and China. India has, up to now, played its cards well on all these internationally tense-issues and used them to its benefit.  

Before India, it was Indonesia that presided G-20 last year i.e. 2022. Then it handed over the presidency (as the presidency is on rotation basis among the participating countries) to India for presiding from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023. During the Indonesian presidency also, it is said, that India played a critical role in the G- 20 in Bali, by building bridges with major powers of the world and in assisting the summit coordination.

Usually, it is thought (by the common man) that international trade, energy, economy and international relationships are all elitist affairs. What have they to do with common masses? However, the Indian public is keen on knowing the proceedings that are going to take place in the G-20 summit with regard to energy, climate change, food security etc. became they have an impact on their daily lives. They are no more elitist matters. The prime minister’s aim is to take G-20 to the public sphere. He said this while addressing the Indian diaspora at the recent Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) that “The G-20 is not just a diplomatic event; it should be turned into a historic event of public participation.”  (

G-20 is supposed to have many engagement groups and many officials involved from the PMO and External Affairs ministry. They set the agenda on focus issues viz. global economy, food security, digital technology, health, finance etc. Experts say that the G-20 is open to more voices from the other international organizations. That being the case, the agenda is open and democratic. So far, in all international organizations like that of the U.N., WTO (World Trade Organisation) etc., India and other such developing countries’ voices have not got representation to secure their national interest. In all these organizations, the rules, practices and procedures have been created and designed/structured for major powers to benefit.

Therefore, India and other developing countries are asking for a multilateral approach. It is right on India’s part to ask so. For, India’s multilateral strategy has grown as its own economy has grown. India is at present the 5th largest economy in the World and is soon likely to be the third after the U.S. and China. India has the power and clout to shape and lead the global economic agenda and international responses to global challenges. This summit, G-20 makes India, from the present developing state to an emerging great power. With all countries, India could strategize and manage geopolitical and geo-economic challenges.

Politically, the BJP party that is in power gains by holding G-20. The media coverage will be immense. The prime minister’s stature and statesmanship gets a boost, as world leaders join to shake hands with him. The Congress that calls this summit an opportunistic one for the BJP before the general elections in 2024, should be reminded that they had had their sway when the Doordarshan (DD) monopolized media space in the country.

It was always Indira Gandhi shown shaking hands with leaders like: Yasser Arafat or Fidel Castro etc. Similarly, Rajiv Gandhi shook hands with tall world leaders and that was projected by the lone state-sponsored media. Now, it is the turn of the BJP, as the party wants to take the country and its civilization to heights.

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G Indira
G Indira
Author of the book: The India I Know and of Hinduism. Ex-Publications in -charge Pragna Bharati Organisation, Hyderabad. Academician and free-lancer
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