Gives 5 ideas to boost coop space exploration, other areas
New Delhi: India "fully supports the expansion of the Brics membership and welcomes moving forward with consensus on this", Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced at the open plenary session of the 15th Brics summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday evening.
Speaking at the plenary session of the Brics summit, just hours before India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission succeeded, the Prime Minister mooted "cooperation in the field of space" and suggested the creation of a Brics space exploration consortium wherein the grouping can work for the global good in areas like space research and weather monitoring.
The Prime Minister added that the grouping is already working on the Brics satellite constellation. He said that Brics will be "Breaking barriers, Revitalising economies, Inspiring innovation, Creating opportunities and Shaping the future".
"With initiatives like the Brics satellite constitution, the vaccine R&D centre and mutual recognition of pharma products, we are bringing positive changes in the lives of common citizens of the Brics countries," Modi said in his speech.
"My second suggestion is cooperation in education, skill development and technology. To make Brics a future-ready organisation, we have to make our societies future-ready. Technology will play an important role in this. In India, we have created DIKSHA, which is the Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing platform, to provide education to the children of remote and rural areas... Bhashini, an AI-based language platform, is being used in India to remove language barriers," he said, adding that "diversity is a great strength of India".
Talking about the importance of Africa in the world, Modi said that India, as the G20 grouping chair, had "proposed to give permanent membership of the G20 to the African Union" and added, "I am sure all the Brics partners are also together in the G20. And all will support our proposal."
The Prime Minister further said: "Giving special place to all these efforts in Brics will increase the self-confidence of the countries of the Global South (developing nations)… The countries of the Global South have been given special importance in the Brics, under the chairmanship of South Africa. We heartily welcome it. This is not only the expectation of the present time but also the need."
Modi added: "Our effort is to move forward together with all the countries on the motto of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. As many as 125 countries participated in the Voice of Global South summit held in January this year, sharing their concerns and priorities… Our New Development Bank is playing an important role in the development of the countries of the Global South."
The Prime Minister talked about joint efforts for the protection of big cats of different species that are found in all five Brics countries under the International Big Cat Alliance. He also highlighted the ecosystems of traditional medicine in Brics countries.
Earlier, on the issue of Brics expansion at the Brics leaders’ retreat, sources said, "India took the lead in forging consensus on membership criteria and selection of new members", adding that India’s efforts were guided by the objective to incorporate India’s strategic partners as new members.
The Brics currently has five member nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. According to reports, more than 20 nations have formally applied to join the grouping, while over 40 nations are keen to join the Brics. Countries that are keen to join reportedly include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, Egypt, Argentina and Bangladesh.