What is CinemaSCOpe?

CinemaSCOpe is a movie series launched by the Indian Embassy in Beijing exclusively for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries. The embassy will be screening more than two dozen Indian movies dubbed in Russian language on monthly basis. This will be done until India’s chairmanship of the SCO ‘Council of Heads of State’ meeting in 2023. This is a diplomatic outreach to the SCO countries via soft power diplomacy and cementing of people-to-people connections.

SCO

The main objective of Shanghai Cooperation Organization is to maintain peace, security and stability in the region. India and Pakistan became full time members of SCO in 2017. The SCO membership of India was strongly pushed by Russia.

The SCO has emerged as one of the largest trans-regional international organization. It accounts to 44% of world population that stretches from Arctic Ocean to Indian Ocean and from Pacific Ocean to Baltic Sea. SCO is keen in deepening security related cooperation and the Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) of SCO specifically deals with issues related to security and defence.

India and SCO

India is likely to benefit more given its increasing role in SCO. This is mainly because SCO has a greater role in the Eurasian Region. SCO will enable India to neutralise the centrifugal forces arising from terrorism and religious extremism in the region.

SCO is important to India as its engagement with other multilateral groupings such as RCEP, BBIN and SAARC is declining. SCO has potential to connect India with Central Asia. This is to be achieved through Connect Central Asia Policy of India.

Challenges of India in SCO

  • India is facing denial of direct land connectivity because of its issues with Pakistan and Afghanistan. Due to this, the bilateral trade between India and Central Asia stands at 2 billion USD and with Russia stands at 10 billion USD as of 2017.
  • Russia pushed India’s SCO membership to balance China’s power in the region.
  • While India openly opposed BRI initiative of China, all the other SCO members have embraced the project.

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