International Relations

International Relations

1. Considering the recent clashes between India and China, Evaluate the significance of 'Panchsheel Agreement' in preventing the clashes between the both the states? (250 words) 15M


The term, ‘Panchsheel’ is derived from Buddhist inscriptions which literally means five prohibitions that determine a Buddhist monk’s behaviour. In our context, the two words which it includes have their respective meanings, i.e. Panch which means ‘five’, and Sheel which means ‘the principles’. Hence, as the term itself suggests, the Panchsheel Agreement involves five principles to agree upon by both India and China with come into force from July 1954.

 The Preamble of this principle embodies the very objective of the Panchsheel agreement which is to establish peaceful coexistence through five principles. The five principles are

  • Mutual respect to each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
  • Mutual non aggression
  • Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
  • Mutual co-existence
  • Equality and mutual benefit

Five Articles of Panchsheel agreement are

Article 1: Article 1 of the treaty allowed China to set up its trade agencies in a few cities of India such as New Delhi, Calcutta, and Kalimpong. Similarly, India was also supposed to set up its trade agencies in some of the Chinese cities such as Yatung, Gyantse, and Gartok. Both countries were given the privileges to carry out free trade and enjoy the freedom to conduct their businesses and were accorded dispensation from arrest and deportation.

Article 2: Provides for the specification of markets in both countries where they are supposed to carry out their business. China agreed to give Yatung, Phari, and Gyantse to India as the specified markets for Indian businessmen. And, India specified Siliguri, Kalimpong, and Calcutta as the marketplaces for the Chinese traders. Under this Article, both the countries also set up common markets for the trade of items belonging to both nations.

Article 3: According to this provision, the pilgrims were allowed to visit the holy places located on either side. The Indian pilgrims were allowed to travel to Kang Rimpoche (Kailash), and MavamTse (Mansarovar) in the Tibet area of China. On the other hand, pilgrims from China were allowed to visit Banaras (Varanasi), Sarnath, Gaya, and Sanchi.

Article 4: Under this provision, India and China were agreed to open passes like Shipki la pass, Mana pass, Dana pass and Lipu lake pass for traders and pilgrimages.

Article 5: Article 5 mandated that diplomatic personnel, officials, and nationals of both countries shall hold their passports issued by their native country when they want to visit the other one, and visas by the other side to travel into their territories

Relevance of Panchsheel agreement:

Acting as a deterrent for the wars: It holds relevance to reduce tensions in the region and reduce threat of confrontation and war with China. Because it embodied the principles of mutual respect for each other’s  sovereignty and integrity. Panchsheel is a framework of basic tenets of engagement between the 2 sovereign countries and withstand the test of time.

Project the world, India is a responsible neighbour: It establishes India as equal partner and reliable neighbour to China thereby important for India to preserve and protect her sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is important to send messages to the world that India is matured democracy and it is not an aggressive nation.

To Establish Peace in South Asia and in the world : Since, both India and China were 2 large populous countries having potential to became global super powers in the years coming, any tussle between them has its impact not only two both these countries but also global peace and stability and more so economy.

To uphold the wellbeing and for prosperity of the world: Since 60% of global trade is passing through the Malacca straight and South China sea, it is important to establish mutual respect of sovereignty and integrity between India and China. Any disruption to this shipping route could have a spill over effect on well being and global economy which is facing disruptions because of ongoing geo-political events across the world.

To Uphold Faith on International Law: The Panchsheel was also incorporated in the ‘Ten Principles of International peace and cooperation’ adopted by United Nations General Assembly in 1955. So, it is important to uphold faith on International law among other countries.

However, Panchasheel agreement was not in favour of India because India had withdrawn its military bases from Tibet and surrendered communication links and services too resulted in restricted communication with Tibet. This went against India, because no source of information was available to keep check on Chinese activities in Tibet.

Bhimrao Ambedkar said of the treaty in the Rajya Sabha “I am indeed surprised that our Hon’ble Prime Minister is taking this Panchsheel seriously. You must be knowing that Panchsheel is one of the significant parts of the Buddha Dharma. If Shri Mao had even an iota of faith in Panchsheel, he would have treated the Buddhists in his country in a different manner”.

2. Has BRICS faded its colour and lost its lustre? Critically evaluate? (150 words) 10M

The first decade of the new millennium has seen an impressive growth of research around the narrative of rising, emerging and regional powers. At the center of attention is often the BRICS group and its member countries. Expectations were high toward the building of a post-western world order incorporating substantial reforms of global governance institutions. The rapid and dynamic economic growth seemed to give the group significant future political weight.

