India’s foreign policy: Challenges and Achievements


In this piece on India’s foreign policy, the author deals with the challenges and the achievements of the Modi-led Indian government in the field of International-affairs.

By Arpit Gupta

Strategies are never revealed, they are reflected in the person’s tasks. The Modi government has been working on the strategy of bringing foreign investment and enhancing economic cooperation with the strategically located, powerful, and developed countries of the world. The exploitation of the Indian market by China’s marketing experts had been a matter of concern for Indian government since last 5-6 years. The Modi government has come up with a planned agenda of convincing the countries of Indo-Pacific region to deal with the China’s increasing dominance in the Asian economy.

Modi’s foreign policy and his agenda of “MAKE IN INDIA” to bring foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector have been the prime issues trending in Indian economic and political domains. Modi has inherited foreign policy legacy of the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayi. Modi’s mind has been playing many tricks in these two years of his government and his decisions are not clearly understood by the common people of India. Since the work has not been on the ground, it appears to be only virtual. But for the sake of the country’s development, Modi’s efforts to enhance trade and economic co-operations with neighboring countries have been outstanding and his “ACT EAST POLICY”has gained an unexpected success till now. Modi’s foreign visits have been very much strategic and his visit to Japan, South Korea, US, etc. has given his government a lot to praise.

Modi’s intention to balance the economic upliftment of China in the Asian context has compelled Modi to work with China, which is the reason behind the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED) between the two countries. Moreover, China, being the leading exporter of capital and technology and second largest economy of the world can never be ignored by any government in New Delhi. Modi’s focus on Japan is an important step in the Asian context as Japan is the leading country in the field of technology which India needs. Moreover, Japan is the only way  for India to enhance its economic importance and its dominance in Indo-Pacific region without any strategic alliance with China. The Indo-Pacific region has its own significance in the economic development of India and the visits of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to the neighboring countries located on the bank of Indian/Pacific ocean (for instance Vietnam) shows how important are they for India to strengthen its hold on the region.

India has often been confused regarding the path it should chose in dealing with the prominent economic giants. Whether to align with Japan-US or to go with China-Russia has been the dilemma facing the Indian foreign policy makers. India guards the sanctity of national sovereignty almost as zealously as China and Russia do. But Indian economic experts are more “tending” towards US-Japan because of their dominance on the world and their economic stability.

Only with time, one may be able to make a judgment regarding the success or failure of Modi’s foreign policy, but it is undeniable that world’s economic powers have taken note of India’s emergence economically and have recognized the fact that India is politically stable enough to maintain its economic progress.