Title: The IBSA task list

Issue: India-Brazil-South Africa tripartite meeting

Syllabus: General Studies-II - International Relations - International Institutions and Global Groupings

Context: India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) grouping needs to evolve a careful blueprint to rejuvenate IBSA


1)      Some details about IBSA

  • The IBSA Dialogue Forum (India, Brazil, South Africa) is an international tripartite grouping for promoting international cooperation among these countries
  • IBSA was launched through the Brasilia Declaration in 2003. Its summits, between 2006 and 2011, gave it a special global profile.
  • IBSA is the true inheritor of solidarity among developing countries, which was nurtured from the Bandung Conference (1955) through UNCTAD and G-77 to the BAPA+40 Declaration (2018).
  • Objective of IBSA: galvanizing South-South cooperation and greater understanding between three important continents of the developing world namely, Africa, Asia and South America.
  • What is South-South cooperation? Exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between developing countries, also known as countries of the Global South.

2)      IBSA was overshadowed by BRICS, the larger group comprising IBSA countries, China and Russia

3)      However, recent meetings of IBSA are a welcome sign to revitalize tripartite grouping. Some of the actions taken in this regard are:

  • Foreign Ministers of these countries meeting regularly
  • Organizing IBSA Academic Forum

4)      Features of IBSA countries:

  • their faith in democracy, diversity, plurality, inclusivity, human rights and rule of law
  • They advocate a coordinated response by developing economies to secure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Another feature of IBSA is their determination to step up advocacy for reforms of global governance institutions in multilateral fora
  • India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation have successfully implemented many developmental projects in various countries.

Takeaway point: IBSA is a unique grouping which could impart a more balanced approach on key issues of interest to India, Brazil and South Africa. Measure to reenergize this grouping is a welcome phenomenon

Keywords: 'IBSA' 'South-South cooperation' 'Brasilia Declaration'