BRICS has neither lost its relevance nor become so effective in shaping the world order. The reasons are

Domestic Disturbances and China’s Hegemonic Aspirations: In the recent past, domestic challenges have curbed the ability of at least some group members to project power. This could be seen in the cases of Brazil and South Africa. The two countries were going through a phase of sustained public protest, mis-management and economic stagnation. Likewise Russia has experienced an economic downturn and the Chinese supercharged growth period is nearing its end, while India is not able to leave the shadow of Chinese dominance.

Russia and China Increasing Eagerness to Retain or Becoming a Global Power: Post disintegration of USSR, Russia is trying to retains its global power status. However, it is facing stiff competition from China both in terms of military and economic might.

Ideological Differences: The grouping has divergent both in terms of political and economic ideologies. One hand we have authoritarian governments and other hand thriving democracies. In economic terms as well, China and Russia follows Centralised Socialistic Economy where as Brazil and South Africa are Capitalist economies in between India following mixed economy model

Multilateralism, should not violates the established international laws and conventions: As the objective of BRICS is to create a multi-Polar World Order both in terms of Political and Economical, it has to give respect to established international law. However, China and Russia in recent time have violated these laws and conventions which may not auger well for BRICS as an alternative to either G7 or G20.

Expansion of BRICS may dilute the purpose of BRICS: In 2023 edition of BRICS summit new members were joined (Iran) and others are on the list to join, it may dilute the focus of the group as it becoming large, it may try to take some appeasement decision in favour of some countries.

Impact on India’s traditional influence and National Interests : As the group is expanding by including divergent countries, recently, as China is mediating peace talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran and made a long term $400 billion deal with Iran, it could have impact on traditional influence that India enjoying in these countries and goes against India’s national interests.

However, BIRCS as group has made good progress within a short time as evident in the creation of New Development Bank, Contingency Reserve to overcome the West dominance on Global financial institutions such as IMF and World Bank. Now it is time for the BRICS to come closure as a single group to show path to the world by resolving their internal differences and provide solutions to major world geo-political events.

3. Did Bretton Wood Institutions became tools in the hands of western powers to meet the geo-political and geo-strategic objectives? Critically analyse the role of New Development Bank in countering these Bretton Wood institutions? (250 words) 15M

The economic and military rise of China and BIRCS led New Development Bank along with Asian countries led financial institutions presents Western democracies with a challenge unlike any they have faced since the inception of the Bretton Woods system.

Nevertheless, the Bretton Woods institutions clearly lost influence in recent years. With many emerging markets enjoying stable market access even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the IMF and World Bank have been left to work mostly with low-income countries and a few larger countries with chronic economic problems.

Countries are questioning, why they should subject themselves to the advice or conditionality of institutions in which they have little say, given that governance arrangements remain strongly in favour of the United States and other Group of Seven (G7) countries.

Geo-Political and Geo-Strategic reasons for these institutions becoming a tools in Western Countries:

  1. Flexible Governance Arrangements in Bretton Wood Institutions: China is not the first country to use economic leverage to gain global influence, of course. The United States, as well as the United Kingdom (UK) and France with their historical colonial ties, have followed similar strategies in the past. In principle, the governance arrangements of the Bretton Woods institutions are flexible enough to accommodate shifts in countries’ global economic and financial relevance. 
  2. Rise of Fence Sitters and New Nationalism: The rise of fence sitters or middle powers are willing to deviate from the West of its long-standing economic and geo-political relationships and finding more room for opportunistic politics that enhances their national interests and their domestic standing, which is known as ‘ New Nationalism”.
  3. Retreat from Multilateralism: The institutions have not been without controversy, of course. Opposition parties of all colors have always accused the Bretton Woods institutions of pushing for excessive austerity, and the policies of the “Washington Consensus” became synonymous with pictures of street protests and abject poverty in developing countries. Its loans still carry a stigma that countries are trying to avoid at all costs, and calls for market reforms and tight fiscal budgets are undermined by nationalism and protectionist policies moving back on the agenda in industrial countries, too. The World Bank has been subjected to criticism for the environmental consequences of its lending programs, and for not doing enough to help the fight against climate change and bring poverty down on a global scale.
  4. Politicization of Bretton Wood Institutions: The weighted voting systems of the IMF and World Bank are especially susceptible to politicization inasmuch as they concentrate so much influence in the hands of the US and a few allies. The US Congress has often passed legislation requiring the US-appointed Executive Director not to support any proposed World Bank loans to a certain country,58 and often the rationale has been more political than economic.

At this junction, New Development Bank was created as a counter to World Bank by BRICS countries.

