Buried under the din of the changing electoral climate, India took an important step in its fight against climate change this summer. The 'Expert Group on Low Carbon Strategies for Inclusive Growth' submitted a report laying out the roadmap for India to take on climate change proactively. Given the renewed interest in the so-called "environment vs growth" debate, this is of particular significance.
As India moves toward its seventh decade of independence, it faces a defining period. As the world’s biggest democracy with an economy among the world’s ten largest, India’s status as a re-emerging global power is now not just recognised but increasingly institutionalised: a seat in the G-20, increasing clout in international financial institutions, growing acceptance as a nuclear-armed state, and impressive peacekeeping credentials under the United Nations.
The five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) – have gained on the world stage and their presence is being felt in every multilateral institution. Among them India – the world’s largest democracy with a burgeoning economy and a long history of engagement with the multilateral order – is of special significance. For BRICS watchers in general and anyone interested in the future of India in particular, twenty-two scholars of international repute have produced one of the most comprehensive volumes on India’s role in the evolving global order: Shaping the Emerging World.
The ascendency of the Global South is reinforced in the United Nations Development Programme’s 2013 Human Development Report aptly titled The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. In particular 40 countries, including India, made gains on their human development index scores between 1990 and 2012. Several factors, including integration with the world economy and enhanced South-South cooperation, contributed to the improvement in human development.