India’s Foreign Policy
Foreign Policies are a set of the plan of action for diplomatic dealings with International nations, bodies and regional grouping.
As per the principles laid down in Article 51,
Objectives Of India’s Foreign Policy
- To promote international peace and security.
- To maintain just and honorable relations between nations.
- The preservation of India’s territorial integrity and independence of foreign policy
- Foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organized people with one another.
- Encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration
Basic Principles Governing India’s Foreign Policy
- The policy of Non-Alignment
- The policy of Anti- Colonialism and Anti Racism
- Peaceful settlement of International Disputes
- Foreign Economic Aid – Support to UN, International Law and a Just and Equal World Order
The founder of India’s foreign policy, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru gave utmost importance to world peace. He understood the relation between peace and development and survival of mankind.
Indian Policy makers realized the value of global peace, social and economic development. Without that India was likely to be pushed to the background.
India wanted a peaceful and friendly relations with all countries, especially the big powers and the neighboring nations.
India signed a peace agreement with China. There were five main principles called Panchsheel which were signed on 28 April, 1954.
Since then Panchsheel has become a guiding principle of India bilateral relations with countries
Five principles of foreign policy which are known as Panchsheel are as follows:
- Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
- Non-aggression against each other.
- Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
- Equality and mutual benefit.
- Peaceful co-existence.
These principles of Panchsheel were later incorporated in the Bandung Declaration, signed in the Afro-Asian Conference held in 1955 in Indonesia.
They are the core principles of Non-alignment and still guide the conduct of India’s foreign policy.
These concepts of Panchsheel were later incorporated in the Bandung Declaration, which was signed in the Afro-Asian Conference held in 1955 in Indonesia.
They are the main principles of the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) and still guide the conduct of India’s foreign policy.
Policy of Non-Alignment
The most important feature of India’s foreign policy is Non-alignment. Its key element is to maintain independence in foreign affairs by not joining any military alliance formed by the USA and Soviet Union
Non-alignment does not mean neutrality or non-involvement in international affairs. It was a positive and dynamic concept.
Further, Non-Alignment obtains popularity in developing countries. Thus, keeping away from the military alliances and superpower blocks.
India was the key player in popularizing and consolidating the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
India’s policy of non-alignment was supported by many developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
As it provided them an opportunity for protecting their foreign policy independence
A larger Conference, which was known as Bandung Conference held in (Indonesia) in 1955, where 29 countries of Asia and Africa participated to forge the Afro-Asian unit.
The conference placed ten fundamental principles of international relations, including five principles of Panchsheel.
NAM provides all its members an opportunity to participate in the global decision-making process.
The basic features of NAM appears to be equally significant also in the changing context due to the following factors:
? The NAM can act as a check against undue dominance and hegemony of any country or block.
? The NAM provide a forum for
third world countries to engage the developed nations in a productive
? The NAM can prove to be a powerful mechanism which is essential for countries collective self reliance in the present market driven global order.
? NAM provides an important forum for developing countries to discuss various global issues and reforms including the reform of UN and other international financial institutions like World Bank and IMF in order to make them more democratic and effective
The policy of Resisting Colonialism, Imperialism, Racism
The foundations of India’s foreign policy were started during the independence struggle. Our leaders fought the evils of colonialism and racism.
India has been a victim of colonialism and imperialism since the beginning. It considers these as a threat to international peace and security.
India always believes in the equality of all human beings, so its policy is to oppose all forms of racial discrimination.
India was the first country to bring the issue of Apartheid in the UN in 1946. It raised a firm voice for the independence of Indonesia and organized the Asian Relations Conference for this purpose.
Due to India’s consistent efforts to fight against racism and colonialism through NAM and other international forums, 14 African countries were also liberated from the yoke of colonialism in 1964.
India firmly opposed the apartheid policy in South Africa. It cut off all diplomatic relations with South Africa in 1949 and put comprehensive sanctions (later) against the white minority racist Regime of South Africa.
At India’s initiative, NAM set up the Africa Fund in 1986 to help the frontline states for resisting Imperialism, Colonialism, and Apartheid, which were victims of aggression of South Africa
India made an open-handed contribution to this fund. The end of racialism in South Africa was a great success for Indian foreign policy.
Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes
India is always against the policy of foreign military intervention for resolving international problems, instead, it believes in a political solution and peaceful settlement of international disputes.
This principle of peaceful settlement continues to be the cornerstone of India’s policy.
This has been included in the Constitution of India, under the Directive Principles of State Policy as well as in the Charter of the UN.
India has played a leading role in the resolution of Korean conflict. It also supported negotiated settlement of the Palestine issue, Kashmir problem, border problems with neighboring countries.
India is also in favour of the peaceful settlement of Iranian nuclear issue, the problem of democratic rise in the Middle East and so on.
Support to UN, International Law and a Just and Equal World Order
India has a deep respect for international law, the principles of sovereign equality of nations, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations.
India has supported the cause of disarmament pursued by the UN. In 1988.
But this proposal was not accepted by the other members of the UN, still India stands committed to the cause of universal disarmament even today.
India has played a key role in preserving world peace by helping in the decolonization process, and through active participation in UN peacekeeping activities.
