India An important partner in international cooperation
India, with its more than 1.3 billion inhabitants, is the largest parliamentary democracy in the world. In spite of the many challenges that India faces, in political terms the country has managed to remain largely stable since it was founded in 1947. And it has made progress in reducing poverty.
According to the 2019 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), the percentage of the population living below the poverty line fell from 55 per cent in 2006 to 28 per cent in 2016. Although the prosperous middle and upper classes are growing, there are still many millions of people who must get by on the equivalent of 1.90 US dollars a day.
Achieving poverty reduction while at the same time protecting natural resources is the biggest challenge that India's politicians, businesses and society are facing.
India has a key role to play in finding solutions for global challenges such as how to protect the climate or achieving the global development goals adopted in the 2030 Agenda. That is why India is one of Germany's “global development partners” for international development cooperation.
Priority areas of German-Indian development cooperation are renewable energy and energy efficiency, sustainable urban development, and environmental protection and resource conservation. The main focus of this cooperation is supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation.
German development cooperation with India
German-Indian development cooperation is a matter of painstaking dialogue between equal partners. It is characterised by mutual trust and a high degree of success.
German cooperation with global development partners such as India focuses on programmes with a structural impact. These programmes build on India's own efforts and reform programmes. They demonstrate model solutions and leave the participating partners qualified to carry on with, or extend, the projects on their own.
In 2019, Germany committed a record amount of 1.614 billion euros for cooperation with India. Of that total, 1.595 billion euros is for Financial cooperation. The lion's share of this funding is provided as loans at near-market conditions, to be paid back with interest by India.
The following priority areas have been agreed by the two governments for their programme of collaboration:
- Renewable energy and energy efficiency
- Sustainable urban development
- Environmental protection and resource conservation
Other German activities in India include measures being implemented under Germany's special “ONE WORLD – No Hunger” initiative, support for a Green Innovation Centre, measures to protect the soil and boost food and nutrition security, and measures to improve sustainability in the cotton producing sector.
Technical and vocational education and training
Furthermore, Germany is actively supporting India in its efforts to set up a dual system of practice-oriented vocational education and training, in order to help create job opportunities for the younger population and improve the competitiveness of medium-sized businesses. At the German-Indian government consultations in November 2019, two declarations of intent in this regard were signed. Private sector companies are also being closely involved in these arrangements; for example, an agreement has been concluded with Siemens India.