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States for Sustainable Development & Diplomacy Program (SSDD)

Centred around 5 pillars - Economic & Public Diplomacy, SDG Localisation, International & Regional Development, Para-diplomacy and Corporate Social Responsibility, the SSDD program seeks to explore the sustainable development & diplomatic initiatives of India's state governments & the key role played by Union & state-level ministries, international development & civil society organisations, embassies & consulates, corporate sector etc in a bid to achieve the UN-mandated goals & targets.



Going beyond trade diplomacy, economic diplomacy explores the dimensions of investments and technology through various external and domestic projects. The various initiatives of the government such as Skills India, Make in India, Digital India, Brihad Sampark Yojna and Smart City offer the framework for collaboration between various stakeholders. How has the role of India’s states in economic diplomacy evolved over the years?

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India is leaving no stone unturned in its quest to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 as it seeks to attain a global leadership role on sustainability issues like renewable energy, climate change etc. Additionally, India’s states are also championing various initiatives to meet the SDG goals through promising partnerships with Central govt agencies and civil society organisations. Can India’s cooperative federalism translate into action through initiatives like SDG Index 2020?

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The Indian model of developmental cooperation is comprehensive and involves multiple instruments including grant-in-aid, line of credit and capacity building programs and technical assistance. In this expanded notion of foreign policy engagement, it is interesting to explore the capacities of state governments towards development assistance. Is there scope for state governments and regions to engage in both bilateral and multilateral development initiatives?

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Through para-diplomacy, India’s states and cities can connect with federal states and cities in other countries in diverse sectors such as trans-border cooperation, cultural & educational exchanges, tourism development etc. Initiatives like the City2City Network provide ample opportunities for India’s states to showcase their best practices and initiate partnerships with provincial & local governments, private sector and civil society organisations.

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The corporate sector in India is investing in sustainable development like never before. From e-governance to green energy projects, corporates have realised the significance of responsible business and their valued contribution to society. In this context, how can India’s state governments incentivise and inspire the corporate sector to initiate investment and deliver insights on sustainable development?

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