In order to make the composition of the Security Council more democratic, India has proposed and supported the reform of Security Council
India’s Changing Relations With Other Nations
US , Russia, China, Israel
Prominent leaders of India’s freedom movement had good and friendly relations with the United States, which continued after independence from the United Kingdom in 1947
Indian foreign policy has adapted to the unipolar world and developed closer ties with the United States.
Under the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush (2001–2009) and Barack Obama (2009–2017), the United States has demonstrated accommodation to India’s main national interests and acknowledged outstanding concerns.
It increases bilateral trade & investment, co-operation on global security matters, inclusion of India in decision-making on matters of global governance (United Nations Security Council)
In 2016, India and the United States has signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement and India was declared a Major Defense Partner of the United States.
The Indo-Russian strategic partnership has been built on the basis of five major components: politics, defence, civil nuclear energy, anti-terrorism co-operation and space.
However, in recent years a sixth economic component has been developed, with both countries setting a target of reaching $30 billion in bilateral trade by 2025.
In order to achieve this goal, both countries are looking to develop a free trade agreement.
Both India and Russia are members of many international bodies where they collaborate closely on matters of shared national interest.
India is the second largest market for the Russian defence industry.
Russians consider as one of their top five “friends”, with the others being Belarus, China, Kazakhstan and Syria.
Despite persisting feelings remaining from the 1962 Sino-Indian War, the 1967 Nathu La and Cho La incidents, and continuing boundary disputes over Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, Sino-Indian relations have improved gradually since 1988.
Both countries have sought to minimize tensions along the frontier, expand trade and cultural ties, and normalise relations.
A series of high-level visits between the two nations have helped improve relations. In December 1996, PRC President Jiang Zemin signed with the Indian Prime Minister a series of confidence-building measures for the disputed borders.
Sino-Indian relations had a brief setback in May 1998 when the Indian Defence minister justified the country’s nuclear tests by citing potential threats from the PRC.
However, in June 1999, the then-External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh visited Beijing and stated that India did not consider China a threat.
In 2003, India officially recognised Tibet as a part of China, and China recognised Sikkim as a part of India in 2004.
Since 2004, the economic rise of both China and India has also helped closer relations between the two.
There was a tense situation due to both the soldiers’ stand-off in Doklam, Bhutan; but that was too resolved out early.
In mid-January, 2021, both the countries had finally agreed upon the rise of their forces from their positions, which were there after a border conflict.
Both the countries also agreed after a meeting, that India would move back to Finger-3, while China retained its position back to Finger-8, and also declared the area from Finger-3 to Finger-8 to be “No man’s land”.
Indian-Israeli relations have a wide array of economic, technological, and strategic partnerships.
In 2006, both countries’ agricultural ministries signed a Memorandum of Understanding, leading to the Indo-Israeli Agricultural Project which focused on increasing India’s agricultural productivity and water use efficiency.
Bilateral trade has also increased from $200 million in 1992 to $5.84 billion in 2018.
The most significant facet of Indian-Israeli relations is strong security-defense cooperation. The foundations of this cooperation were laid long before 1992 during the Sino-Indian War of 1962
The then Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion expressed his “fullest sympathy and understanding” and supplied weapons to India on the request of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru,
India used Israeli weapons during the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971. Since the early days of its establishment in 1968, the Research and Analysis Wing of India has also maintained close relations with Israel’s Mossad.
Israel has replaced Russia as India’s preferred weapons supplier during the Kargil War in 1999, it supplied the Indian Air Force sophisticated UAVs and surveillance systems.
Israel also upgraded India’s old and aging, Soviet-era MiG-21 fighter jets and supplied Laser Guided Bombs and 160-mm mortar shells.
India is also the biggest buyer of Israeli weapons, buying 46 percent of Israel’s exports.
India and Israel are part of the Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism and have signed agreements on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, cooperation in homeland security, protection of classified material, and cybersecurity.
Every year Indian Police Service trainees visit the Israel National Police Academy for training.
The Indian Border Security Force uses Israeli-developed smart fencing systems, radar and surveillance technology in the volatile Kashmir valley.
In the midst of the covid pandemic, the Indian Ministry of Defense and its Israeli counterpart are also collaborating on developing a rapid testing system, an Israeli delegation collected 20,000 samples from Indian COVID-19 patients in early August 2020.
Other Chapter Notes
- Class 12 Political Science Syllabus
- Chapter 1: Cold War Era and Non aligned Movement
- Chapter 2: The End of Bipolarity
- Chapter 3: New Centre Of Power
- Chapter 4: South Asia and The Contemporary World
- Chapter 5: United Nation And Its Organisations
- Chapter 6: Globalization
- Chapter 7: Challenge Of Nation Building
- Chapter 8: Planned Development
- Chapter 9: present
- Chapter 10: Parties And The Party Systems In India
- Chapter 11: Democratic Resurgence
- Chapter 12: Indian Politics: Trends And Developments
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the principles of India’s Foreign Policy?
Answer: There are five principles:
– The policy of Non-Alignment
– The policy of Anti- Colonialism and Anti Racism
– Peaceful settlement of International Disputes
– Foreign Economic Aid – Support to UN, International Law and a Just and Equal World Order
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