Severance of interstate relations and debt crises are top threats to India in WEF survey of global risks

New Delhi: FBroken state-to-state relations, debt crises, widespread youth disillusionment, failed technological governance and digital inequalities are the top five risks facing India, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) – a international public-private cooperation organization headquartered in Geneva – said its 2022 Global Risks Report.

The report is based on the WEF latest opinion survey of managers on “National risk perceptions”.

The poll, as part of the 17th edition of the Global Risks Report, published on January 11, identified the top five risks for each of the 124 countries studied between May and September 2021.

This year’s report draws on the views of more than 12,000 national leaders from 124 countries, who were asked to identify five risks from a list of 35 short-term critical risks for their country.

She defines the fracture of interstate relations as “economic, political and/or technological rivalries between geopolitical powers, resulting in a fracture of bilateral relations and/or increasing tensions”. He goes on to highlight the “air gaps” between central and local governments, adding that there is room for both to “do more”.

The areas highlighted in these responses are likely to inform national decision-making and provide perspective on how short-term national risk priorities compare to global risks and outlooks, the report says.

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“Air gaps” between central and local governments

Although the survey does not go into detail while identifying the top five risks for each of the 124 countries — including six in South Asia — it gives an overview of the various risks.

It says the Covid-19 pandemic and extreme weather events have highlighted areas where central governments and local bodies can combine more effectively. “Failure to join the political agendas of different departments of national government can have devastating effects at the local level, where crises unfold and disconnects are exposed,” he notes.

The report goes on to say that “air pockets” between central and local governments – often due to struggles for authority or weaknesses in linking networks – have compromised data flows, the effectiveness of initiatives and local trust.

According to the report, central and local governments have an opportunity to do more to support resilience efforts at the community level, often in partnership with non-governmental organizations and businesses.

“Local resilience forums can galvanize communities to provide detailed information on situational vulnerabilities and the likely impacts of key risks, helping to prioritize resilience measures. Improving awareness and participation, empowering local actors and building capacity are essential for the cultural change that is essential to sustaining resilience programs over the long term,” he adds.

The “debt crisis” has also been identified as an imminent threat to the world over the next two years, but respondents believe it will reach its most critical point in three to five years.

“Government stimulus was essential to protect incomes, preserve jobs and keep businesses afloat, but the debt burden is now high and public budgets will continue to be stretched after the pandemic, even if they are needed to finance just and green transitions,” the report notes. .

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)

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