The India Way in Foreign Policy: Shaper & Net Security Provider/Unpacking the India Way in Foreign Policy

The India Way in Foreign Policy: Shaper & Net Security Provider/Unpacking the India Way in Foreign Policy

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

Trend:

By Manish Chand

Purposeful, Pragmatic, and Proactive. Shaper, not an abstainer; stabiliser, rather than a disruptor; a net security provider and a dispenser of global good. India’s foreign policy has found a new vocabulary and framework, as articulated with masterly precision by the country’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar at the 5th edition of the Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi recently.

In foreign policy words matter, and hence this new lexicon of a rising India fittingly encapsulates the current form and trajectory of the country’s foreign policy in a world undergoing unprecedented transformation. Purposeful pursuit of national interests, pragmatic issue-based alignments with countries, big and small, and proactive diplomatic outreach have come to characterise and configure India’s foreign policy and diplomacy in the 21st century. Powering diverse strands of India’s foreign policy is the overarching goal of transforming lives of over 1.3 billon people living in the country and spurring the country’s rise as a leading power in an increasingly multipolar world.

Shaper & Stabiliser

A new India is emerging in the second decade of the 21st century, which is proactively shaping the international agenda on a wide array of cross-cutting issues, including climate change, sustainable development, counter-terrorism, maritime security and the reconfiguration of global governance architecture. This new India, with its around $3 trillion economy and surging aspirations of over 1.3 billion people, is poised to reclaim its place under the global sun. In a wide-ranging conversation on The India Way at the Raisina Dialogue, Dr Jaishankar illuminated key features of a new foreign policy for a new India. “The India way would be to be more of a decider or a shaper rather than an abstainer,” he said while stressing that India has made a difference in the last few years on issues like climate change or connectivity. Most important, he fleshed out the kind of power India will be in the next few years. “It is not the India way to be a disruption’s power internationally, we should be a stabilizing power. It’s also not the India way to be self-centred and to be mercantilist. The India way would be a country which brings its capacities to bear on the international system for global good,” he said.

Driven by the ethos of mutual empowerment, India has shared funds, technology and expertise with countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. This development cooperation, channelized through Lines of Credit and grants, includes assistance in capacity building, training and enhanced cooperation in education and health. In the spirit of South-South solidarity, India has committed around $29 billion in Line of Credit for a host of development projects in 160 countries.

Diplomatic Outreach

As India’s global stature rises, the Indian government has also embarked on an unprecedented diplomatic outreach to mobilise global support for national resurgence. Cutting across hemispheres, the last few years have seen a record number of high-level incoming and outgoing visits at the level of President, Prime Minister, Vice-President, External Affairs Minister and ministers. PM Modi alone has travelled to over 70 countries in the last five and a half years. In an evolving multipolar world, India has chosen the path of multi-alignment which entails forging issues-based alignments with like-minded countries and major power centres, without getting into ‘us versus them’ zero sum games.

Diplomacy for a New India

What animates this multifarious diplomatic outreach is the mantra of diplomacy for development which seeks to promote national resurgence. With the Indian government setting an ambitious target of creating a $5 trillion economy the foreign policy is being directed to harness the network of partnerships with all friendly countries to create a ‘New India’ by 2022, the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, as promised by PM Modi. Development–focused diplomacy is seen in the interweaving of flagship schemes of national renewal like ‘Make in India’‘Smart Cities,’ Skill India’ and ‘Stand-up India’ with India’s diplomatic outreach. Forging robust and sustainable partnerships in technology, innovation and start-ups will be crucial to creating a New India, and making India count on the global stage. Doubling GDP to $5 trillion economy is not possible without a conducive international environment and supportive external partnerships.

Shaping Global Agenda

Looking ahead, with its growing global stature and rising expectations the world has of a resurgent India, PM Modi has advocated reformed multilateralism to create a new world order that reflects the on-going shift of power and realities of the 21st century. India has also taken the lead in combating climate change by fulfilling its commitments under the Paris accord and taking a series of initiatives for promoting a low-carbon economy. In a recognition of New Delhi’s leadership role in this area, more countries are joining the International Solar Alliance that seeks to usher in a white revolution for a clean and green world.India has launched a new international initiative called the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, which is finding greater global support.

