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Contemporary context: change and continuity in India’s Foreign Policy
India’s foreign policy has always regarded the concept of neighbourhood as one of widening concentric circles, around the central axis of historical and cultural commonalties. India gives political and diplomatic priority to her immediate neighbours and the Indian Ocean Island states such as Maldives. This centrality of neighbours in India’s foreign policy stems from the clear understanding that a peaceful periphery is essential for India to achieve her multifarious developmental goals. India provides neighbours with support as needed in the form of resources, equipment and training. Greater connectivity and integration is provided so as to improve the free flow of goods, people, energy, capital and information.
One of the major objectives of India’s foreign policy has been to leverage international partnership for India’s domestic development. This includes improving technological access, sourcing capital, gaining market access and securing natural resources.
South East Asia begins with North East India. Myanmar is our land bridge to the countries of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The purpose is to ensure a stable and multipolar balance of power in the Indo-Pacific and to become an integral part of Asia. This policy emphasises a more productive role for ASEAN and East Asian countries. The three big elements in our eastern policy are stronger emphasis on physical connectivity, commercial and security-related.
Currently India’s political moves are being influenced by economic imperatives. Many nations are moving to forge better relationship with India. Accelerated, balanced and inclusive economic development is India’s primary goal. India achieves this by ensuring peace and security and by leveraging the nation’s international partnership, to obtain all that is needed to fuel economic development, markets, investment, technology, linkage, mobility of personnel, fair global governance and a stable and fair environment conducive for growth.
India is a member of the G20, the East Asia Summit and the BRICS coalition, a testament to its status as a large country with a fast-growing economy. India aspires for permanent membership on the UN Security Council. And India now has an increasing range of interests, which are anchored in different parts of the world and which stem from a wide range of factors such as the need to secure energy, vital natural resources, the imperative of maintaining open shipping lanes, seeking investments and trade opportunities overseas and the need to secure trade access.
• Domestic policy is the nation’s plan for dealing issues within its own nation.
• It includes laws focusing on domestic affairs, social welfare, health care, education, civil rights, economic issues and social issues.
• Foreign policy is the nation’s plan for dealing with other nations.
• Trade, diplomacy, sanctions, defence, intelligence and global environments are the types of foreign policy.
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