Role of New Development Bank (NDB) to counter the Bretton Wood Institutions:

  • Ownership and Voting rights: Unlike World Bank and any other such development bank, the share holding structure and voting rights in NDB are equally distributed among member countries which promoted equality among member countries.
  • Break down the hegemony/dependency on US Dollar and promotion of local currency funding: It has upheld its commitment to make local currency funding available to all member nations and has been able to successfully register local currency bond programs in China, South Africa and Russia thus far. It plans to initiate similar programs in India and Brazil as well. Historically, multilateral development banks raise funds in currencies like the US dollar or the euro. With the objective of safeguarding against the volatility in currency markets and to stay away from the dependence on Western markets, the move to raise funds in local bond markets of member countries has been applauded by bankers and analysts around the world.
  • Liberal terms and conditions: There is a growing concern among developing countries in South America, Africa and Asia that IMF and World Bank impose harsh conditions to be eligible for loans, like reforming their economies or governance structures even if they are unpopular with their own people. Hence, these countries are looking to NDB for financing.
  • Lean Administrative structure, quality control and project evaluation capacity: The bank has approved USD 15 billion for over 53 projects and has created a Project Preparation Fund to support bankable projects in member countries by enhancing the NDB’s project preparation capability, facilitating the undertaking of feasibility studies and supporting project implementation.
  • Just, Inclusive and Forward looking Agency: The NDB will fund infrastructure and sustainable development projects in the BRICS countries and eventually in the rest of the developing countries. The CRA is a fund pool to aide countries in hedging against short-term liquidity pressures.

However, The NDB’s subscribed capital base and authorised lending is miniscule in comparison to the WB – which is estimated to lend approximately $60 billion a year. Clearly, lending by the NDB will not be sufficient to make a substantial impact on the development process of emerging nations. It will be difficult for the NDB to challenge the reach and expanse of existing development institutions. 

Hence, it is time for the Western Powers to bring more inclusive structural and policy reforms the make the Bretton Wood institutions to reflect the current changing global socio, political and economic order and to work for more sustainable development process.

4. Pakistan's mindset on terrorism seems to be changing due to domestic challenges and international pressure. Comment (250 words) 15M

Quote: History reminds us that dictators and despots arise during times of severe economic crisis.

Robert Kiyosaki

Terrorism is a plausible course of action for the poor to achieve necessary resources. In fact many people of poor class will tradeoffs their own lives to generate financial resources for their families, which pursue them for terrorist acts. However, in recent studies pointed out that higher inflation is also results in higher incidents of Terrorism and associated problems.

In recent times, Pakistan has been witnessing the ugly face of terrorism, which it had supported for two decades against India. There are some domestic and some international pressures for this policy/mindset change in Pakistan. They are

Domestic Reasons:

Political Instability: The political crisis began in 2022, when the Pakistan opposition parties joined hands with deep state of Pakistan and ousted Imran Khan from office. The constitutional and political crisis not only impacts the judiciary and democracy but also extends to macroeconomic stability. Continuous political manoeuvres over the past years have inflicted significant economic harm and undermined public trust in the democratic and political setup.

Economic Misery: Pakistan is mired in an economic crisis, Its foreign reserves are at a nine-year low, inflation is at a 48-year high, and the Pakistani rupee lost 22 percent of its value last year. To avoid a default, Islamabad hopes to unlock another $1.1 billion in loans from the International Monetary Fund.

As of December 2022, Pakistan holds external debt and liabilities of $126.3 billion. Nearly 77% of this debt, amounting to $97.5 billion is directly owed by the government of Pakistan to various creditors; an additional $7.9 billion is owed by government-controlled public sector enterprises to multilateral creditors.

Distinction between Good and Bad Terrorists: For decades, Pakistan has allowed some terrorist groups to operate freely while cracking down on others. Militancy, and foreign sanctions resulting from terrorist financing, have in turn made it difficult for Pakistan to attract investment. Sympathy for jihadis among the public and within law enforcement and intelligence, along with inaction by members of the political class, has allowed domestic militant groups to operate with some impunity.

Climate Change and Natural Disasters: Climate change is a bigger threat to Pakistan than terrorism as we witnessed from the recent flood which took the toll of over 150 lives and millions were displaced. During this time, Pakistan even not able to provide them basis necessities because of many internal issues including economic crisis.

 External Factors:

Pressure from Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and IMF Bailout Package: Pakistan had been in FATF gray list for almost 4 years and pressurized from it to implement measures to tackle terror financing. And due to internal financial crisis it seeking $1.2 billion bailout package from IMF, which is delaying because of Pakistan inability to implement reforms suggested by IMF

Return of Taliban into Power in Afghanistan: Since, the Taliban take our, Pakistan has been witnessing terror attacks by Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and border issues with Afghanistan over Durand line.

India’s consistent efforts in put sanctions on some international terrorists and wide acceptance of terrorism as global threat to Humanity by majority nations: In recent time, India has put constant efforts to place sanctions on some terrorists and post 9/11 attacks most western countries led by USA putting more pressure on Pakistan to bring down terrorism in its soil.