Brand India

In mapping the way ahead, cultural diplomacy and civilizational values will acquire a greater salience in India’s foreign policy. Home to all major religions and diverse cultures, the idea of India as a vibrant pluralistic society has struck a chord making the world more amenable to India’s aspirations. This cultural connect is reflected in myriad ways, ranging from the worldwide celebrations of the International Day of Yoga and the designation of Kumbh Mela as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

In building a New India, the 25-million strong Indian diaspora, spread across different countries and continents, will play an important role. As Dr Jaishankar puts it: “The India way would be really Brand India. Brand India in terms of what is unique to us as a power,” he said while alluding to the extraordinary Indian diaspora and Indian culture and heritage. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has encapsulated the essence of Brand India. “All our endeavours are centred on 1.3 billion Indians. But the dreams that these efforts are trying to fulfil, are the same dreams that the entire world has, that every country has, and that every society has. The efforts are ours, but their fruits are for all, for the entire world,” said PM Modi said in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this year.

Going forward, as it scripts its global ascent on its own terms, India will have to relentlessly assert its strategic autonomy as it navigates geopolitical rivalries to make independent decisions that benefit people of the country. This will entail dovetailing diplomacy with development and interweaving foreign policy with an unclouded vision of India as a leading power with a unique voice and narrative in a rapidly transforming world order.

(Manish Chand is Editor-in-Chief of India and the World magazine and India Writes Network, a portal focused on global affairs).

