Context: India has given its nod to attend a key meeting of BRICS foreign ministers via video conferencing that will discuss the impact of Corona Virus on Global economy. 

More on the news

  • The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, has infected more than two million people worldwide and claimed more than 138,000 lives in about four months since its inception.
  • Prevailing economic slowdown: It has severely impacted some of the large emerging economies of the world, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
  • The BRICS nations had also participated in a virtual summit of G-20 leaders last month.

Need for Cooperation

  • The International Monetary Fund has projected global growth in 2020 to fall to minus 3% because of the impact of the pandemic on economic activities across the world owing to stringent lockdown norms.
    • In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, there is a need to keep such political configurations working to develop cooperation at various levels including BRICS.

Role of India as a bridge

  • The thinking of Russia and China, and even South Africa, is not entirely in line with that of the US. 
  • India has the ability to play a bridging role, as its position is not the same as Russia and China, or the US.
    •  India has already participated in several multilateral meetings on the pandemic, including the one involving South Asian heads of government and between senior officials of the Indo-Pacific region.
    • India has been playing the role of a reliable global supplier of medicines.India has sent shipments of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to 55 countries such as the US, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Russia, South Africa and Australia.
    • HCQ is seen as a useful treatment option for patients with covid-19 complications.




  • The term "BRIC" was coined in 2001 by then-chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Jim O'Neill, in his publication Building Better Global Economic BRICs.
    • He also suggested world policymaking forums should be reorganised and in particular, the G7 should be adjusted to incorporate BRIC representatives.
  • BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. 
  • As a formal grouping, BRIC started after the meeting of the leaders of Russia, India and China in St Petersburg on the margins of the G8-Outreach Summit in July 2006.
  • Initially, the bloc included only four nations and was termed as BRIC, as South Africa became a member of the bloc only in 2010. 

More about BRICS

  • The first BRIC Summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on June 16, 2009.
    • The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs. All members of BRICS are members of G20. 
    • The BRICS summit has been hosted alternatively every year since 2009.
    •  The 10th BRICS Summit was hosted by South Africa in January 2018.
  • The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) is a framework for the provision of support through liquidity and precautionary instruments in response to actual or potential short-term balance of payments pressures.It was established in 2015.
  • BRICS leaders will soon commence the full operationalization of the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR).  
    • PartNIR will deepen BRICS cooperation in digitalization, industrialization, innovation, inclusiveness and investment.  
    • It aims to maximize the opportunities and address the challenges arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution.  
  • BRICS Plus - China introduced the “BRICS Plus” format at the Xiamen summit last year.

Source: Mint

Source: VectorStock