Because of aforesaid reasons, the attitude of Pakistan on Terrorism seems to be changing in the recent time. However, it has to be looked at carefully whether these are efforts to placate the world or sincere efforts to bring peace in their own country.

5. India's Act East police has helped New Delhi achieve positive momentum with ASEAN nations in boosting its strategic ties. Comment (150 words) 10M

India’s focused engagement with ASEAN started in 1992 when India launched its Look East policy and became a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN.  At the 20th Commemorative Summit held in New Delhi in 2012, India-ASEAN relations were elevated to a strategic partnership.2022 marked the 30 years of ASEAN-India Friendship year to mark the 30 years of relations.

India’s Look/Act East Policy and its impact on building strategic ties with ASEAN:

Post the 1991, disintegration of USSR and liberalization of Indian economy, India needed more friends and investments and markets to promote economic growth of India. At this time, India launched Look East Policy. Since then India has been very active in promoting relations with ASEAN in all possible sectors.

Strategic Ties and concerns among ASEAN and India:

  • To Counter the China’s assertion in South China Sea: Following the launch of the Act East policy, India-ASEAN relations witnessed certain positive trends. In 2018, India invited the leaders of all the 10 ASEAN member countries as chief guests for the Republic Day celebration on January 26. In the same year, on June 1, India’s Prime Minister delivered the keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, where he outlines the India’s vision for Indo-Pacific region, indirectly raising concerns about China’s assertion’s in South China sea.
  • To maintain freedom of Navigation and over flight: India places ASEAN at the centre of our SAGAR(Security and Growth for all in the Region) doctrine which focuses on Indo-Pacific region. Our partnership with ASEAN based on coordination, cooperation and sharing of experiences at multiple levels.
  • To counter the terrorism and Organised criminals in the region: The main forum for ASEAN security dialogue is the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and through ADMM+ (ASEAN Defence Ministers Conference), India is actively working to bring likeminded countries against terrorism and organised criminals from Golden Triangle region.
  • Economic integration and growth for the region: To ensure better trade relations with ASEAN, India had singed multiple agreements with ASEAN for greater connectivity between them such as India-Myanmar-Thailand Motor Vehicle Agreement, Kaladan Multi-Model Connectivity Project etc
  • QUAD: India along with other members is pushing for expansion of QUAD to build a strong security pact in the Indo-Pacific region at the time, China’s economic and military presence has becoming a threat to India’s traditional sphere enjoyed in this region.
  • Maritime Awareness and Cooperation in Disaster Risk Reduction/Management:  India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN’s ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) this synergetic approach could further enable India and ASEAN to work closely on maritime domain awareness, cooperation during the disasters with ASEAN would complement ASEAN-centrism.

However, with India falling short of providing a viable alternative, China continues to dominate the economic and strategic landscape in Southeast Asia. China has been ASEAN’s largest trading partner since 2009. ASEAN became China’s largest trading partner in 2020 and remains so. ASEAN’s total trade with China in for the period January to April 2022 amounted to $274.50 billion, while India’s total trade with ASEAN from April 2021 to March 2022 was $78.90 billion.

6. Is it right for India to aspire to be a UNSC permanent member while refusing to send its military personnel to foreign soil where it has minimal stakes? Critically Examine (150 words) 10M

India is the second largest troop contributor to the United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) mission consisting of 1,888 military personnel after Pakistan. MONUSCO came into effect following the passage of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution.

Why India is hesitant to send its personals as part of Peace Keeping forces?

  • Loss of life of Army and Police forces: So far India has taken part in 49 Peacekeeping missions with a total contribution exceeding 200,000 troops and a significant number of police personnel having been deployed and more than 170 Indian peacekeepers have died serving under the UN flag as of September 2022.
  • Rampant Resentment and Anger against Peace Keepers: the rampant resentment and anger within the native population can be the product of complex factors. These could range from poor and ineffective distribution of aid to inadequate enforcement of the UNPKM’s mandate such as protecting the subject or local population from violence by armed groups 
  • No Say in deploying Peace Keepers in conflict ridden areas: At present all peace keeping deployment decisions are the sole responsibility of United Nations Security Council. India wanted that consultations be held between members of the Security Council and troop-contributing countries as well as other countries concerned that are making financial contributions to peace-keeping operations.
  • Lack/Insufficient legal status to peace keeping operations: A framework for determining the legal status of personnel engaged in these operations and coordination among troop-contributing countries, international organizations and NGOs need to be addressed.
  • No Clear demarcation between the Humanitarian and Peace keeping Operations: There is no clear demarcation with respect to organisational management, responsibility sharing and policy coordination. This is more important in post cold war era, which witnessed large exodus of refugees in Myanmar, Africa and in Eastern Europe.
  • Multidimensional responsibilities/Increasing responsibility of peace keepers: Traditional simple ceasefire monitoring has now evolved into multidimensional missions that seek to enforce and maintain peace, assist political processes, build institutions, protect civilians and aid development. 