JCPOA: Chair's Statement following the meeting of the Joint Commission
JCPOA: Chair's Statement following the meeting of the Joint Commission
Vienna to host meeting of Joint Commission on Iranian nuclear deal
Vienna to host meeting of Joint Commission on Iranian nuclear deal
Zarif calls for EU compliance with JCPOA
Zarif calls for EU compliance with JCPOA
Loading Bars
Latest
TRACECA reviews plans, solutions for Azerbaijan section in 2020
Deputy FM: Armenian leadership’s apparent lack of genuine interest impedes Karabakh conflict resolution process (PHOTO)
National Iranian Oil Company working on exploration projects
Iranian Oil Terminals Company produces new equipment
ADB welcomes economic reforms of Georgian gov’t
Prices of some foodstuffs soar in Iran
Volumes of methanol transshipped via Turkish ports disclosed
Iran's Shazand Imam Khomeini Oil Refining Company opens tender to buy slide valve
Health Ministry: No coronavirus cases observed in Turkmenistan
Analyst: Economic policy pursued by presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkey makes countries strong
Gold price rises in Iran amidst Coronavirus outbreak
Azerbaijan's AzerGold company interested in attracting foreign investors
Expert: Georgia interested in Turkmen oil transportation
International Fund to assess political, legal development prospects of Uzbekistan
BP to leave three trade associations after detailed review of climate policies
IMF representative: Georgia achieves macroeconomic stability
Azerbaijani officials talk increase of prices on face masks
Georgia to create new protected areas
Azerbaijan reveals cattle import volumes
Lending to physical entities decreases in Kazakhstan
Georgia Capital PLC announces buyout of shareholder in Georgian renewable power company
Exports of Iran's Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari province down
Airlines KLM and Lufthansa to make budget cuts due to coronavirus
JCPOA: Chair's Statement following the meeting of the Joint Commission
UAE says ready for 'worst case' scenarios as coronavirus spreads in Middle East
Volume of cargo transshipped from France through Turkish ports revealed
Azerbaijan's companies strike deal to export hazelnuts to Italy
Trump will hold White House news conference on coronavirus on Wednesday
EU calls for coordinated European response to coronavirus
Cooperation between Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan reaches new level
Coronavirus infection cases confirmed in 18 Iranian provinces
Georgia reveals most promising agricultural products for export to Romania, Bulgaria
Chilling truth about Khojaly massacre through eyes of former captive
Heydar Aliyev International Airport - first airport in world that has fully switched to cloud technologies (PHOTO)
Turkish ministry reveals data on cargo transshipment by Libyan vessels via Turkey's ports
Iranian president rules out quarantine of cities with coronavirus outbreak
Ambassador: Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with Azerbaijani people
Azerbaijan's Anglo Asian Mining company to expand mining, exploration
Kazakhstan’s Turkestan to export equipment, meat products to Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan holds minute of silence to honor Khojaly genocide victims
Azerbaijan’s Agah Group construction company looking for more foreign partners
Russian newspaper: No arguments can justify mass killings of civilians in Khodjaly
Baku Higher Oil School hosts commemorative event dedicated to 28th anniversary of Khojaly genocide
PM: Georgia needs EU support to strengthen transport and communications
Uzbekistan increases export of textiles
Amount of cargo transshipped by Lebanese vessels via Turkish ports revealed
Iran's Pars Oil & Gas Company to buy pressure transmitter via tender
Amount of electricity generated from renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan disclosed
Volume of cargo transshipped from Georgia through Turkish ports disclosed
Average interest rate on loans increases in Uzbekistan
United Airports of Georgia and USAID to deepen relations in marketing, communications
Patients with symptoms of coronavirus placed in isolation in Infectious Diseases Hospital of Georgia
Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company talks on industrial waste reduction
President Ilham Aliyev: Turkey is country that provides Azerbaijan with biggest support on global scale
Baku Higher Oil School student shows highest results in Azerbaijan at entrance exam
President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan to continue acquiring modern weaponry from Turkey
Turkey will not forget true culprits of Khojaly - ministry
Algeria not to suspend flights over coronavirus
Turkey sees increase of incoming tourists from Georgia
Iran’s export of steel products increase
Azerbaijani plant expands supply geography for aluminum products
Number of Iranian citizens visiting Turkey revealed
Demand for spare car parts in Azerbaijan increases
President Ilham Aliyev: Armenia’s unconstructive position is main obstacle to Karabakh conflict’s settlement
Trump, Modi hope talks lead to phase one of U.S.-India trade deal
Iran reveals planned funds for construction in West Azerbaijan province
Increased pensions to support Iran's low income families
Uzbekistan expands co-op with Russia's Novosibirsk region
Russia sends tools to diagnose novel coronavirus to North Korea
Shekel loses ground despite dollar weakness
Uzbekistan diversifies export structure
OIC Secretary General pays tribute to Khojaly genocide martyrs
ECB had 'heated' debate on inflation target
SOCAR reveals plans for production at Balakhany-Sabunchu-Ramana field
Iranian Parliament approves extra gasoline quota for Nowruz holidays
OFID provides Uzbekistan with concessional loan
Azerbaijan exports hardware for alternative energy
Uzbekistan increases export to CIS countries
US DFC ready to help Uzbekistan introduce advance technologies
Azerbaijani Ministry of Energy talks new stage in development of energy sector
Deputy FM: Crimes committed in Khojaly have been fully proven
Georgia to suffer losses due to cancellation of direct flights with China and Iran
Int’l community shouldn’t turn blind eye to Khojaly tragedy - Turkish Presidential Administration
Kazakh coal extracting venture to purchase spare parts via tender
Iran discloses number of infected with coronavirus
Presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkey hold phone talks
Azerbaijani Ministry of Energy talks co-op with foreign companies
Turkish Foreign Ministry issues statement on anniversary of Khojaly genocide
Azerbaijan reveals number of its soldiers martyred, wounded due to Armenia's ceasefire violations
Turkish envoy: Khojaly tragedy - one of most cruel events of 20th century
Lufthansa announces cost savings program over coronavirus outbreak
Uzbekistan’s Central Bank reveals volume of reserve assets
Volume of production in some Iranian oil companies disclosed
Kazakhstan may restrict flights to Japan amid coronavirus outbreak
Iran to put up various oil products for sale at IRENEX on Feb.26
Iranian president: Number of people discharged from hospital have increased
Saipem expects its revenues to rise in 2020
Saipem reveals factors affecting its net profit
Georgia and The World in 2020 economic conference kicks off in Tbilisi
Investigation on criminal case of Armenian ex-presidents Robert Kocharyan, Serzh Sargsyan continues
All news