Interaction with Dr Sushmit Kumar on India’s Potential to become a Super Power
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On 01 Mar 2018, the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) invited Dr Sushmit Kumar, author of “The Modernisation of Islam and the Creation of a Multipolar World Order” (Booksurge, January 2008) for a discussion that hinged on exploring possibilities of India to become a Super Power. Dr Kumar highlighted key historic events of global politics and their implications for countries like India seeking to rise in the global power status.

In particular, he underpinned the importance of controlling currency as the surest way of attaining global power status, citing example of the United States which effectively used the Bretton Woods Conference paving the way for the US Dollar to link to gold standards and other currencies pegged to the US Dollar, and subsequent adoption of the floating currencies in 1971, among measures that charted the course for the US’ pre-eminence in the global economic order. China's introduction of Yuan as a global currency and the implications for India, as also for the larger world, were also analysed in this context. The possibilities of the economic downfall of the USA and China’s rise as a military and economic replacement also came up for scrutiny during Dr Kumar’s presentation. Among other things, the impact of trade deficit on the economy leading to job losses and exacerbating income inequality, were also analysed.

According to Dr Kumar, the route to India becoming a superpower lies in several key factors:-

• India should focus on manufacturing, skill development, education, science and technology, research and development and innovation, thereby developing capacities to reach a trade surplus.
• India's initiatives to privatise industries should be done on the basis of cooperatives, in order to protect the working class and kept manufacturing as a lucrative avenue.
• To reduce external dependencies on key resources such as coal and oil and developing renewable energy capacities in solar, wind etc.

Discussions focused on the inter-connectedness of global economic order. It was pointed out during the interactive session that China’s continued rise remains contingent upon other countries reciprocating. The advantages and disadvantages of keeping trade surplus as a criteria of India becoming a super power was delved into, while India's capacities to join existing trade regimes was also discussed.

Event Date 
March 1, 2018
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