Despite aforesaid reservation in deployment of peace keepers, India has every right to seek for permanent membership in United Nations Security Council because of the following reasons.

  1. All-Alignment Strategy of India to uphold the international Peace and Security and represents the voice of under-developed nations: India’s shift from non-alignment to All-alignment shows that India can maintain good parallel relations with all major and minor powers in the international system.  India’s membership can be demanded based on its economic growth, size, democratization, political stability, the rise of soft-power, nuclear power, military power and its emergence as a rising power in the South Asian region.
  2. India is demanding for Reformed Multilateralism: UNSC, still represents the Post World-War 2 era mindset. The credibility and effectiveness of global institutions is being questioned. The reason for this is that there has been no change in these institutions despite the passage of time. These institutions reflect the mindset and realities of the world 75 years ago.
  3. UNSC security council filed to respond to the world’s biggest challenges due to conflicting interests and it is not providing any useful solutions to the global pressing security needs. Ex: It failed to stop Russia or take any serious action against Russia from UN side.
  4. India’s adherence to Panchsheel and its relevance to UN: India also adheres to the principle of Panchsheel whose relevance is timeless. The principle of Panchsheel is based on Mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference, equality and peaceful coexistence. These principles can be highly significant to UN Charter to work towards peace and security in cooperation.
  5. UNSC Is Not Representing the changing geo-political global order: The UNSC does not represent the geostrategic and geopolitical realities of the current global order. There is a lack of representation from African and Latin American regions and underrepresentation from the Asian region.

One must not forget that, the right of India for a permanent membership is not dependent on its military role and involvement alone, but on many aspects as discussed above. 

7. Discuss how India-Bhutan Treaty of Friendship is a classic example of foresight in foreign policy? (250 Words) 15 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

The India-Bhutan Treaty of Friendship, first signed in 1949 and later revised in 2007, is often regarded as a classic example of foresight in foreign policy. This treaty has laid the foundation for a strong and enduring relationship between the two neighboring countries. Here’s an analysis of how the treaty exemplifies foresight in foreign policy:

Historical Context:

  1. Strategic Geography:
    • Foresight: The treaty recognized the strategic geographic location of Bhutan. Situated between India and China, Bhutan’s location has strategic implications for both regional stability and security.
  2. Post-Independence Scenario:
    • Foresight: The treaty was signed shortly after India gained independence in 1947. Recognizing the need for regional stability and cooperation, the treaty aimed to establish a framework for friendly relations between India and Bhutan.

Key Provisions of the Treaty:

  1. Security Cooperation:
    • Foresight: The treaty includes provisions for close cooperation on matters relating to defense and security. This foresighted approach anticipated the importance of mutual security in the region, given geopolitical dynamics.
  2. Non-Interference in Internal Affairs:
    • Foresight: The treaty explicitly mentions that neither country shall interfere in the internal affairs of the other. This reflects a foresighted understanding of the importance of respecting each other’s sovereignty and independence.
  3. Consultation on Foreign Policy:
    • Foresight: The treaty encourages consultation between India and Bhutan on matters of foreign policy. This collaborative approach acknowledges the changing dynamics in the region and the need for joint responses to global challenges.
  4. Economic Cooperation:
    • Foresight: The treaty recognizes the importance of economic cooperation for mutual benefit. It anticipates the potential for shared economic growth and development through collaborative efforts.

Enduring Friendship:

  1. Cultural and People-to-People Ties:
    • Foresight: The treaty recognizes the deep cultural and people-to-people ties between India and Bhutan. This foresighted approach acknowledges the significance of cultural affinity in fostering long-term diplomatic relations.
  2. Hydropower Cooperation:
    • Foresight: The treaty has paved the way for significant hydropower cooperation between the two nations. Anticipating the need for sustainable energy solutions, the treaty has allowed for the development of hydropower projects in Bhutan with Indian assistance.

Contemporary Relevance:

  1. Geopolitical Challenges:
    • Foresight: The treaty has proven to be relevant in the face of contemporary geopolitical challenges. It provides a stable framework for addressing security concerns and navigating the complexities of the region.
  2. Environmental Cooperation:
    • Foresight: As environmental challenges become more pronounced, the treaty’s provisions for cooperation on environmental issues demonstrate foresight in recognizing the importance of joint efforts in addressing shared concerns.

Lessons for Foreign Policy:

  1. Long-Term Vision:
    • Foresight: The India-Bhutan Treaty of Friendship reflects a long-term vision in foreign policy. It goes beyond immediate concerns and aims to establish enduring principles of cooperation that can adapt to changing circumstances.
  2. Balancing Regional Dynamics:
    • Foresight: The treaty demonstrates a balanced approach to regional dynamics. It acknowledges the interests of both nations and seeks to create a framework that promotes stability and cooperation in the region.
  3. Mutual Respect and Sovereignty:
    • Foresight: The emphasis on non-interference in internal affairs and mutual respect for sovereignty underscores the foresight in recognizing the importance of these principles in building a strong and sustainable diplomatic relationship.

