9 Years, 1 Big Footprint – on India’s foreign policy

Source: The post is based on the article “9 Years, 1 Big Footprint” published in The Times of India on 30th May 2023.

Syllabus: GS 2 – India’s Foreign Policy

Relevance: achievements of India’s foreign policy

News: The article explains India’s foreign policy in the nine years of the current government.

How has India’s foreign policy been in the last nine years?

Voice of the Global South: India has taken various initiatives like Neighbourhood First, SAGAR, Quad, I2U2 and International Solar Alliance.

With these initiatives, India has been perceived as a voice of the Global South. These initiatives have also made India recognisable as a responsible development partner globally.

De-risking Economy:  The pandemic highlighted the need for de-risking the economy from the dependence of others. In this reference, India opted to promote domestic growth through Make in India, PLI schemes and Gati Shakti.

India with its foreign policy has also focused on exploring global opportunities, building deep strengths, absorbing technology and best practices, and expanding employment.

Digitization: The government has expanded its digital arena by collaborating with countries and exchanging knowledge and technical skills.

India’s diaspora: India conducted various mobility agreements like Vande Bharat Mission, Operations Ganga and Kaveri to safeguard its professionals and students abroad.

First Responder: India has emerged as a First Responder in disaster situations of Türkiye, which shows its capabilities and diplomatic skills.

Expanding Diplomatic ties: While India is continuously expanding its diplomatic relations with strategically important countries, it is also taking efforts to expand its relation with other countries like the Pacific Islands, Caribbean, Nordic nations.

Relations with Neighbours: India has taken various projects with its neighboring countries like the development of road, rail and waterway connectivity, power grids, fuel pipelines and border crossing facilities.

This development in the infrastructure has also increased trade with the neighbouring nations. The help India provided Sri Lanka amid its economic crisis has also received a lot of attention globally.

In addressing the challenges from the neighbours, India has deployed robust military in the border areas to ensure that the status quo is not unilaterally altered by China.

Along with this, various policies and actions have been taken to delegitimize and respond to cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.

Promoting India’s Cultural Heritage Globally: India has taken efforts to promote its cultural heritage globally like the celebration of yoga and propagation of ayurveda.

Other Initiatives: India has also taken various initiatives in the field of climate action, counter-terrorism, connectivity, maritime security, financial inclusion and food security among others.

India has also set examples for other countries in some of these fields and it has shared its expertise with other countries. Due to which, it has gained global appreciation.

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