[Answered] “India’s foreign policy is undergoing a series of fundamental transformations in terms of its underlying narratives and processes.”. Discuss.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Discuss the recent shifts in foreign policy of India.
Conclusion. Way forward.

The recent India-Pakistan crisis, while raising the spectre of war in South Asia, also highlighted that the likes of France, Germany, Australia, and the United States are willing to stand behind India in the international arena. Three emerging shifts in the international order have played a key role in catalysing India’s rising stature in the international order: terrorism, climate change, and the rise of China. In the last four years, India has sought to play a greater role in solving global challenges and shaping the rules, norms, and processes that guide these efforts.

Recent shift in foreign policy of India:

  1. Centrality of economic development: India, buoyed by its growing economic engagement with the rest of the world, captured this opportunity to grow and develop and also target Pakistan at a time when Islamabad was unable, and at times unwilling, to rein in terror organizations operating on its soil. This involves an implicit benchmarking of the technological capabilities of the Indian economy with respect to the global best practices and/or global technology frontier.
  2. Integrations of domestic and foreign policy: Another important change is much greater alignment of foreign policy with domestic objectives. Both the domestic programs “Swachh Bharat”, Digital India/Smart Cities was mentioned in public statements at various international platform. Further Yoga is now being celebrated as an international day by U.N.
  3. Emphasis on national power: A greater emphasis is being laid on overall national power, with a more realistic assessment of the appropriate role of military power. One of the implications of this policy is the increased focus on unconventional threats. Another implication is a much greater focus on national capability to produce a broad range of defence equipment in India.
  4. Greater emphasis on global socio-politics and soft power: Another change is a greater emphasis on global socio-politics and “soft power”, the third dimension of national power. This includes the expansion of common ground based on religious and cultural heritage & history of India, as well as the Indian diaspora across the World.
  5. Confident pragmatism: This involves freeing up of self-imposed, historical and mental, constraints on developing the full potential of economic or security relations with any country. Thus India’s economic relationships with potential adversaries pursued relatively independently from the security relationship, without one constraining the other or being completely parallel. This is most clearly apparent from India’s economic agreements reached with China and the formation of the BRICs Bank and Asian Infrastructure Bank.
  • Leader of Climate change efforts: At the same time India engaged with the rest of the world, including China, and made bold commitments to combat climate change. In 2016, India announced that all countries should make legally binding commitments to meet key climate change goals- a major shift in policy and then quickly ratified the Paris Agreement, drawing worldwide accolades for its goal of installing clean energy capacity that would equal 40% of the country’s total energy capacity by 2030.

Even though these changes are not explicitly articulated by the new government, they are implicit in their actions and view of the world. India projected itself as a emerging super-power at international arena. India has used its para diplomacy and forged special relation with several countries of Indian interest in order.

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