The Modi government has been substantially credited for mooting a sustainable foreign policy that has surged forward towards developing relations between neighbouring countries, created better trade relations in international space and also brought modernisation to the fore of the defence ministry.
The ministry of external affairs, headed by the able leadership of Smt. Sushma Swaraj has been exceptionally great in crafting out excellent foreign policy reforms and stabilising policies at the international level. She is the key person in-charge of mooting India’s foreign policies under our Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi’s rule.
Foreign policies under the Asian doctrine
Under Modi’s regime, a one-of-a-kind doctrine with regards to foreign policy is not too clearly visible. Nevertheless, the ambit covering strategic foreign policy decisions got a wider reach. Mr. Modi was keenly engaged in foreign visits, holding delegations and meetings with reputed foreign officials, negotiations and attracting investments for all matters in-line with national interest. Yet the government maintains its image to propagate its own foreign policy models when it comes to finding diplomatic relations with foreign countries.
South Asian transactions in business and international trade have been provided very high priority by our PM. The reason for this is that it is very important to hold very key international relationships with our immediate neighbours at the first outset, under the ‘neighbourhood first’ policy. Hence out of national concerns and much diplomatic interests, SAARC countries were invited to the PM’s swearing in ceremony.
Mutual exchange of vision for a better co-operation and transformational prosperity was talked about during visits to Bhutan and Nepal. Revival of old relations and showing up the good intentions to establish peace and harmony among neighbouring countries has always been top priority for our PM.
In the international scene, we can find Pakistan to be isolated from world developments due its failure to curb terrorism back at its home turf. This has in turn disturbed the already escalating tensions between the two countries. So the question of a balanced foreign policy with Pakistan on sustainable grounds still appears questionable.
There have been grounds where tensions hit on account of concerns not being addressed of government stake holders. The relation between the centre and the states has been in such a way that they rather dissuade from the foreign policies of the centre rather than joining hands with them. Indian nationals were brought back from Iraq, owing to non-settling issues and tensions in the west Asian part and the PM played a very significant role in this outreach.
But on a larger segment, the Modi government has not been able to solidify its stance when it comes to upholding clarity about strategic resolutions with Israel and Palestine. The hard balancing act in an effort to prove non-submissive doctrines to either relations between Japan and China created interest in the history of foreign affairs.
Act East policy
As part of the initiative to strengthen ties with ASEAN countries and improve conditions in the eastern part of our country, the Modi government moved several military and economic revival segments in the form of Act East policy.
This can be called a better version or an outreach step that had better focus on strategic handling with ASEAN countries, the initiative being first taken up in the year 1993 under the leadership of then PM Shri P V Narasimha Rao, under the Congress government rule. It was termed the ‘Look East Policy’ then.
The development of Act East policy was mooted on a larger turf mainly to put into a larger perspective, the technological growth and economic developments of our country as against the judgement of China as the next powerful country in Asia.
Development of a dedicated SAARC satellite
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the SAARC satellite or the GSAT-9 in May 2017. The main idea behind launching this satellite comes under the strategies in place for the neighborhood first policy. Like minded interests and requirements, pertaining to the needs and developmental placards of the SAARC countries are focused as part of this satellite development program.
Collaborations between Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka were supervised by the Modi government to loop them together to use the satellite for an array of uses, primarily multi dimensional in nature. It’s also sad to know that Pakistan rejected the idea of being a part of this and hence does not derive any benefit from the satellite.
Indian Ocean outreach
If we look at the world map, we can find three very important nations that are strategically located with respect to India’s geographical position, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited all three nations as part of the Indian Ocean outreach program.
The program aimed at providing military and security aid to these countries. The growing popularity of China in these nations has facilitated it to focus on infrastructure projects and thereby promoting a better hold of its name. To counter these factors and foster better relations with them, India focused on the defence part aiming to provide patrolling equipment’s, special navigation radars etc.
At the bottom-line, these strategic talks were based on bilateral agreements that called for the wholehearted participation of nations in the future progress and development of nations towards a better tomorrow.
Project Mausam aims to revive India’s glory in the past when maritime routes were very famous both economically and culturally. This has now been taken over by China’s domination in the region, yet India seeks to facilitate talks between nations and has engaged better cultural and business models to strengthen old ties.
Fast track diplomacy that has been adopted by the Modi government works at solving diplomatic concerns in a fast track approach owing to the pace the world is moving in, accompanied by complex insights and suggestive influences on a global level.
The Modi government gave a strong push to the state governments and called for greater participation in talks of trade, commerce and investment businesses. He proposed states to involve in direct transactions between foreign investors, which is also termed as ‘Para diplomacy’. Apart from these policies, the Link West policy and friendly relations with Israel over the Friendly- Israel policy have gained much momentum in the international scene.
It is difficult for any government to stand in a long queue and wait for international problems to be solved at the behest when there are so many burning issues back home. So Modi government in another perspective chose to turn its head prominently towards development of the changing India image. In this regard, the developing rift and wall building attitude between USSR and US had to be left at the backdoor without direct participation.
These policies were much more heightened by negotiations at WTO where Indian representatives showed up with a pro-farmer stance. Objectives seen as farmer friendly were negotiated, bringing back subsidies on loans to the front desk and more action called in to strengthen these policies at the international level.
Military modernisation received uplift with Modi proposing to put arms together for developing modern military machinery and equipment’s between India and US. History was re-created when Modi proposed a 49% stake of FDI (Foreign direct investment) for reviving technological pacts meant to modernise and upgrade machinery and artillery in defence sectors.