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International Relations

India’s Republic Day Guest

India’s Republic Day Guest


  • GS2 || International Relations || India & Rest of the World || Africa

Why in news?

  • The chief guest at the Republic day event this year is South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was invited by PM Modi during the meeting of the two leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina last year.

Republic day chief guest

  • The visit of the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade is similar to a State visit, but given the ceremony involved, it is the highest honour that we can accord to our guest in protocol terms.
  • The Chief Guest is given the ceremonial guard of honour at RashtrapatiBhavan, he attends the reception in the evening hosted by the President of India, he lays a wreath at Rajghat, there is a banquet in his honour, a lunch hosted by the Prime Minister, and calls by the Vice-President and the External Affairs Minister.

The process of invitation

  • The government extends its invitation to a Head of State or Government after careful consideration.
  • This process commences almost six months ahead of Republic Day.
  • There is a range of issues that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) considers, the foremost among which is the nature of India’s relationship with the country concerned.
  • Among other factors are political, economic, and commercial relations, the neighbourhood, military cooperation, prominence in regional groupings, or past association in the Non Aligned Movement, in which newly independent countries united in a common struggle against colonialism, apartheid, and the domination of the developed countries.

India- South Africa relations :

  • The bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of South Africa have grown strong since the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994.
  • Both countries have since developed close strategic, cultural and economic ties. Both are former British colonies and full member states of the Commonwealth of Nations as Commonwealth republics.
  • Ties with further solidified with South Africa’s 2011 acceptance into the BRICS group.
  • About 1.5 million Indian origin people live in South Africa while over 150 Indian companies have invested in South Africa.
  • With the objective to grow business ties between the two countries and hoping to achieve a trade target of $ 20 bn by 2021
  • India is among the top five trading partners of South Africa.
  • The bilateral trade has increased to $ 10.65 billion in 2018-19 from $ 9.38 billion in 2017-18, growing steadily from $4.7 billion in 2007 to the present. The total trade reached a peak of $15 billion in 2012 – before the global economic slowdown and domestic political factors put a brake on the rapid expansion.
  • The two countries are also working together through IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

Additional information – About BRICS

  • BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”), before the induction of South Africa in 2010.
  • The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs; all are members of G20.
  • Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. China hosted the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen on September 2017, while South Africa hosted the most recent 10th BRICS summit in July 2018.