The India-Bhutan Treaty of Friendship stands as a testament to the foresight exhibited in foreign policy. By addressing security, economic, and cultural dimensions, the treaty has created a resilient foundation for a relationship that has withstood the test of time and evolving geopolitical landscapes. It provides valuable lessons for other nations in crafting foreign policies that prioritize long-term stability, cooperation, and mutual respect.


8 Discuss how the amendment to the Treaty of Friendship between India and Bhutan in 2007 departed from altruism towards strategic diplomacy? (250 Words) 15 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

The amendments to the Treaty of Friendship between India and Bhutan, particularly the revision in 2007, marked a departure from a predominantly altruistic approach to a more strategic and balanced diplomatic relationship. While the original treaty, signed in 1949, reflected a spirit of mutual cooperation and assistance, the amendments in 2007 were indicative of evolving geopolitical considerations. 

Amendments to the Treaty (2007):

  1. Revised Security Provisions:

    • Strategic Diplomacy: The amended treaty maintained security cooperation but introduced a more balanced approach. While the commitment to mutual security remained, the amendments acknowledged Bhutan’s evolving role and capabilities in managing its security concerns independently.
  2. Foreign Policy Independence:

    • Strategic Diplomacy: The amendments recognized Bhutan’s increasing desire for greater independence in foreign policy decision-making. While the consultation on foreign policy continued, there was a shift towards respecting Bhutan’s sovereignty in shaping its diplomatic stance.
  3. Hydropower Projects:

    • Strategic Diplomacy: One significant shift was in the area of hydropower cooperation. The amendments allowed Bhutan greater control over its hydropower projects, reflecting a more balanced approach in economic collaboration and acknowledging Bhutan’s strategic resource.
  4. Evolution of Bilateral Relations:

    • Strategic Diplomacy: The amendments reflected a maturing of the bilateral relationship. While the altruistic elements persisted, the changes acknowledged that Bhutan had progressed in its ability to manage various aspects of its national interest, including security and economic development.

Factors Contributing to the Shift:

  1. Bhutan’s Emerging Capabilities:

    • Changing Dynamics: Bhutan’s increasing capabilities in managing its security and economic affairs contributed to the shift. The amendments recognized Bhutan’s growth and development, allowing for a more reciprocal partnership.
  2. Geopolitical Considerations:

    • Strategic Realities: Evolving geopolitical realities in the region influenced the amendments. The diplomatic landscape had changed since the original treaty, and the revisions reflected a more nuanced understanding of strategic considerations.
  3. Mutual Interests and Autonomy:

    • Balanced Partnership: The amendments aimed to strike a balance between maintaining a close partnership and respecting Bhutan’s desire for greater autonomy. It recognized that a more equal and strategic relationship would be in the interest of both nations.
  4. Hydropower as a Strategic Asset:

    • Economic Considerations: The amendments acknowledged the strategic significance of hydropower resources for Bhutan and facilitated a framework where Bhutan had a more active role in harnessing and managing this critical economic asset.

Continuing Altruistic Elements:

  1. Cultural and People-to-People Ties:

    • Continued Altruism: Despite the strategic adjustments, the cultural and people-to-people ties between India and Bhutan continued to be a cornerstone of the relationship. This element persisted as a reflection of shared values and historical connections.
  2. Humanitarian Assistance:

    • Continued Altruism: The treaty continued to reflect elements of altruism through provisions for mutual assistance in times of natural disasters and emergencies, reinforcing the humanitarian dimension of the relationship.

While the Treaty of Friendship with Bhutan underwent amendments that reflected strategic considerations, elements of altruism persisted. The revisions demonstrated a diplomatic maturity that acknowledged Bhutan’s evolving role in the region and aimed to create a partnership that aligns with both nations’ strategic interests and aspirations for autonomy. The balance struck in the amendments showcases the adaptability and pragmatism necessary for maintaining strong and enduring diplomatic ties.

