INDIA –SCO

CONTEXT:

In an address at the virtual meet of the council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu particularly mentioned about cross-border terrorism and called for combating the menace under a collective approach.

BACKGROUND:

SCO

  • SCO is a significant organization that has a vast geographic expanse and is important for Central Asia, South-Asia and Asia-Pacific region.
  • It is a major Eurasian organization that represents half of the world’s population.

Members:

The SCO has eight members namely

  1. India,
  2. Kazakhstan,
  3. China,
  4. Kyrgyzstan,
  5. Pakistan,
  6. Russia,
  7. Tajikistan
  8. Uzbekistan,

Observer states:

  1. Afghanistan,
  2. Belarus,
  3. Iran and
  4. Mongolia.

India joined SCO in 2017 at the insistence of Russia, and China balanced India’s entry with the entry of Pakistan.

IMPORTANCE:

  • The organization comprises four major nuclear powers operating in the area viz. India, Russia, China, and Pakistan.
  • It has the capacity to counterbalance North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), therefore, it is sometimes considered as “alliance of the East”, i.e, the Eastern complementary of NATO.
  • SCO has an evolving mandate which started off by being an economic, political, cultural and regional security organization.
  • But with time, the security (military coordination, cyber coordination, etc.) aspect gained prominence.

Its mandate includes:

  1. Promoting mutual trust and cooperation in politics, trade, economy, research, technology and culture amongst the member states.
  2. Enhancing ties in areas like education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection and healthcare.
  3. Maintaining and ensuring peace, security and stability in the region.
  4. Moving towards the establishment of democratic, fair and rational international political and economic order.

Importance for India:

  • Historical Significance
  • Diplomatic Ties
  • Military.
  • Connectivity
  • Economic Factor

Challenges:

  • Associated Projects
  • Accessibility
  • Geopolitical Concerns

CONCLUSION:

India’s soft power could be harnessed so as to end the mysterious perception that is prevalent in the hinterland areas of China regarding India’s aura.

SOURCE: RSTV

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