India plans to push again towards “agenda-driven”, “neo-colonial” nation rankings produced by world companies on subjects like governance and press freedom, a key advisor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi advised Reuters in an interview on Friday.
Sanjeev Sanyal, a member of PM Modi’s Economic Advisory Council, stated India has begun to lift this difficulty at world boards. He stated the indices had been being compiled by a “tiny group of think-tanks within the North Atlantic,” sponsored by three or 4 funding companies which can be “driving a real-world agenda.”
“It isn’t just narrative constructing in some subtle approach. This has clear direct impression on commerce, funding and different actions,” Mr Sanyal stated.
India ranked decrease than Afghanistan and Pakistan within the new World Press Freedom Index launched by Reporters Without Borders. It was beneath Pakistan and Bhutan in an educational freedom index by V-Dem Institute.
Over the previous yr, India has in numerous conferences identified the failings in strategies used to compile world indices utilized by establishments just like the World Bank, World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr Sanyal stated.
The “World Bank is concerned on this dialogue as a result of it takes these opinions from these think-tanks and successfully sanctifies it by placing it into one thing known as the world governance index,” Mr Sanyal stated.
The World Bank, WEF, Reporters Without Borders and V-DEM Institute didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. UNDP stated it could reply shortly.
Mr Sanyal stated the scores additionally get hard-wired into decision-making via environmental, social and governance (ESG) norms and sovereign scores. Multilateral improvement banks supply subsidised loans to ESG-compliant tasks.
“The thought of getting some ESG norms just isn’t the issue in itself. The downside pertains to how these norms are outlined and who certifies or measures compliance to those norms,” he stated. “As issues are at present evolving, creating international locations have been utterly omitted of the dialog.”
The matter is being taken up by the Cabinet Secretariat, which has held greater than a dozen conferences on the problem this yr, a authorities official stated. The Cabinet Secretariat and finance ministry didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
India has stated it plans to be an advocate for creating international locations beneath its G20 presidency. Mr Sanyal didn’t say if India has flagged the problem of nation rankings with the G20.
“There are different creating international locations who’re additionally involved about this as a result of successfully this can be a type of neo-colonialism,” he stated, including that involved ministries have been requested to ascertain benchmarks and have interaction constantly with scores companies.
Some of the upcoming indices being watched out by India are monetary improvement index by International Monetary Fund, gender inequality and human improvement indices by UNDP, logistics efficiency and worldwide governance indicators by the World Bank, sources stated.