12 June 2018
Answer questions in NOT MORE than 200 words each. Content of the answer is more important than its length.
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GS II-INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Q1. India is evolving its foreign policy with changing multipolar world. Elucidate.
- Combining orthodox ideas from the Cold War era along with 21st century pragmatism, it appears that India has decided that the emerging multipolar world is becoming far too complicated for the binary choices and easy solutions that some had envisioned for the country’s foreign policy. Not only has it recast its approach to the maritime Indo-Pacific but as the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit exemplifies, it is also building deeper and more constructive links with continental Eurasia.
- The world is facing power shifts, uncertainty and competition over geopolitical ideas and political models, India is projecting itself as an independent power and actor across Asia. Russia and the United States are partners with whom India has relationships based on overlapping interests in international and Asian geopolitics. And, India-China relations are portrayed in complex terms as having “many layers” but with a positive undertone that stability in that relationship is important for India and the world.
- India no longer potrays itself as a part of a closed group of nations or aggregate Indian power in a bloc.
- Even as China’s rise has undoubtedly increased the demand and space for India to increase its region-wide engagement,India’s role in the vast Indo-Pacific is no longer envisaged as a China-centric one.
- India’s Ambassador to Beijing expressed a similar message on the eve of the SCO summit: Big countries “can peacefully coexist despite differences in their systems and that they can work together”. In other words, India’s democracy is far more comfortable with a world of diversity than the spectre of a clash of civilisations or great powers locked in ideological contests.
- Despite this policy adjustment, India’s approach to the region is not going to be a hands-off policy or one devoid of norms. Some believe this is aimed squarely at China but it is more accurate to interpret such rhetoric as directed at the type of order India would like to see and actively support.
- India plans to pursue many partnerships “in the region and beyond”, it was not going to choose “one side of a divide or the other” but would remain wedded to its principles and values that emphasise inclusiveness, diversity and of course its own interests.