The term BRIC was coined by Goldman Sachs as an abbreviation to the emerging economies, never knowing that it would go beyond just being a term to form a major bloc in 21st century. BRIC was officially set up in year 2008 with member countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Later on it was joined by a fifth member country, South Africa thereby giving it its present nomenclature. The Brics economy accounts for 20% of world GDP and 4 trillion dollar foreign reserve. Apart from these mindboggling numbers it is also the largest human resource which act as pedestal for the growing clout of the Brics.The Brics was set up as an alternate to US dominated institutions having a biased approach towards non western countries. It also aimed to become self dependent on various factors including economic stability which is governed by US and western markets.
The BRICS had come a long way since its inception in 2008 thereby having global recognition on international forums. And in this journey, the progress made by the BRICS country can not be undermined or ignored. The inclusion of South Africa in the bloc paved way for an entry to the African market. The major development of BRICS was to do away with the donor recipient relation in north south. It had contributed immensely to the world bodies like IMF to increase its lending power. Generally the Bretton woods institution has many strings attached to its donation and are safeguarding the US economic policies. BRICS came out of this US hegemony which was considered as a major triumph. The setting up of Think Tank Forums gave five pillars for further strengthening the relation which includes cooperation for economic growth, peace and security, political and economic governance, sharing of knowledge and innovation.
The BRICS bloc added feather to its cap by institutionalizing the group by setting up of New Development Bank also commonly known as Brics bank. The setting up of this bank was seen as an alternate to IMF which had equal voting rights unlike Bretton Woods Institute with voting percentage on the contribution capacity of the member's country. The bloc also took the initiative to form a joint fund to invest in the Brics infrastructure projects. With the formation of a bloc the countries had increased their presence in different fields of development and co operation especially in Middle East and African states. The member countries stood firmly behind Russia during Crimean crisis thereby sending a strong signal to western world against unilateral sanction policies. The annual Brics summit provides a platform to the leaders to share their concern and thoughts regarding geopolitical issues.
The Brics has been criticized for its failure on many issues as well. One of the common criticisms faced by the member countries is lack of understanding of common policy and political actions which was the reason for delay in setting up of the Brics bank. Many countries have pointed out dominance of China in the bloc due to obvious reasons of its lion share in Brics economy. The economic irregularities between member countries are a matter of concern itself, for e.g. disparity in per capita income, foreign reserve etc. The countries are active only on economic forum but lacks in voicing concern on global issues like terrorism and climate change. It's high time that the member countries start acting on these issues to safeguard its national interest.
The ongoing tussle between India and china regarding demarcation of borders is another failure of the Brics community. Without solving bilateral issues the group won't go far in establishing itself as a major global powerhouse. The Tibet issue is a bone of contention between china and other countries with India giving political asylum to Dalai Lama is seen as a threat to China's sovereignty.
India is the most important constituent of the bloc due to factors like largest democratic country of the world and now the fastest growing major economy by surpassing China. India has successfully hosted the summit in 2012 at New Delhi.
India being the current chair of Brics, is scheduled to hold the summit in 2016 in the sate of Goa with range of other events like BRICS film festival, U17 football game etc thereby involving public participation in increasing the bonds between the nation.
It was India which mooted the idea of NDB to overcome global financial crisis which has a rippling effect on all the major economies of the world and gave NDB its first president, K V Kamath. Among all the member countries of the Brics, India is the only one with the speeding economy and stable financial market. When world was crunching under global economic crisis in 2008, it hardly affected India due to its strong economic policy and competitive markets. Thus, India provides perfect model for sustainable growth to the other countries. The country was also successful in wiping out polio which was praised by WHO as well. India's successful space programmes, mars mission and commercial satellite launch has just added to its growing stature.
As a summation it can be stated that the BRICS is on the right path and can accelerate the growth by overcoming policies and issues which deter its motto of economic prosperity, stability and sustainable growth where India can be a driving force.
- DHEERAJ SINGH