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 A number of outside powers have entrenched themselves in Central Asia, which is a zone of interest to India. Discuss the implications, in this context, of India’s joining the Ashgabat Agreement, 2018. (10) 2018
2 What are the key areas of reform if the WTO has to survive in the present context of ‘Trade War’, especially keeping in mind the interest of India? (15) 2018
3 What are the main functions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)? Explain different functional commissions attached to it. (150 words) 2017
4 Evaluate the economic and strategic dimensions of India’s Look East Policy in the context of the post-Cold War international scenario. 2016
5 What are the aims and objectives of the McBride Commission of the UNESCO? What is India’s position on these? 2016
6 Discuss the impediments India is facing in its pursuit of a permanent seat in UN Security Council. (200 words) 15 marks 2015
7 The aim of Information Technology Agreements (ITAs) is to lower all taxes and tariffs on information technology products by signatories to zero. What impact would such agreements have on India’s interests? (200 words) 10 marks 2014
8 Some of the International funding agencies have special terms for economic participation stipulating a substantial component of the aid to be used for sourcing equipment from the leading countries. Discuss on merits of such terms and if there exists a strong case not to accept such conditions in the India context. (200 words) 10 marks 2014
9 India has recently signed to become founding member of New Development Bank (NDB) and also the Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB). How will the role of the two Banks be different? Discuss the strategic significance of these two Banks for India. (200 words) 10 marks 2014
10 WTO is an important international institution where decisions taken affect countries in a profound manner. What is the mandate of WTO and how binding are their decisions? Critically analyse India’s stand on the latest round of talks on Food security. (200 words) 10 marks 2014
11 Economic ties between India and Japan while growing in the recent years are still far below their potential. Elucidate the policy constraints which are inhibiting this growth. (200 words) 10 marks 2013
12 What is meant by Gujral doctrine? Does it have any relevance today? Discuss. (200 words) 10 marks 2013
13 The World Bank and the IMF, collectively known as the Bretton Woods Institutions, are the two inter-governmental pillars supporting the structure of the world’s economic and financial order. Superficially, the World Bank and the IMF exhibit many common characteristics, yet their role, functions aznd mandate are distinctly different. Elucidate. (200 words) 10 marks 2013
14 Compare the significance of IBSA and BRICS in the context of India’s multilateral diplomacy. 20 2012
15 Discuss India’s stand on agricultural issues in WTO’s Ministerial Conferences since Doha Round. (250 words) 15 marks. 20 2008
16 Elaborate on India's Nuclear Doctrine. (150 marks) 2007
17 What is Dumping? Evaluate the remedial measures taken by Government of India vis-à-vis WTO provisions regarding dumping. (250 words) 20 2007
18 What do we understand by ‘Doha Round’ of talks? (125 words) 2006
19 Discuss the importance of world Trade Organization (WTO) to Indian economy in the light of various opportunities and challenges at the global level. (250 words) 2006
20 Present a complete picture of India’s effort for a permanent seat in the UN security Council. (150 words) 2005
21 Explain the political and economic implications of the Indo-Iran gas pipeline. (150 words) 2005
22 What is WTO? What are India's objections to its overall functioning? (125 words) 2004
23 Explain India's strategic relationship with Russia. (150 words) 2004
24 Account for India's increasing involvement in the South-East Asian region. (150 words) 2004
25 Describe the role of the Amnesty International in securing human rights. (150 words) 2004
26 What is the ‘Veto’ in the UN-system? (150 words) 2003
27 Discuss the role of the NATO after the end of the Cold War . (150 words) 2003
28 Discuss the role of the United Nations in the protection and promotion of Human Rights. 2003
29 Was Jawaharlal Nehru justified in adopting the principle of non-alignment as the corner-stone of India’s foreign policy? (150 words) 2000
30 How can India accommodate her foreign policy principle of ‘non-intervention’ with the emerging right to ‘intervention’? (150 words) 2000
31 20th century was century of oil, 21st century would be the century of natural gas. Comment. 250 Words 1997
32 SAARC Summit has been considered as a ‘non-starter’ by some political observers while for others it has marked a watershed. Explain the two view points (About 250 words) 1995
33 Examine the present status of Indo-US relations. What are the major irritants in the relations between the two countries (35)? 250 words 1994
34 Twenty-five years term of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will come to an end in 1995. Some important members want it to be renewed; as it is, for another 25 or 50 years. What are its basic provisions and how will its renewal adversely affect India's interests (35)? (250 Words) 1992
35 Who were the main participants at the West Asian Peace Conference in Madrid and what were the main issues confronting the participants? What do you think has been achieved at the meet (35)? (250 Words) 1991
36 Briefly describe the chain of major events towards the end of 1991 which led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachov. Who assumed the Soviet Unions membership in the United Nations including that in the Security Council (About 250 words). 1991
37 What main topics were discussed at the NATO Summit at Rome recently and indicate the main trends which emerged out of it? (150 Words) 1991
38 What is ‘South South Commission’ When and where was it formed? Who are its President and General Secretary? What are its main objectives (About 200 words)? (35) 1987
39 How far in your opinion is the recent Indo US agreement on technology transfer likely to help us? what are the disadvantages? 1985
40 Mention the main provisions related to the treaty related to the use of High Seas under the International Laws as adopted in 1982.Name the countries which opposed the above Law of Sea Convention and have not ratified yet. 1983
41 How often did the heads of the State Government of the Non aligned countries meet? When and where did it meet first? Who is the chairman of NAM now? What were the main points agreed to at the last meeting of the Conference of the Head of the States. What was included in the “New Delhi Message”? 1982
42 When was the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation between the Republic of India and the Union of Soviet Republic signed? What are the important of the treaty and what is its duration? How has the Treaty served India’s interests? Does it affect India’s position as a prominent members of the Non-aligned Group of Nations (Not more than 150 words)? 25 1981
43 What is ‘Commonwealth’ of Nations? Who are eligible for its membership? What are its aims? How does it function? Has any member left the Commonwealth (Not more than 150 words)? 25 1980
44 Why were the states of India ‘reorganised’ in 1950? Do you think that the policy has served the purpose which the Government had in view? Give reasons for your views. 25 1980
45 Why was ASEAN formed? Who are its members? What has ASEAN achieved so far? What stand has it taken in respect of problems in Afganistan and Kampuchea (Not more than 150 words)? 25 1980
46 The policy of nonalignment was enunciated by Pandit Nehru and it has become a cornerstone of the foreign policy of independent India. What are the principles underlying the concept of nonalignment? Has this policy been fruitful? Give reasons for your views (Not more than 150words).25 1980