BRICS S&T 2022: India's chairship to host 5 international events
During the 15th meeting of the BRICS Science Technology Innovation (STI) Steering Committee on 17 January, India successfully handed over the BRICS Chairmanship to China from January 2022. India will host five international events throughout the year. The five high-level events are BRICS Startups Forum's Working Groups meeting on Energy; Biotechnology & Biomedicine; ICT & High-Performance Computing and the STIEP (Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Partnership) Working Group Meeting, which will also witness the launch of BRICS innovation launchpad as a microsite (Knowledge Hub).
The theme for BRICS 2022 is "Foster High-Quality BRICS Partnership Usher in a New Era for Global Development". A series of sectoral events and meetings, consisting of Minister level and BRICS Summit, will be organized during the year. The Calendar of BRICS STI activities and expected deliverables are discussed at the virtually organized meeting.
India as host of BRICS Summit 2021
Although the 13th BRICS Summit was held under India's Chairship on 09 September 2021. It was the third time India hosted the BRICS Summit after 2012 and 2016. Its theme was BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus.
As the world is resolving some disputes because of the pandemic and its variants induced crisis and opportunities, BRICS S&T 2022 also would happen virtually. Hence, we look back at the journey spanned thus far since the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York in 2006 to inspect the achievements and contributions of BRICS to the global agenda and also to national growth stories of India.
Certainly, it is a matter of great pride that BRICS has been an ideal of multilateralism based on equality, mutual respect and trust. The journey of the BRICs began with a meeting of the Political heads (leaders) of Brazil, Russia, India and China in St Petersburg, Russia, in July 2006. It was a G8 Outreach Summit then. In September 2006, the group was made official, and the first official meeting of the foreign ministers was held. It led to the first-ever BRIC Summit held in Russia on 16 June 2009. South Africa became part of the organization in 2011. It is the only African country that is included in the list. South Africa attended the 3rd BRICS Summit in Sanya, China, on 14 April 2011.
Achievements of BRICS
BRICS assembles the major emerging economies of the world that comprise 41% of the world's total population. The countries embrace 24% of the world's GDP and more than 16% of the trade in the world. These have formed a Contingent Reserve Arrangement. And the major achievements comprise the establishment of the New Development Bank. It is a substitute for the World Bank. The BRICS nations have a global plan known as the Brasilia Declaration. BRICS nations deliberate on important issues under the three pillars of political and security, economic and financial and cultural and people to people exchanges.
The themes of every summit reflect the approach to strengthen the founding principles of BRICS cooperation based on continuity, consolidation and consensus. As Chair, India had worked on specific deliverables across all three pillars of intra-BRICS cooperation in 2021.
Political and Security: To enrich cooperation and dialogue on global and regional security issues developments in the global political space for peace, security, and prosperity. The priorities for this pillar were: Reform of the Multilateral System and Counter Terrorism Cooperation.
Economic and Financial: To boost economic growth and development for mutual prosperity through expanding intra-BRICS cooperation in segments like trade, agriculture, infrastructure, small and medium enterprises, energy and finance & banking. Recognizing the miracles of using technological and digital solutions for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in BRICS countries with a special emphasis on Implementation of the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy 2020-25, Operationalization of the BRICS Agriculture Research Platform, Cooperation on Disaster Resilience, Innovation Cooperation, and Digital Health and Traditional Medicine.
Cultural and People to People: To qualitatively enrich and enhance intra-BRICS people to people contacts in cultural, sports, academic, youth, business through common exchanges. Exchanges among Parliamentarians, young scientists etc., were also carried out.
The anticipation from BRICS 2022
The BRICS STI Steering Committee meeting was attended by representatives from BRICS scientific ministries foreign Missions. From the Indian side, the meeting was led by Shri Sanjeev Kumar Varshney, Advisor & Head International Cooperation, Department of Science and Technology.
Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is the main executing agency for BRICS startups Forum and innovation knowledge hub creation. During the meeting organized virtually, the Chinese side presented a broad outline of activities to be enacted during the whole year. It mainly embraces thematic meetings, BRICS Young Scientist Conclave, Senior official, and Ministerial level meetings. A total of 25 events have been intended, of which India will host a total of five. The BRICS Young Scientist Conclave will be organized in September 2022 in a virtual format, and the thematic focus may be Carbon peak neutralization; Biomedicine, Artificial Intelligence, Material Science, Modern Agriculture.
China will host the 10th BRICS S&T Ministerial meeting and Senior Official Meeting in September 2022. The meeting theme would endorse Open, Inclusive, and Shared Science, Technology, and Innovation. At the sideline of the Ministerial meeting, an exhibition will be organized showcasing outcomes of successful projects reinforced under the BRICS Framework Programme (2015-2022).
For the finalization of the BRICS Calendar of scientific events and programs, all countries will notify the meeting's specific dates, venue, and format. India tentatively showed a willingness to host the STIEP working group meeting on 23rd – 24th March 2022 and BRICS Startups Forum Meeting in May/June 2022.
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