For India, the SCO has been about increasing its political, economic and security stakes in Central Asia. Pursuing the goal of multi-polarity apart, are there direct potential gains for India? Discuss.
- The membership of SCO would be “a natural extension of India’s ties with member countries.”
- SCO could offer India with some unique opportunities to get constructively engaged with Eurasia to address shared security concerns, especially for combating terrorism and containing threats posed by ISIS and the Taliban.
- India could benefit from stepping up cooperation especially by tapping into the existing SCO processes such as the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) that shares key information and intelligence on movements of terrorists and drug-trafficking.
- Direct stakes are also in gaining information such as on drug-trafficking control, cyber security threats, public information, mass media, educational, environmental, disaster management and water related issues of Eurasia that we know little about.
- SCO could also change the way for TAPI to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the viability of which has been threatened so far by a host of reasons.
- Further, India would be able to seek mutually beneficial partnerships with SCO members in human capacity building, technology, education, health and policy convergence in regional trade and financial institutions.
- India could bring to the SCO its techno-economic expertise, markets and financial commitment.
- India should certainly join SCO with a fresh mind without any ambiguity. But at the same time, India should be mindful of the geopolitical calculations