priority in our foreign policy. We have increased our engagements with African countries in various sectors such as trade, investment, agriculture, healthcare, and infrastructure development.
The proposal to make the African Union a permanent member of the G20 is a step towards giving a voice to the Global South and ensuring greater representation of African countries in global decision-making processes. Africa is home to more than a quarter of the world’s countries and more than half of its population. It is important that their concerns, interests, and perspectives are taken into account.
By including the African Union in the G20, we can ensure that the issues and challenges faced by African countries are given due importance and that their voices are heard. This will contribute to a more inclusive and equitable global order.
The presence of the Global South in international fora is crucial because they bring unique perspectives, experiences, and solutions to the table. They represent a significant portion of the world’s population and are often the most affected by global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change, and pandemics.
Their inclusion in global decision-making processes is essential for addressing these challenges effectively and finding sustainable solutions that benefit all. It is about recognizing the diversity and richness of the world and ensuring that no voice is left unheard.
Q: India has announced the launch of the Net-Zero Producers Forum along with the US and UK. How do you see this forum contributing to global efforts in combating climate change?
A: Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, and it requires global cooperation and collective action. The Net-Zero Producers Forum is an important initiative in this regard.
The forum brings together major economies that are producers of fossil fuels, including India, the US, and the UK, to discuss and collaborate on ways to reduce carbon emissions and transition to a sustainable and low-carbon future.
As a country that is committed to addressing climate change, India has set ambitious targets for reducing its carbon emissions, increasing the share of renewable energy in its energy mix, and promoting sustainable development. We are already the world’s fourth-largest renewable energy producer.
Through the Net-Zero Producers Forum, we can share our experiences, best practices, and technological innovations with other countries and collaborate on finding solutions to reduce carbon emissions from the production and use of fossil fuels.
This forum can also help in mobilizing finance and investments for clean energy projects and technologies, especially in developing countries. It can promote the transfer of clean energy technologies and capacity-building initiatives to support the global transition to a low-carbon economy.
Overall, the Net-Zero Producers Forum can be a platform for dialogue, cooperation, and collective action to accelerate the decarbonization of the global economy and combat climate change.
Q: Prime Minister, you have been a strong advocate for digital technologies and their potential to transform governance, economy, and society. What role do you see digitalization playing in the post-pandemic recovery and in shaping the future of India?
A: Digitalization has emerged as a powerful tool in the post-pandemic world. It has played a crucial role in mitigating the impact of the pandemic, ensuring continuity in governance, delivering essential services, and facilitating economic recovery.
During the pandemic, we witnessed the rapid adoption of digital technologies in various sectors, including healthcare, education, agriculture, and finance. It has enabled remote work, online learning, telemedicine, digital payments, and e-commerce.
In India, the digital ecosystem has expanded significantly in recent years. We have witnessed a digital revolution with the widespread adoption of smartphones, affordable data services, and digital platforms. The Digital India initiative has laid the foundation for a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy.
We have leveraged digital technologies to deliver benefits and services directly to the people, especially the marginalized and vulnerable sections of society. The Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme, for example, has transformed the delivery of subsidies, pensions, and other welfare benefits by eliminating middlemen and ensuring transparency and efficiency.
Digitalization has also opened up new opportunities for entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation. Start-ups and digital platforms have created new business models and transformed traditional sectors. The digital economy is expected to contribute significantly to India’s GDP and employment in the coming years.
Looking ahead, digitalization will continue to play a critical role in shaping the future of India. It will drive our efforts towards building a digital infrastructure that is secure, inclusive, and accessible to all. It will enable us to harness the power of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things.
Digitalization will also play a crucial role in achieving our development goals, including sustainable development, financial inclusion, and social empowerment. It will empower our citizens, especially women and youth, by providing them with access to information, education, healthcare, and opportunities for economic growth.
In conclusion, digitalization is not just a tool or a means, but a vision and a pathway towards a digitally empowered, inclusive, and prosperous India.