Is Indian Development Cooperation Taking a New Direction Under Modi?
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Rising powers such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are taking independent stands and changing the discourse on development cooperation in international fora. India has played a key role in driving this, most recently contributing to the establishment of the BRICS Development Bank and being nominated to host its first presidency. At home, a new Development Partnership Administration signals a commitment to a more coherent and consistent implementation of development cooperation. However, the recently elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government has yet to articulate a clear development policy despite election pledges to strengthen India’s position as world leader, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proactive foreign policy engagement. India needs to move on from the rhetoric of South- South Cooperation and ad hoc decisions based on high-level bilateral visits, to a more concrete development agenda. It can play to the strength of its civil society experience in poverty reduction, livelihood promotion and good governance, and it needs to develop appropriate regulatory mechanisms for companies operating its lines of credit or involved in foreign direct investment.