On November 30, 2020, India virtually hosted the 19th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of Government (SCO CHG) which was chaired by Vice President of India Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu from New Delhi.
- This was the first Summit-level Meeting held under India’s Chairmanship, since it gained full -membership of the organization in 2017. This is an annual summit at the level of Prime Ministers of SCO and deals primarily with the trade and economic agenda of the organization.
- Turkmenistan has been invited as a Special Guest of India.
- It should be noted that India assumed the Chairmanship of the SCO Council of Heads of Government on 2 November 2019 as per rotation from the previous Chair Uzbekistan. Now with this meeting it completed its year long tenure.
- During the period of chairmanship, India focused on creating three new pillars of cooperation:Startups and Innovation, Science and Technology and Traditional Medicine.
–1st ever SCO Online International Exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage held
On the lines of the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Bishkek Summit at the SCO Heads of State in 2019, Venkaiah Naidu launched the first ever SCO Online 3D Exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage, during the meeting.
- The first-of-its-kind SCO online International exhibition was developed and curated by National Museum, New Delhi, in active collaboration with SCO member countries.
- The participating institutions were National Museum (New Delhi), Indian Museum (Kolkata), National Museum of Kazakhstan, Dun Huang Academy (China), National Historical Museum of the Kyrgyz Republic, Museums of Pakistan, State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow (Russia), National Museum and National Museum of Antiquities, Tajikistan and renowned archaeological sites of Uzbekistan.
- This exhibition provided an opportunity to the visitors to access, appreciate and compare Buddhist art antiquities from SCO countries on a single platform.
The visitors accessed the Gandharaand Mathura Schools, Nalanda, Amaravati, Sarnath etc. in a 3D virtual format.The exhibition also showcases rare Buddhist art objects from various heritage sites and museums of Kazakhstan and Kyrygstan. The prime attraction of Tajikistan hall is the 13 meter long reclining – ‘Buddha in Nirvana’ from Ajina-Tepa.
–India proposes to set up SCO working groups on startups and innovation, traditional medicine
India has offered to create and Chair a new Special Working Group on Startups and Innovation and to set up a new Expert Working Group on Cooperation in Traditional Medicine.
- It was announced that the Ministry of AYUSH is ready to annually host the Expert Working Group on Traditional Medicine in India under the mechanism of SCO Health Ministers Meeting.
–India organized in the virtual format, the first-ever SCO Young Scientists Conclave
India has also organized the virtual format of the first-ever SCO Young Scientists Conclave (YSC) on Nov 24-28, 2020 in which more than 200 young scientists participated. It was aimed at harnessing the lateral thinking, ideology and innovative caliber of the young minds. It was held on the theme “Shaping SCO-STI Partnership: Young Scientists Perspectives”.
- It was organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology.
—India proposed to hold the SCO food festival in 2021 in Delhi
India has also proposed to host the SCO Food Festival in 2021 in Delhi to commemorate the 20th anniversary of SCO.
–Proposal of SCO MSME Bazaar
SCO Business Council Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has proposed to organize an annual SCO MSME Bazaar and to establish a digital SCO MSME Center.
Participants of Meeting:
Minister of External Affairs, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and other senior officials from MEA participated in the event. From other countries, Askar Mamin, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Artem Eduardovich Novikov, Acting Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, Andleeb Abbas, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Pakistan, Mikhail Mishustin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Qohir Rasulzoda, Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan, Abdulla Nigmatovich Aripov, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, Amrullah Saleh, 1st Vice President of Afghanistan, Golovchenko Roman, Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, Eshaq Jahangiri, First Vice President of Iran, SODBAATAR Yangug (Sc. Dr) Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, Rashid Meredov, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs Turkmenistan, SCO Secretary-General- Vladimir Norov, Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) Jumakhon Giyosov, Chairman of the SCO Business Council Sergey Katyrin, Chairman SCO Interbank Association Igor Shuvalov were among the dignitaries who attended the virtual summit.
Recent Related News:
i.The Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence (MoD) paid a 3 days visit to Moscow, Russia from September 3-5, 2020 to attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence ministers and to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu on further boosting bilateral defence cooperation.
ii.On September 10, 2020 Union Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge), Prahlad Singh Patel virtually participated in the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Culture Ministers meeting.
About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):
The SCO is a regional grouping of eight member states, India, Russia, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It also has four observer States — Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia
Secretary General – Vladimir Norov
Headquarters – Beijing, China