About Us India - Commonwealth

Commonwealth Brief for Website

India and Commonwealth

1. India is the largest member state of the Commonwealth, with nearly 60% of the total population of the association. It is the fourth largest contributor to the Commonwealth budgets and programmes. 

2. Commonwealth is a free association of 56 independent member states which are committed to the values and principles of the Commonwealth charter. It provides a platform to interact and build consensus with a very diverse group of countries, including G-7 countries like the UK and Canada, key developing countries like South Africa, Nigeria and Malaysia, and a plethora of Small States.

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)

3. The 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting with the theme ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’ was held in Kigali, Rwanda from 20-25 June 2022. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar attended the Summit. 

Commonwealth Foundation (CF)

4. The Commonwealth Foundation is an intergovernmental organisation, resourced by and reporting to Commonwealth governments. Founded in 1965, its mandate is to strengthen civil society and enhance its contribution to the Commonwealth. It is guided by the Commonwealth values and priorities. The Foundation works closely with several voluntary organisations in India.

5. The Foundation organises the Commonwealth People's Forum (CPF) on the side-lines of CHOGM to provide opportunities for networking and interaction among civil society organizations in the host country and in the Commonwealth, and to showcase the work and contribution of these organizations to the fundamental principles and values of the Commonwealth. India is one of the main contributors to the CF budget.

Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

6. The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation (COL) hosted by the Government of Canada and headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada which was created by Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1988 to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training.

7. Through COL, Indian expertise has been utilised in building distance education capacity in other parts of the region and the Commonwealth. It has had a very close working relationship, since inception, with India's Indira Gandhi National Open University and the National Institute of Open Schooling. India is one of the main contributors to the COL budget.

Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC)

8. The Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC) is the principal means by which the Commonwealth delivers development assistance to member countries. India provides experts to various CFTC programmes. The contribution made by Indian experts in various fields is greatly appreciated by the beneficiary states and provides an excellent example of South-South cooperation.

Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP)

9. The Commonwealth is the only intergovernmental organisation to have a dedicated youth programme. Through its London headquarters and regional centres in Guyana, Zambia and others, it strengthens National Youth Ministries, provides training to youth development workers, and helps young people to receive education and training and start and run their own businesses.

10. India accounts for the two-third of the Commonwealth youth population in Asia which totals 600 million. 

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)

11. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) links members of national and state parliaments across the Commonwealth encompassing 180 national and state or provincial parliaments. The CPA aims to provide a forum for discussion on matters of common parliamentary interest, to disseminate information on parliamentary institutions and spread knowledge on constitutional, legislative, economic, social and cultural issues.

12. The 53rd CPA Conference was held in New Delhi in September 2007. India has, in the past, hosted annual CPA conferences in 1957, 1975 and 1991.

13. A two-day meeting of the Members of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was hosted by the Assam Legislative Assembly, the CPA Assam State Branch and the CPA India Region in a hybrid format to discuss governance issues from 9 to 10 April 2022. 

Commonwealth Games 

14. India hosted the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in New Delhi. The 22nd Commonwealth Games were held in Birmingham, UK from 28 July to 08 August 2022.

India's present contributions

15. India is the fourth largest contributor to overall Commonwealth budget. India additionally contributes to CFTC, CYP, Commonwealth Foundation and Commonwealth of Learning. India doubled its contribution to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC) (from GBP 1 million to GBP 2 million) in 2018, announced during the London CHOGM. During the same year, India also increased support to the Commonwealth Small States Offices Program in New York (from US$ 100,000 to US$ 250,000) and Geneva (from US$ 80,000 to US$ 150,000). A ‘Commonwealth Sub Window’ (US$ 50 Million over 5 years) under the India-UN Development Fund was established in 2018 at the UN Secretariat, New York, to provide grant-in-aid assistance to Commonwealth members for projects related to SDG implementation and Climate Action.

Website of the Commonwealth Secretariat can be accessed at   www.thecommonwealth.org