BRICS as a multi-forum association was started with much enthusiasm with world’s fastest growing economies coming on board to have better economic cooperation, as well as strategic cooperation on worldly issues. However, barring few achievements, BRICS continues to remain dormant and faces following challenges :
a)Economic : All other major powers except for India are going through an economic slowdown.
b) Delay in decision making has been an issue. This mainly stems due to the bilateral differences between India-China in some issues. (Example : India’s push to isolate Pakistan on grounds of terrorism while China ignoring any such statement)
c)Formation of the Contingency Fund wasn’t taken very well by US. Also, USA-Japan were a bit skeptic about National Development Bank’s push and feared it being a counter for IMF.
d) Influence of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) in the forum is feared by the NATO allies. India joined it in the recent past too.
e) The forum feels more like an East-burgeoning bloc to counter the hegemonic forces of west.
What should be done instead :
a) Forum should be focused more on economic and social pressing issues like terrorism and loans sanctioning from NDB. Recent talks pushed about Comprehensive Cooperation on International Terrorism are right steps in this direction.
b) Potential of sharing of resources and technology among BRICS members e.g. extension of the Russia-China gas pipeline to India would further.
c) NDB should be pushed to issue bonds in member currencies in order to mitigate the foreign currency risk of funded infrastructure projects and help develop local currency fund- raising markets.
d) Cooperate better to bring in stability in Afganistan region, hold peace talks, which could be a good move to push for better connectivity with the west and resources for Middle East.
BRICS gives India the room to continue being an important player in the liberal international order. India should infact push to make BRICS a more coordinated forum as an alternative to the recently partially dumped SAARC.