Indian, foreign policy game changer, broke barriers

Earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affairs told Rajya Sabha that Indian foreign policy has seen some remarkable progress in the last ten years. Going by the very recent visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visits to the US, France, BRICS it must be conceded that some of the achievements are really spectacular which have awed not just the Indian citizens but the entire world.

“Yes, India’s foreign policy has chartered a path that enhances its strength, protects its core interests, and ensures India’s continued upward trajectory as a fast-growing and inclusive economy, with a rising profile in global affairs. This has been achieved despite the unforeseen challenges posed by the Covid19 pandemic and disruptions caused by armed conflicts,” Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, said replying to MP Harnath Singh Yadav.

“There is a greater integration of the Indian economy with regional and global economies. This has contributed to a deeper and extensive trade, technology and investment partnerships; accrued benefits from migration and mobility of India’s skilled professionals globally; and expansion of India’s developmental template internationally, The Minister said.

“India has also streamlined and strengthened its Economic Diplomacy initiatives to support India’s domestic development programmes, especially towards flagship initiatives in key sectors including manufacturing, skill development, agriculture, infrastructure development, digital economy, innovation, entrepreneurship, emerging technologies, etc,” the Minister added.

To gloat at, some of the unmissable but easily missed are:

The most recent visit by India’s prime minister to Greece comes after a gap of 40 years. Earlier no PM ever visited Israel, Palestine, Mongolia, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Bahrain, and Fiji.

PM Modi became first ever PM to chair the UN Security Council Meeting during India’s Presidency in August 2021. More than 150 summits – bilateral and multilateral – took place in the past 9 years.

India assumed the G20 Presidency on 1 December 2022 and will be convening the G20 Leaders’ Summit for the first time in the country in September 2023. During our year-long Presidency, over 200 meetings will be held across all Indian States and Union Territories.

India hosted the first ever “Voice of Global South Summit” under the theme – ‘Unity of voice, Unity of purpose’ on 12-13 January 2023 in virtual format. 125 countries participated in the Summit. These included 29 countries from Latin America & Caribbean, 47 countries from Africa, 7 countries from Europe, 31 countries from Asia and 11 countries from Oceania.

India assumed the rotating presidency of the SCO for the year 2022-23 and hosted the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of SCO in virtual format on 04 July 2023.

Varanasi was nominated as the first-ever SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital. 

On 21 June 2023, Prime Minister led the Yoga Day celebrations at the UN headquarters, creating the Guinness World Record for the participation of people of most nationalities in a single Yoga session. (The idea for declaring an International Day of Yoga (IDY) at the United Nations was formally proposed by Prime Minister in his address to the 69th UNGA on 27 September 2014. The resolution establishing the IDY was co-sponsored by 177 countries and was adopted by the UNGA in December, 2014.

Under Vaccine Maitri, India supplied more than 300 million Covid19 vaccines to more than 100 partners across the World. 

Under Operation Kaveri, India evacuated about 4000 Indian and foreign nationals from Sudan in 2023. Under Operation Ganga, India evacuated about 22,500 nationals from Ukraine in 2022. 

India has recorded highest ever annual FDI inflow of USD 83.57 billion in the Financial Year 2021-22.  India’s Merchandise exports registered highest ever annual exports of USD 447.46 billion in Financial Year 2022-23.

India has signed Social Security Agreements to protect the interest of Indian workers abroad, Agreements to enhance the mutual mobility of students, professionals and researchers and Agreements with several nations to prevent illegal migration.

Under Start-up India initiative, bridges with 15 countries have been established to provide a soft-landing platform for startups from India and partner nations.

India has put in place an arrangement allowing transactions in domestic currencies to support the increasing interest of the global trading community to transact in INR, and promote growth of bilateral trade. As on date, banks from 22 countries have opened Special Rupee Vostro Accounts in Indian Banks. India is actively promoting the acceptance of RuPay and UPI-powered apps with partner countries.