As we celebrate the seventh decade of our Republic, there are many achievements that India can be proud of. Today, the world looks at India with a new sense of anticipation as we emerge as one of the fastest-growing major economies. New Delhi is today seen as capable and willing to shape global outcomes and shoulder greater responsibilities in a world facing a leadership vacuum. There are challenges, but the optimism that radiates from India is a galvanizing force at a time when a fractured and polarised world has few bright spots.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 at Davos that got over recently was conspicuous in underlining the influence of geopolitics on contemporary global economic trends. Though this high-profile annual gathering in a Swiss resort is ostensibly aimed at reiterating the conventional economic wisdom on the need to further the agenda of economic globalization, there has been a distinct shift in the global mood over the last few years and there is no likelihood that things are going to return to “end of history” euphoria any time soon.
Budget made for capital expenditure must increase if India is to keep pace with China’s rising military might. India’s tumultuous and volatile strategic environment showed no signs of abating in intensity. New Delhi continues to face a two-front challenge from both of its primary foes, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Pakistan, notwithstanding the latter’s recent conciliatory overtures, which are only a smokescreen to tide over its dire economic vulnerabilities.
The G20 was conceived in 1999 in the wake of the Asian financial crisis as a platform for finance ministers and central bank governors to deliberate on issues pertaining to global finance and economy. In 2008, it was elevated to include the heads of State against the backdrop of global recession. Today, representing more than 80 per cent of the world’s GDP, 75 per cent of global trade, and 60 per cent of the global population amid a crisis of global multilateralism, G20 has emerged as a premier forum for deliberation on global issues.
This week, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg once again underlined that Ukraine could expect more deliveries of heavy weapons from western nations. The Ukraine war continues to drag on with Russia now resorting to indiscriminate bombardment of Ukrainian cities and infrastructure in an attempt to seize the initiative before the winter ends.
An exclusive ₹5,650 crore military infrastructure development plan was finalized in 2019 to strengthen the capacity of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, providing for the stationing of additional military forces, warships, aircraft, missile batteries, and infantry soldiers at the islands. Parallelly, a comprehensive plan for “force accretion” at the Andaman and Nicobar Command by 2027 is also being nurtured, involving a phased increase in Army manpower and assets through an improvement of the existing 108 Mountain Brigade and a new infantry battalion, apart from other upgrades.