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India's Stakes at World Economic Forum

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India's Stakes at World Economic Forum

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  Published : Monday, 19 January, 2015 02:20 PM
  
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India’s Stakes at World Economic Forum 
 
Klaus Schwab, a German professor at University of Geneva, Switzerland founded ‘European Management Forum’ in 1971 and changed its name to ‘World Economic Forum’ (WEF) in 1987. With the objective of ‘improving the state of the world’, WEF organizes an annual meeting at Davos in Switzerland where around 2500 business professionals, international leaders, members of civil society and journalists mark their presence. In 2015, the 45th meeting of WEF will be organized between January 21-24, 2015 and the theme of the meeting would be ‘The New Global Context’. 
 
The Next Global Context 
 
The theme of 2015 WEF annual conference would be ‘the new global context’ where participants would discuss the challenges affecting the today’s world. The current global challenges which have become part of the theme of WEF include - environment and resource scarcity; employment skills and human capital; gender parity; long-term investing, infrastructure and development; food security and agriculture; international trade and investment; future of the internet; global crime and anti-corruption; social inclusion; and future of financial systems.  
 
The five day conference would host over all 280 sessions on various themes which the organizers believe is the part of the Next Global Context. All the issues to be discussed at the conference are crucial for the holistic development of third world countries including India. Some major issues to be discussed at WEF which are significant for Indian interest are –
 
 
Resolving Geopolitical Crisis
 
The conflicts in Ukraine and Middle East and their impacts are not limited to Central Asia and Middle East but all across the Europe and Asia. The rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is a challenge for the global community and India is not an exception. With the arrest of couple of techies in Hyderabad and Bangalore in the last few months, presence of IS cells in the country cannot be ruled out. Apart from affecting the global energy supply, disturbance in the Middle East also affects the internal security of the nations. The early resolution of these conflicts is necessary for the betterment of economics as well as security. 
 
Repercussions of Climate Change
 
Despite being the late entrant into the race of industrial growth and development, India was among the first to witness the global effects of climate change. Melting of glaciers, increased frequency of drought and floods, desertification etc are the ill effects of climate change currently faced by India. Though Lima conference on climate change has ended with countries agreeing to voluntary cuts, a clear global strategy for carbon emission control is yet to be figured out by the emitters. WEF platform can be used to discuss such emission cut plans which would not hamper the income security of developing countries. 
 
Pandemics and Health
 
In 2014, Ebola outbreak in West Africa emerged as the biggest global health challenge and found all the countries of the world united in preventing the spread of the disease. Very few Ebola cases were detected outside the region where it was endemic. At the same time, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes are becoming the world’s biggest silent killer and India is not an exception. With just two percent expenditure on health, poor health infrastructure, health security is one thing which India should provide to its citizens. 
 
New Energy Context
 
Energy is the single most important factor over which the growth and development of every country depends. Many wars in the 20th century were fought just for energy. As energy prices are dropping to five-year lows, the meet would discuss its short- and long-term effects on the world. India is an energy scarce country and the fall in energy prices are not just pacifying the inflation but also helping the government to fill its coffers and reduce the fiscal deficit. 
 
Though the matters discussed at the WEF meeting are not binding for the participating members and the forum is just a discussion platform. What signifies the relevance of WEF meet is the congregation of people from all the fields which affect or have the potential to affect the geopolitical and global economic scenario came on one platform. For that matter, realising that religious extremism is latest threat to the global peace and security, in 2015 WEF annual meet, even religious and cultural leaders were also invited. There is no denying of the fact that India too has been the victim of religious extremism. Religious extremism within as well as from outside the country is increasingly becoming a threat by removing the long cherished
 
values like tolerance. 
 
The motive behind the congregation of vast array of people at single platform is to generate new ideas and innovations to counter the current challenges encountered by the global community.
 
 
   
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