India virtually held the inaugural 3-day long Sherpas meeting from February 24-26, 2021. This is the 1st Sherpas meeting hosted by India after it assumed the 2021 BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Chairship. India succeeds Russia as the Chair of BRICS.
- The meeting was chaired by Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary, CPV and OIA (Consular, Passport & Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs) & P Harish, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations as India’s BRICS Sherpa & Sous Sherpa.
- Focus – The main focus of the meeting was Cultural & people-to-people engagement.
- Theme for India’s Chairship – ‘[email protected]: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’.
- BRICS is celebrating its 15th anniversary. BRICS was formalized in 2006 during the 1st meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers on the margins of UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) New York, USA. South Africa later joined the grouping in 2010
Priorities Selected by India:
- Reforms of multilateral system,
- Counter-terrorism cooperation,
- Utilizing digital and technological solutions for achieving SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)
- Enhancing people-to-people exchanges would be India’s priorities.
- A series of briefings & presentation on counter-terrorism cooperation, agriculture with emphasis on sustainable development and digital agriculture, innovation, cooperation, digital health, countering COVID-19 pandemic were presented.
- In 2021, New Development Bank’s (NDB) regional offices would be opened in Russia & India & NDB’s membership is also set to be expanded.
- BRICS Sherpas agreed to meet again 2 months to review the progress made on discussions.
13th BRICS Summit
- The 13th BRICS Summit is going to be held under India’s Chairship in 2021.
- It is the 3rd time that India is hosting the BRICS Summit after 2012 and 2016.
Note – The inaugural BRICS summit took place in Yekaterinburg, Russia on June 16, 2009.
- On February 19, 2021, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar launched India’s BRICS 2021 website “brics2021.gov.in” at the BRICS Secretariat at Sushma Swaraj Bhawan.
Action Plan of India as 2021 Chair
India has also set specific deliverables across all 3 pillars of Intra-BRICS cooperation in 2021. The 3 pillars are
- Political and Security
- Economic and Financial
- Cultural and People to People
Recent Related News:
i.The 12th BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Summit 2020 held virtually on November 17, 2020 which was attended by heads of state of the five member states.