International relations syllabus for UPSC (with Micro topics analysis)

Today, I want to walk you through the entire International relations syllabus for UPSC with Micro topics analysis.

As you know, International relations come under GS Paper-2 in UPSC Syllabus. If you give some extra efforts in this part then you can score better in GS Paper-2 because 4-6 questions are coming every year from this portion only and a lot of aspirants do not focus on this part, so you can take advantage of the same.

So, Let’s start our discussion from the International relations syllabus for UPSC as per UPSC Notification.

International relations syllabus for UPSC

According to UPSC notification, these are the topics that are given.

General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations) 250 Marks
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • India and its neighborhood- relations
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
  • Indian diaspora

Micro Topic Syllabus Of IR

1. India’s Foreign Policy

  • Evolution and Challenges
    • Evolution of India’s foreign policy (Including NAM, Look East and Gujral Doctrine)
    • Determinants and challenges of India’s Foreign Policy
  • Recent Policies
    • Neighborhood first policy
    • Act east policy
    • Link west policy
    • Indian ocean outreach
    • Soft Power and Hard Power diplomacy
    • Defense and Nuclear Diplomacy
    • Space diplomacy
    • Para diplomacy-A New Way for Indian Foreign Policy?
    • Middle Power Coalition
    • Significance of PMO in foreign policymaking
    • India’s Strategic Connect with the World
    • Rise of Realpolitik in India’s Foreign Policy in recent times
    • Indian Diaspora

2. India and Its Neighbours

  • India-China
    • Border dispute
    • China’s string of pearls
    • China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Prospects and Pitfalls
      • Maritime Silk Road” linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans
      • Why India is alarmed regarding BRI?
    • India’s trade deficit with China
    • China’s Malacca Dilemma
    • 2+1 Dialogue mechanism proposed by China
    • A rising China: Challenges the US primacy in Asia and the role of India
    • Chinese project of diverting Tibetan waters
    • South China Sea: objection of China to India’s presence
    • China denies CPEC backing as ‘debt trap’ for Pakistan (Debt trap diplomacy of China)
    • The Unintended Consequences of India’s Policy on Citizenship for Tibetan Refugees
    • Indias Concern in Joining RCEP
    • China’s Economic Slowdown
  • India-Pakistan
    • Indo-Pak Relations: Border Dispute and J&K issue
    • Terrorism emanating from Pakistan
    • Indus waters policy shift
    • Dispute over Gilgit-Baltistan
    • CPEC in PoK
    • Nuclear India-Pak-US
    • Indian stance regarding Baluchistan
  • India Bhutan
    • Bhutan’s significance for Indian Foreign policy
    • India-Bhutan Friendship Treaty
    • The objection of Bhutan to India’s Motor vehicle agreement
    • Bhutan’s rejection of China’s BRI
  • India-Nepal
    • Indo-Nepal Relations: Fluctuating ties
    • Nepal’s tilt towards China
    • Nepal-China Transit Agreement: An Evaluation
    • India’s concern about Nepal’s new Constitution
    • The Issue of Water and Hydropower Cooperation
    • Nepal Bharat Maitri Project
  • India-Myanmar
    • Democracy in Myanmar
    • Scope for cooperation between N-E India & Myanmar
    • Rohingya issue
    • Buddhist Chauvinism
    • Major Projects: Kaladan multi-modal corridor, India-MyanmarThailand trilateral highway
  • India-Bangladesh
    • Indo-Bangladesh Relations
    • Water Dispute Teesta water issue & Ganga river dispute
    • Bangladesh demand to stop the construction of the Tipaimukh Hydroelectric Power Project on the Barak River
    • Differences in approach of India and China towards Bangladesh
    • Illegal Immigration
    • Understanding Bangladesh’s Unexpected Development Success
  • India-Afghanistan
    • Instability in Afghanistan and the role of India
    • India’s cooperation in Afghanistan
    • Moscow Format
  • India-Maldives
    • Geostrategic Importance of Maldives
    • Recent developments in the Maldives exemplifying recalibration of ties
    • FTA Between China and Maldives – Warning For India
  • India-Srilanka
    • Sino-Sri Lanka Relationship
    • Fishermen issue
    • Issues on 13th amendment (Tamil & Minority Rights)
    • Human Right violations & OHCHR Resolution on Sri Lanka
  • Indian Ocean Region
    • Indian Ocean region and world affairs
    • India is a “Net Security Provider” of the Indian Ocean
    • Increasing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean
    • 20 years of the formation of IORA
    • Piracy in the Indian Ocean
    • Seychelles’ parliament refused to ratify an Indian naval base plan on the Assumption Island
    • Importance of Seychelles to India
  • Indo-Pacific
    • Concept of Indo-Pacific from perspectives of different countries
    • East Asia Summit acts as a bridge for Indo-Pacific region
    • India-Pacific Regional Dialogue
    • SAARC: Challenges and Prospects
    • Intra-low regional trade
    • BIMSTEC as an alternative to SAARC
    • Nepal withdrew from first-ever BIMSTEC’s military drill in India.
    • Progress of BBIN project
  • Global Issues
    • Disarmament
    • Climate Change
    • Terrorism
    • Global Governance
    • Indian Diaspora

3. India and Extended Neighbourhood

  • India-Indonesia
    • Indonesia’s vision as a “Global Maritime Axis.” and it’s the significance for India
  • India-Singapore
    • India-Singapore Bilateral Agreement for naval cooperation
  • Thailand
    • Indo-Thai relations: Challenges & opportunities
  • India-Vietnam
    • India -Vietnam’s strategic cooperation
  • India-ASEAN
    • Importance of ASEAN in establishing peace and stability in the region
    • ASEAN-India Relations: Prospects and Challenges in Economic Partnership
    • India’s cooperation with the ASEAN has been less than China and Japan

