India’s Presidency of the G-20: Expectation for Environment, Education and Health Reform

India has been consecrated into the Presidency of the 18th G-20 Heads of State and Government Summit amidst the ministers, senior delegates, and civil society. India assumed the office of the G-20 presidency from Indonesia on  Dec. 1, 2022 and holds the presidency of the G-20 from Dec. 1, 2022 to Nov. 30, 2023. Under its presidency, India will host around 200 meetings with expertise on multiple streams covering more than 30 workstreams.

The logo of the G-20 under India’s presidency draws inspiration from the colors of the Indian flag: saffron, white and green, and blue. The theme of India’s G-20 presidency is “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” or “one earth, one family, one future,” is drawn from the Mahaupanishad. The logo and theme of India’s G-20 presidency convey a powerful message: striving for justice and equality for all in the world. Both represent a unique Indian approach to the G-20 presidency of living in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem. India’s presidency – a nation deeply committed to democracy and multilateralism — would be a watershed moment in the history of India as it seeks to play a major role in finding proper ideal global solutions for the entire living things. And in doing so, it intends to manifest the real value of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘the world is one family’. 

Major burning issues such as climate change, lack of proper education and health, have brought significant changes in the circumstances of all living being across the world. Keeping these concerns in mind, the theme of India’s G-20 presidency (one earth, one family, one future) promises to bring attention to the world’s major economies on existing concerns and make organisational efforts to find a mutual solution. Under India’s presidency, a serious deliberation across abroad concerns/priorities would revolve around sustainable development, international peace and harmony, reforms in public institutions, public health infrastructure, green development, and LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment). 

India’s G-20 presidency came at a time when the world was experiencing serious geopolitical and economic challenges. In this context, India has the opportunity for steering discussions and driving collective efforts to bring peace and global economic stability. However, for India, it is not an easy business to deal with such challenges in her one year of presidency. In such a challenging scenario, India’s presidency of the G-20 provides an opportunity for India to show the world the path to peace and economic stability.

In light of India’s G-20 presidency achieving universal health coverage and improving health infrastructure will be the key driving force in 2023. Currently, the G-20 has a financial stream and Sherpa stream system for health financing and infrastructure development. In the presence of such a system at the G-20 level, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the lack of meaningful engagement among the G-20 member states in the field of health cooperation. India’s health sector has also been exposed at the domestic level during the Covid-19 pandemic. Under its presidency, India needs to forge a serious engagement among the G-20 member states on improving mutual cooperation in health sector. India should utilize such an ideal opportunity to to implement universal health coverage and improve health facilities.

Other significant sectors, such as education and the environment, are the center of the discussion at the summit of the G-20 presidency in 2023. India’s education and technology industry has successfully made its presence in the world. In line with India’s reformatory initiative in the education sector, the working group meeting of the G-20 in Chennai brought to the table the uses of technologies in education by several international agencies and countries. India- under its presidency- can share its prevailing education and technological system so that the world could achieve a meaningful universal education and at the same time it can learn from other member countries’ education system. 

India hosted the first G-20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) in Bengaluru on February 2023 with a serious commitment to restoration and enriching biodiversity, climate resilient blue economy and encouraging and promoting resource efficiency and sustainable development. India needs to encourage sustainable and environment-friendly lifestyles based on India’s tradition of trusteeship towards nature. To promote harmony within the human family, India also needs seek to depoliticise the global supply of food, fertilizers, and medical products, so that geo-political tensions do not lead to humanitarian crises.

India — being a single G-20 member from the South Asian region — has a high expectation from the underdeveloped nations that India would speak on their behalf at the G-20 summit. Amid such expectations and serious geopolitical and non-traditional challenges, if G-20 summit under Inida’s presidency doesn’t offer  any innovative solutions to the world’s serious concerns, the rest of world will keep raising questions on its relevance and value.

[Image credit: G20 Secretariat, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India]

Pramod Kumar is a PhD Research Scholar at ‘Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies (CRCAS)’, School of International Studies (SIS), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He post graduated in Political Science with International Relations from Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

What is the Relevance of Networked Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific?

Deterrence has been at the center of the world’s strategic thinking for over the last seven decades. During the Cold War period, the idea...

Why Tajikistan’s Water Matters

Tajikistan is a very rich country in terms of water and hydropower potential. Its water, which is the Central Asian nation’s most widespread natural...

Being Part of the Plan: An Integrated Approach for Global Biological Diversity Conservation

The International Day for Biological Diversity, observed annually on 22nd May every year, serves as a poignant reminder to recognize and promote the importance...