9. Briefly elucidate India's democracy promotion diplomacy in Bhutan? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)
India’s democracy promotion diplomacy in Bhutan has been characterized by support for democratic transitions and institutions. Bhutan’s transition to a constitutional monarchy and the establishment of a parliamentary democracy marked a significant development, and India has played a supportive role in this process. 
Historical Context:
Transition to Democracy:
Bhutan transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy in 2008. This transition was guided by the vision of King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who aimed to modernize the political system and enhance citizen participation.
India’s Role in Democracy Promotion:
Support for Democratic Institutions:
India has been actively supportive of the establishment and strengthening of democratic institutions in Bhutan. This includes assistance in the development of electoral systems, parliamentary processes, and governance structures.
Training and Capacity Building:
India has provided training and capacity-building programs for Bhutanese officials, parliamentarians, and members of electoral bodies. This support is aimed at enhancing the skills and capabilities of individuals involved in the democratic process.
Election Support:
India has consistently supported Bhutan in conducting free and fair elections. This support includes technical assistance, sharing best practices, and facilitating the exchange of experiences to ensure the smooth functioning of the electoral process.
Cultural and Educational Ties:
India’s democracy promotion efforts extend beyond institutional support. Cultural and educational ties between the two countries foster a deeper understanding of democratic principles, governance, and civic participation.
Bilateral Engagement:
High-Level Exchanges:
Regular high-level exchanges between leaders of both countries provide opportunities to discuss and strengthen democratic governance. These interactions contribute to the exchange of ideas and experiences related to democratic practices.
Diplomatic Cooperation:
Diplomatic channels are utilized to share insights and experiences on democratic governance. India and Bhutan engage in discussions on issues related to democracy, regional stability, and governance challenges.
Civic Engagement and Public Awareness:
India supports initiatives aimed at civic engagement and public awareness in Bhutan. This includes programs to educate citizens about their rights and responsibilities in a democratic system.
Economic and Development Cooperation:
Sustainable Development:
India’s development cooperation with Bhutan encompasses projects that promote sustainable development, economic growth, and social progress. These initiatives contribute to the overall well-being of the Bhutanese people, complementing the democratic governance framework.
Infrastructure Development:
Investments in infrastructure development, such as roads and connectivity projects, contribute to the socio-economic development of Bhutan. This development assistance aligns with democratic principles by fostering inclusivity and equitable progress.
Shared Values and Principles:
Democratic Values as a Common Ground:
India and Bhutan share democratic values, and India’s democracy promotion efforts are built on the foundation of these shared principles. The alignment of political systems fosters a natural synergy in promoting democratic governance.
Respect for Sovereignty:
India’s democracy promotion diplomacy in Bhutan is conducted with utmost respect for Bhutan’s sovereignty. The support provided is in line with Bhutan’s own commitment to democratic principles and processes.
India’s democracy promotion diplomacy in Bhutan is rooted in shared values, historical ties, and a commitment to strengthening democratic institutions. Through institutional support, capacity building, and diplomatic engagement, India contributes to the consolidation and success of Bhutan’s democratic journey. The collaboration between the two nations exemplifies the positive role that democratic nations can play in supporting each other’s democratic aspirations.
10. Describe the benevolent economic gestures of India towards Bhutan with examples? (India & its Neighbourhood)

India has been a key economic partner of Bhutan, providing various benevolent economic gestures that have contributed to the socio-economic development and well-being of the Bhutanese people. These gestures encompass financial assistance, infrastructure development, trade cooperation, and support for Bhutan’s economic sustainability. 

1. Financial Assistance and Aid:

  • Hydropower Projects: India has been actively involved in supporting Bhutan’s hydropower sector. The funding and development of hydropower projects, such as the Chukha, Tala, and Punatsangchhu projects, have been significant contributions. These projects not only generate revenue for Bhutan through power exports but also enhance its energy security.

  • Development Grants: India has provided development grants to Bhutan to support various sectors, including education, healthcare, and infrastructure. 

2. Trade Cooperation:

  • Trade Agreements: India and Bhutan have entered into trade agreements that facilitate the smooth flow of goods and services. These agreements, including the India-Bhutan Free Trade Agreement, promote economic cooperation and contribute to Bhutan’s economic growth.

  • Duty-Free Access: Bhutan enjoys duty-free access to the Indian market for its exports. This arrangement promotes Bhutanese products in India and supports the growth of Bhutan’s export-oriented industries.

3. Infrastructure Development:

  • Road Connectivity: India has played a crucial role in enhancing road connectivity in Bhutan. Projects such as the construction and maintenance of roads contribute to improved transportation, connectivity, and accessibility, fostering economic development.

  • Railway Connectivity: The proposed railway connectivity between India and Bhutan is a significant initiative. Once completed, it is expected to further strengthen economic ties by facilitating the movement of goods and people.

4. Educational and Human Resource Development:

  • Scholarships and Training Programs: India offers scholarships to Bhutanese students to pursue higher education in Indian institutions. Additionally, training programs and capacity-building initiatives for Bhutanese professionals contribute to human resource development.

5. Healthcare Support:

  • Medical Assistance: India provides medical assistance to Bhutan, including the provision of essential medicines, medical equipment, and support for healthcare infrastructure. 