4. Central Asia

  • Connect Central Asia Policy
  • Importance of Central Asia
  • Golden Crescent
  • Connectivity Projects (INSTC, Ashgabat Agreement, TAPI Pipeline)
  • India Mongolia
    • India-Mongolia Bilateral Cooperation
    • Mongolia launched the construction of first strategically oil refinery, constructed by India

5. West Asia/Middle East

  • Importance of West Asia for India
  • Change in West Asian strategic thinking
  • China’s engagement in West Asia and challenges to India
  • Reasons behind India’s active strategic engagements with West Asian countries without participating in West Asian turmoil
  • Shia-Sunni wedge in West Asian countries
  • Importance of Saudi Arabia, Challenges in India-Saudi Arabia Relations
  • Plight on Indian migrant workers.
  • Relations between India and the United Arab Emirates
  • The Middle East to India Deepwater Pipeline (MEIDP)
  • India-Iran
    • Consolidating India-Iran Cooperation
    • Connectivity- Importance of Chabahar port
    • Iran nuclear deal: Iran Sanctions & India’s Options
  • India Israel
    • From ‘in the closet’ into a fast-developing open relationship
    • the strategic significance of the Indo-Israeli relationship
    • De-hyphenation of Israel and Palestine

6. India and World

  • India-Africa
    • India-Africa trade relations: Prospects
    • Contribution of Indian Diaspora in various fields in Africa.
    • African co-operation in ensuring the security and peace in the Indian Ocean region
    • India’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa’s hydrocarbon sector.
    • Strategic Partnership between India and South Africa
  • India-Europe
    • The first India-Nordic Summit
    • What is GDPR? its implication for India
    • the influx of refugees into Europe
    • irritants between India-EU (FTA)
    • A new European Union strategy for India
    • Ukrainian Crisis’ has lead to the resurgence of the cold war
    • Brief on India-UK relations
    • Brief on India-France relations
  • India and USA
    • Brief of India-US relations
    • Mutually supportive Defence cooperation relationship
    • logjams in implementation of the civil nuclear cooperation agreement between India and the USA
    • Bilateral Social Security Agreements
    • The rise of the protectionist regime in the USA and the challenges for the Indian
    • Importance of New Security strategy (NSS) of the USA for India
    • Recent US extraterritorial Sanctions and their potential impacts on India
    • The potential impact of US sanctions towards Russia, Iran and North Korea using CAATSA on US-India relation
    • USA pulls out of INF treaty-Its implication for India
    • Pivot to the East policy of the USA
    • The Arithmetic of India-U.S. Relations and the Russian Factor
    • The First India-US 2+2 Dialogue: An Assessment
    • Challenges in Implementing JCPOA after the US Withdrawal
    • LEMA-Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement
    • Visa, Free Trade and WTO
  • India-Canada
    • Uranium Deal
  • India-Russia
    • India’s increasing defense deal with the USA, Israel
    • Russian arms deal with Pakistan
    • Stagnation between India-Russia Relations
    • Russian proposal of ‘Eurasian Economic Union
  • India-Japan
    • Japan’s funding of major projects in India
    • Nuclear Pact
    • Japan’s Pacifism
    • 13th annual India – Japan summit
  • India-Australia
    • Australia’s “An India Economic Strategy to 2035”, a vision document
    • Nuclear cooperation between India-Australia

7. International Organisation and Global Issues

  • United Nation and UNSC
    • UNSC Reforms: Importance and Challenges
    • Advantages of setting up the New Development Bank
    • Prospects and Challenges of BRICS
  • Commonwealth
    • The shared history of Commonwealth
    • Relevance in current time and Areas of Cooperation
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organization
    • Benefits and challenges of India’s entry in SCO
  • IMF – The International Monetary Fund
    • issues concerning the reforms in Bretton Wood twins and needs structural reforms to reflect post-globalization realities of the world
  • NATO – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    • The relevance of NATO in the post-USSR era
  • TPP – The Trans-Pacific Partnership
    • Will RCEP prove to be a competitor of TPP in the Asia-Pacific region
  • WTO – The World Trade Organization
  • Arctic Council
  • IAEA ( India’s nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards )
  • UK Referendum – Brexit
  • Refugee problem
  • Terrorism
  • Yemen Crisis
  • South China Sea
  • Other
    • World coming towards a new multi-polar order with the USA as a waning superpower and China-Russia axis as an emerging challenger
    • India and the International Solar Alliance
    • Venezuela-Columbia Border Issue
    • AIIB & The Changing World Order
    • Multilateral export control regimes: Significance and challenges of India’s Entry
    • US-Venezuela Stand-off: Impact on Global Oil Prices
    • Renaissance and Reticence in India’s North-South Connectivity Platform
    • Strategic Petroleum Reserves: Stocking Oil for Rainy Days
    • QUAD: Strategic and economic benefits
    • India has been accorded associate member status by IEA: Its importance for India
    • Why RIC is as Important to India as JAI and BRICS?
    • Rising Protectionism and Currency Wars

8. Indian Diaspora

  • The role played by Indian Diaspora
  • Issue of the safety of Indians abroad
  • Schemes for Welfare of Overseas Indian
  • Indian Diaspora in Gulf
  • Nitaqat law and Present Status

Also, read

Reference: UPSC website for Syllabus & GS SCORE


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