Foreign Policy of India

For Prelims: Human Rights Commission and United Nations Security Council (UNSC).  

For Mains: Foreign policy of India, its issues, and ways to deal with. 

Why in News?

2022 was a challenging year in geopolitics and diplomacy, particularly in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Which ethical tenets best describe Indian foreign policy?

    • The Trade Agreement between Tibet, China, and India, signed on April 29, 1954, officially proclaimed the Panchsheel (Five Virtues). Later, they evolved to act as the cornerstone for all international relations to be conducted internationally.
  • Here are five recommendations:
    • Respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity is a two-way street.
    • The aversion to conflict
    • mutual refrain from interfering
    • Fairness and mutual gain
    • harmonious coexistence
  • It is based on the idea of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The World is One Family).
  • Alternatively, India sees the entire world as one big global family where everyone gets along, grows up together, and has faith in one another. 
  • India is unafraid to promote democracy wherever there is a chance, providing proactive and impartial assistance.
  • With the explicit approval of the relevant Government, this is accomplished by proactively offering assistance in capacity building and strengthening democratic institutions. (Example: Afghanistan)
  • India supports a global discussion and global agreement on issues with global implications, such as the world trade regime, climate change, terrorism, intellectual property rights, global governance, and health risks.
  • India exported 60 million vaccines as part of the "Vaccine Diplomacy" initiative, with 10 million doses being given away and the other 40 million being sold.

What information is necessary regarding the primary objectives of foreign policy?

India's foreign policy prioritises these four things:

  • India must be protected from both conventional and unconventional threats; 
  • For the benefits of growth to reach the country's most vulnerable citizens, it is important to create an environment outside of India that supports inclusive development.
  • Ensuring that India can influence public opinion on matters of a global nature, such as terrorism, climate change, disarmament, and changes to institutions of global governance;
  • To interact with and defend the Indian diaspora.

Fostering world peace and security: 

  • India, a developing nation still gaining its independence, correctly realized the link between world peace and progress. 
  • To advance world peace, she strongly emphasises disarmament and a policy of avoiding military alliances.

What is the position of India regarding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine?

By all accounts, 2022 was a challenging year for geopolitics and diplomacy, especially in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February. 

India's choices became more challenging given its historical ties with Russia and its strategic alliances with the United States and Europe.

  • This historically cautious neutrality has not fundamentally changed in India's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which included condemning the killing of civilians without using derogatory language and abstaining from U.N. votes.
  • India voted against a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution that strongly condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine and was sponsored by the U.S.
  • India chose not to vote in favour of a United Nations General Assembly resolution criticising Russia's military operations in Ukraine.
  • Considering that the Russians had taken control of Chornobyl, India also voted against the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution concerning the security of four nuclear power plants.

India's stance on the Ukrainian crisis is not unique.

  • Another significant democracy, South Africa, voted against condemning Russia at the U.N.
  • A vote in the U.N. Security Council was abstained by the United Arab Emirates, a close ally of the United States and home to thousands of American service members.
  • Although it denounced the Russian attack, Israel, the United States' closest ally in West Asia, declined to join the sanctions regime and send its defence systems to Ukraine.
  • A NATO ally, Turkey, also intervened and served as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia.
  • However, these nations have faced a different level of pressure and public rebuke from the West than India has.
  • According to U.S. President Joe Biden, India's position is "somewhat shaky." If India engages in trade with Russia while evading American sanctions, it will face "consequences," according to his deputy national security adviser for international economics.

What difficulties did Indian foreign policy face in 2022?

  • In 2022, India had to deal with both well-known and new challenges. 
  • The management of India's immediate sub-continental neighbours remained a top priority.  
  • New points of contention at the India-China border were likely to arise, and relations with China were likely to remain tense. 
  • Effective responses were required in response to worries about China's growing influence in our neighbour nations. 
  • Pakistan saw the Taliban's victory as giving it a fresh geopolitical advantage. There was a chance that Pakistan would again support Jammu and Kashmir's militancy and cross-border terrorism. 
  • With China as an ally, Pakistan has a strong defence in place should it be accused of funding terrorism in international forums. For India, this presented a security challenge as well as a diplomatic one.


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