India, the innovator of BRICS

The last February, India assumed the chairmanship of the BRICS which will stand to the next December. Until now, it was difficult to typify the India’s role in the BRICS Forum which brings together the new protagonists of the International Political System: it’s clear that China is the economic motor of group, Russia operates as the political and geopolitical mastermind, Brazil is the attractive and “savory” face of BRICS, and South Africa imply the Forum link and engagement with the less developed countries in the world (not selfless commitment, by the way). But, what does represent India? What is the India’s contribution to the BRICS?

Shashi Tharoor, former Minister of State for External Affairs of India, presume that it’s country has gone

“from the image of India as land of fakirs lying on beds of nails, and snake charmers with the Indian rope trick, to the image of India as a land of mathematical geniuses, computer wizards, software gurus” (Why nations should pursue soft power).

Certainly, the engineering is one of fastest growing sector in India, a fact that is changing its economy and society. But the innovation Indian spirit is not reduced to technology and software sector but it seems to be permeating politics, at least foreign policy.

The understanding that “BRICS acts as a vital pillar for this world full of political challenges” (Narendra Modi), India has come promoting innovators institutional schemes of dialog of cooperation for next Summit to be held in Pangim (October 2016).

During its chairmanship, India has adopted and will foster a five-pronged approach for intra-BRICS cooperation:

  1. Institution building to further deepen, sustain and institutionalise BRICS cooperation;
  2. Implementation of the decisions from previous Summits;
  3. Integrating the existing cooperation mechanisms;
  4. (iv) Innovation, i.e., new cooperation mechanisms on government-to-government, Track-II, business-to-business and people-to-people to tap the full potential of BRICS cooperation; and
  5. Continuity, i.e., continuation of mutually agreed existing BRICS cooperation mechanisms.

Source: 8th BRICS Summit

India has named that approach “I4C” and, precisely, that’s the key for the continuity in this so unfavorable context for its partners: institutionalize, implement, integrate and innovate are the mechanisms whereby BRICS will reach a bright future.

Although until now it was not clear its role, there is no doubt that India begins to emerge and show itself as the institutional innovator of BRICS Forum.