With the world’s third-largest military expenditure, fourth largest armed force, fifth-largest economy by GDP nominal rates, and the third-largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, India is a prominent regional power, a nuclear power, an emerging global power, and a potential superpower. India assumes a growing international influence and a prominent voice in global affairs.
As a former British colony, India is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and continues to maintain relationships with other Commonwealth countries. Since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, however, India is now classified as a newly industrialized country and has cultivated an extensive network of foreign relations with other states.
As a member state of BRICS – a repertoire of emerging major economies that also encompasses Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa, India also exerts a salient influence as the founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement.
In recent decades, India has pursued a more expansive foreign policy that encompasses the neighborhood first policy embodied by SAARC as well as the Look East policy to forge more extensive economic and strategic relationships with other East Asian countries.
Moreover, India was one of the founding members of several international organizations—the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, New Development BRICS Bank, and G-20, widely considered the main economic locus of emerging and developed 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. India is also a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Regionally, India is a part of SAARC and BIMSTEC. India has taken part in several UN peacekeeping missions, and as of June 2020, is the fifth-largest troop contributor.
India is currently seeking a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, along with the other G4 nations.
India wields enormous influence in global affairs and can be classified as an emerging superpower.
As many as 44 million people of Indian origin live and work abroad and constitute an important link with the mother country. An important role of India’s foreign policy has been to ensure their welfare and wellbeing within the framework of the laws of the country where they live.
India is the major power with the capability and responsibility to play a major role on the world stage as:
Balancing power between major global power
Security provider to smaller countries.
There is no doubt, India is a regional power in South Asia. We care about neighboring countries by non-interference and no-force usage policy.
We made a huge effort in Sri Lanka for peace and stability.
Intervention in Maldives and Seychelles in the 1980s to restore the legitimate government.
India is the major contributor of peacekeeping forces in the UN.
A supporter of free and open ocean to all
Against the neo-colonization
Advocated for the definite definition of terrorism and global force to combat the terrorism
India is balancing power between many organizations.
India is a member of BRICS, G20, SCO, QUAD group.
India’s Role in Multilateralism
Shift from Non-Alignment to Multi-Alignment
In the Post cold war era, Indian foreign policy has moved from a policy of non-alignment (policy of being neutral with US and USSR blocs) to the policy of Multi-alignment (India is having friendly relations with almost all great powers and developing world).
Multi-alignment is the very essence of India’s foreign policy and the economic policy of India today.
This presents an opportunity for India to become a global mediator and help in developing a framework on Global Issues.
India’s Role in International Activism
India is a key G-20 member country and the world’s fifth-largest economy (and 3rd largest on purchasing power parity) with a long tradition of international activism and promotion of rule-based multilateralism.
India’s foreign policy is based on the ethos of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” and Good Samaritan. In pursuance of this:
India’s long-standing commitment to multilateralism can be reflected in the call for U.N. system reforms.
India has taken the lead in promoting various multilateral initiatives like International Solar Alliance, proposing CCIT for combating terrorism, Asia-Africa Growth corridor.
India is the pharmacy to the world (world’s largest producer and exporter of cost-effective generic drugs).
Collaborating with Like-minded Countries
Working together with a group of countries from the developed and developing countries could further amplify India’s voice.
Here, India could work closely with the Alliance for Multilateralism (an initiative launched by Germany and France) to shape both the alliance itself and the reform agenda at large.
India must redouble its efforts, along with partners such as the USA, to push for a multi-stakeholder model of internet governance.
Decoupling From China: Opportunity for India
China has been the factory to the world, but global investors have been seeking a gradual decoupling from China. This is due to the increasing cost of production and the trust deficit in China after Covid-19 pandemic.
This provides India with an opportunity to become the world’s manufacturing hub and stable economic power. This will help India in assuming leadership roles and maintaining a stable global economic system.