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Dimensions of Indian Foreign Policy & the Growing Challenges Every sovereign country has its foreign policy. India too has one. Foreign policy refers to the sum total of principles, interests and objectives which a country promotes while interacting with other countries. Even though there are certain basic features of a foreign policy it is not a fixed concept. The thrust of foreign policy keeps on changing according to changing international conditions. India’s foreign policy is shaped by several factors including its history, culture, geography and economy. Our Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, gave a definite shape to the country’s foreign policy. The Republic of India is the second most populous country and the world’s most-populous democracy and has one of the fastest economic growth rates in the world. With the world’s tenth largest military expenditures and eleventh largest economy by nominal rates or fourth largest by purchasing power parity, India is considered to be a regional power and a potential global power. It is India’s growing international influence that increasingly gives it a more prominent voice in global affairs. India has historically played a prominent role in several international organizations. It has a long history of collaboration with several countries and is considered a leader of the developing world. India was one of the founding members of several international organizations, most notably the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Asian Development Bank and the G20 industrial nations. India has also played an important and influential role in other international organizations like East Asia Summit World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund (IMF) G8+5, and IBSA Dialogue Forum Regional organizations. India is also a member of SAARC and BIMSTEC. India has taken part in several UN peacekeeping missions and in 2007 it was the secondlargest troop contributor to the United Nations. India is currently seeking a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, along with the G4 nations.
2001 and early 2002 following an attack on the Indian Parliament. While India’s military is vastly larger than Pakistan’s, this numerical supremacy is somewhat mitigated by the topographic limitations of their western border, which restricts the number of troops that India could deploy against Pakistan at any one time. Further, India also has tense relations with another of its neighbors, China. In 1962, the two nations fought a war, lost quickly by India, a fact that has long stuck in the memories of many Indian military officers. While India has committed to expanding and modernizing its Air Force, and maintaining the stature and strength of its Army, three principal reasons have motivated their desire to expand their blue water navy. First is the need to counter China’s expansion into the region. Second, the need to ensure the continued safe flow of goods and natural resources through the Bay of Bengal and finally, is India’s desire for a submarine force. Further another issue of concern to India is inter-border terrorism. Pakistan has used its soil to train terrorists against Indians. The parliament attack has been major incidence of terrorist attack. The Jammu and Kashmir region has been in midst of terrorist attacks. Except for its engagements with Pakistan and China, India’s military has not been called upon regionally in some while. The nation is wary of such activity since its disastrous expedition to Sri Lanka in the late...
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