How Can India Restructure Globalization Trends in the Post-COVID World Order?
Written by Mayank Pratham
First Year, BA. LLB. The University of Law and Legal Studies, GGSIPU, New Delhi
Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed below represent the opinions of the article's author. The following does not necessarily represent the views of Law & Order.
“Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty and dies with chaos”
Today the world is in chaos, facing an unprecedented threat due to this ensuing COVID-19 pandemic, with economies shattered, freedom of movement restricted, and potentially millions at the risk of sinking into unemployment and abject poverty. Hence, it is now on our shoulders to chart our own re-emergence, to decide how to structure our recovery.
Since the beginning of industrialization, heavy industries and especially the automobile sector were the hallmark of a nation’s progress, but in the wake of this global crisis these prejudiced notions of development are no more relevant, instead, a nation’s self-reliance takes the centre stage.
India has been a pioneer in the renewable energy space for its firm stance at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-21) and the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP-11), and also for being the very founding member of the International Solar Alliance headquartered in Gurugram and as the largest producer of vaccines in the world, India has been championing the cause of meeting the generic global demand for vaccines (Biswas, 2020) and even in this current crisis, the world looks up to India in order to meet the requirements of the global population as and when a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed.
The recent call by our hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ further emboldens the cause of revitalizing the supply chains as it is a call for a comprehensive civilizational self-renewal (PIB, 2020). It articulates India’s engagement with the world at a time when the contours and narratives of globalization are being sharply debated and examined.
Prime Minister Modi speaks of being self-reliant but not self-centered, and of a future which is about ‘togetherness and resilience’. He speaks of delineating India’s trajectory in shaping the post-COVID world order.
PM Modi has also called for the need for a new 'globalization'. This ‘globalization’, he has argued, needs to be human-centric. This stands in clear contradiction to the current narrative of globalization which has evolved over the last few decades –– globalization which is primarily focused on homogeneity is at times hegemonic and has manifested in some, a keenness towards exploitation and imposing uniformity. Hence India chisels out a new path from the traditional notions of power in the international realm as a ‘leading power’ (Ayres, 2018), that would effectively contribute towards restructuring the global economy while boosting the prospects of expansion of Indian economy post this ensuing pandemic.
In a LinkedIn article, published towards the end of April while addressing the young professionals on the next major ideas that will shape the post-COVID world, PM Modi had indicated how India, a youthful nation with the zeal for innovation can alter and restructure the terms and framework of globalization (Modi, 2020). He had written about India emerging as a crucial supply-chain hub:
“India, with the right blend of the physical and the virtual can emerge as the global nerve centre of complex modern multinational supply chains in the post-COVID-19 world.”
Innovation and ingenuity are the key drivers for India to be the torchbearer of the global restructuring process in the post-COVID world order, and hence, now more than ever, it creates a greater need for India to utilize the ‘demographic dividend’ it enjoys. The average age in India is around 28 years, compared to 37 in China and the US, 45 in Western Europe, and 49 in Japan - making the population demographics in India relatively more youthful. The comparatively younger population of India serves as an advantage, as it results in a lesser percentage of the population being dependent (children & elderly) as the majority of the population comprises the working-age group (15-64 yrs). 
India has emerged as a hub for start-ups which is further emboldened by the launch of a new initiative named YUKTI 2.0 on 23rd June 2020 which aims to harness the potential of students and innovators by providing a one-stop platform to help them interact with businessmen, farmers, and industrialists to commercialize their ideas (Financial Express, 2020).
Although the post-COVID world order also presents a plausible scenario for increased foreign investments, recent history suggests that land has been one of the biggest impediments for companies looking to invest in India, with the plans of Saudi Aramco to Posco, frustrated by delays in this acquisition. Hence the Modi administration seeks to overcome the same as India is developing a land pool nearly double the size of Luxembourg to lure businesses moving out of China (Srivastava, 2020).
Also, breakthroughs such as virtual courts which have resulted in major breakthroughs such as the verdict on the conduct of the Puri Jagganath Rath-Yatra or with regard to directing various state governments over the COVID-19 containment protocols, and speedy and effective management of the crisis through the use of indigenous solutions such as Aarogya Setu App or low-cost and reliable test kits made in India in record-time only add to this prospect of India’s contribution in restructuring the post-pandemic globalization trends as it embraces technology coupled with indigenous ingenuity, that is the new age of ‘glocalization’ as our PM has envisaged.
To determine the way forward for the people and our future as a nation, it will be inevitable for India to follow Sun Tzu’s ideology: “In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity”.
 India Population Report, India Country Office at a Glance, UNFPA 2019-20.
Biswas, S. (2020, June 4). Coronavirus: How India will play a major role in a Covid-19 vaccine. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52363791.
Press Information Bureau, Government of India (2020, May 12) Press Release. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1623391.
Ayres, A. (2018, 12 June). Press Conference, Asia Society, New York.
Modi, N. (2020, 19 April). Life in the era of COVID-19. LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/life-era-covid-19-narendra-modi/?trackingId=ji1glU9%2BFsqOFkG8ADGZ%2Bw%3D%3D.
Jugaad to YUKTI 2.0; govt launches platform to bring startups, students together to sell ideas. (2020, June 23). Financial Express. https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/sme/jugaad-to-yukti-2-0-govt-launches-platform-to-bring-startups-students-together-to-sell-ideas/2000612/.
Srivastava, Shruti (2020, May 4). India makes a move on companies leaving China, offers land twice the size of Luxembourg. Financial Express. https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/companies-exit-china-after-coronavirus-india-gets-ready-to-attract-them-offers-land-larger-than-luxembourg/1947825/.