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Admitting new members to BRICS

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: International Relations


Source: BS, TH

 Context: India is questioning the criteria for Brics membership and seeks clear guidelines for new entrants


About BRICS:


To Read about the Importance of BRICS for India: Click Here

 To Read about the Challenges for BRICS: Click Here

 To Read about the Way forward for BRICS: Click Here


The criteria for eligibility in BRICS:

There is no formal application process as such to join BRICS, however, certain eligibility features are considered for new members

  • Economic Size:g., India had suggested a minimum of $400bn GDP for new members
  • Trade Volume:g., India had suggested minimum BRICS trade of $50 billion with the new member
  • Emerging Economy Status: The country should demonstrate characteristics of an emerging economy, including growth potential, industrialization, and development trajectory.
  • Political Stability: Membership often requires the candidate country to have a stable political environment, good diplomatic relations with existing members, and a commitment to democracy.
  • Mutual Consensus: Existing BRICS members usually need to reach a consensus on admitting new members, which is crucial for expansion.


India’s Stance on the Expansion of BRICS:

India has not been very enthusiastic about the expansion of BRICS membership so far, as it is basically an exercise initiated by China to increase its clout in the grouping. “Since almost all other members are now open to the expansion process, including Brazil, which wants Argentina as a member to increase the weight of Latin America, India has accepted to go on the BRICS expansion plan even with some relaxation in GDP and Trade criteria.

How is China influencing BRICS? 

  • Expansion Push: China advocates for the enlargement of BRICS by encouraging more countries to join, thereby extending the group’s global presence.
  • Diplomatic Strategy: Due to limited regional allies, China views BRICS as a means to secure broader diplomatic backing, fostering relationships with countries like North Korea, Cambodia, and Myanmar.
  • Countering Western Dominance: China aims to challenge and diminish Western influence in global affairs through BRICS, using the platform to counterbalance Western-dominated structures.
  • Engagement with Other Groups: China leverages BRICS to engage with other influential groups like the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which it largely dominates, further enhancing its sway within BRICS.
  • Data Control Concerns: China’s involvement in the proposed BRICS data cable raises apprehensions regarding its potential control over communication and information flow, leveraging its technological expertise.



Why is the upcoming BRICS summit important for India?

AspectImportance for India
Geopolitical SignificanceBRICS discussions are perceived to carry a “counter-western” slant, which aligns with India’s strategic interests.
Post-Pandemic RecoveryIt provides a platform for BRICS nations to discuss collaborative efforts for global economic recovery and stability.
Military Standoff with ChinaThe summit offers opportunities for bilateral talks on the LAC issue.
Preparation for G20 SummitWith India hosting the G20 summit shortly after BRICS, the summit provides an occasion for India to secure full attendance from leaders, including those from BRICS member states.
Cooperation from China and RussiaIndia seeks increased cooperation from China and Russia on various issues like the Leader’s declaration content, especially paragraphs on Ukraine, climate change, debt financing, etc.
Expansion of BRICSIndia aims to ensure consensus on inducting new members, possibly including countries like Argentina, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Iran.



BRICS holds economic importance as China and India rank within the top five global economies. It also serves as a potential alternative to Western-dominated global systems, offering a distinct voice in international affairs. The inclusion of new members will give more voice to the BRICS.


Mains Links

Discuss the importance of BRICS for India. (250 Words)


Prelims Links

Consider the following statements: ( UPSC 2016)

  1. New Development Bank has been set up by APEC.
  2. The headquarters of the New Development Bank is in Shanghai.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2


Ans: B