6. Cultural and Tourism Promotion:

  • Cultural Exchanges: India supports cultural exchanges between the two countries, promoting tourism and preserving cultural heritage. 

7. Environmental Conservation:

  • Conservation Initiatives: Joint initiatives between India and Bhutan focus on environmental conservation, including sustainable forestry practices. 

8. Post-COVID-19 Assistance:

  • Vaccine Support: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, India provided COVID-19 vaccines to Bhutan as part of its vaccine diplomacy. This benevolent gesture aimed to support Bhutan in managing the public health impact of the pandemic.

9. Financial Resilience and Assistance:

  • Bhutan’s Economic Resilience Plan: India has committed financial assistance to support Bhutan’s Economic Resilience Plan. This assistance is directed towards mitigating the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting sustainable development.

These benevolent economic gestures underscore the close and enduring economic partnership between India and Bhutan. The collaboration is based on principles of mutual respect, shared values, and the recognition of Bhutan’s development priorities. It reflects India’s commitment to being a reliable and supportive partner in Bhutan’s economic progress and overall well-being.

11. Discuss how the defence cooperation between India and Bangladesh can be deepened to negate the already achieved strategic depth by China vis-à-vis India? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

Deepening defense cooperation between India and Bangladesh is crucial for both countries to enhance regional security and counterbalance any strategic influence exerted by other powers, including China. Strengthening defense ties can contribute to mutual security interests and create a more robust strategic partnership. Here are several ways in which defense cooperation between India and Bangladesh can be deepened to address strategic challenges:

1. Military Exercises and Training:

  • Joint Exercises: Conduct joint military exercises to enhance interoperability and strengthen the capabilities of both armed forces. Regular drills can foster a better understanding of each other’s military strategies and tactics.

  • Exchange Programs: Facilitate exchange programs for military personnel, allowing officers and soldiers from both countries to undergo training and gain exposure to each other’s military practices.

2. Strategic Consultations and Dialogues:

  • Regular Dialogues: Establish regular high-level strategic dialogues between defense officials to discuss regional security issues, share threat assessments, and coordinate responses to emerging challenges.

  • Security Consultative Committees: Formulate joint security consultative committees that bring together defense experts and officials to analyze geopolitical developments and strategize collaborative responses.

3. Defense Technology Cooperation:

  • Joint Research and Development: Collaborate on defense technology research and development projects to enhance the capabilities of both armed forces. This could include joint production of military equipment, technology transfer, and information-sharing.

  • Procurement Collaboration: Explore opportunities for joint procurement of defense equipment to achieve economies of scale, reduce costs, and ensure interoperability between the defense systems of both countries.

4. Maritime Security Cooperation:

  • Joint Naval Patrols: Coordinate joint naval patrols and exercises to enhance maritime security in the Bay of Bengal. This can include addressing common challenges such as piracy, illegal fishing, and ensuring freedom of navigation.

  • Information Sharing: Establish mechanisms for sharing real-time information on maritime activities, enhancing the surveillance capabilities of both nations in the shared maritime domain.

5. Disaster Response and Humanitarian Assistance:

  • Joint Disaster Response Exercises: Conduct joint exercises for disaster response and humanitarian assistance. This not only enhances military coordination but also demonstrates the positive role of armed forces in addressing non-traditional security challenges.

  • Capacity Building: Collaborate on building disaster response capabilities, including search and rescue operations, medical assistance, and infrastructure rehabilitation, to respond effectively to natural disasters.

6. Border Management and Counterterrorism:

  • Information Exchange: Strengthen intelligence-sharing mechanisms to counter common security threats, including cross-border terrorism and transnational crimes.

  • Joint Border Management: Collaborate on border management strategies to address border security challenges effectively, ensuring stability and preventing illicit activities.

7. Cybersecurity Cooperation:

  • Cybersecurity Dialogues: Establish regular dialogues on cybersecurity to share best practices, threat intelligence, and jointly develop strategies to counter cyber threats.

  • Capacity Building: Collaborate on building cybersecurity capabilities, including training programs, to protect critical infrastructure and information systems.

8. People-to-People Contacts:

  • Military Education and Exchanges: Encourage educational exchanges between military academies and institutions. This can foster goodwill, understanding, and long-term collaboration among military personnel.

  • Cultural and Sports Events: Promote cultural and sports events involving military personnel to strengthen interpersonal bonds, fostering a sense of camaraderie and collaboration.

9. Diplomatic Outreach:

  • Regional Forums: Engage in joint diplomatic efforts in regional forums to articulate shared security concerns and contribute to the formulation of regional security architectures.

  • Multilateral Platforms: Utilize multilateral platforms, such as the United Nations and regional organizations, to amplify shared defense and security interests and build a collective response to common challenges.

10. Joint Infrastructure Development:

  • Common Infrastructure Projects: Undertake joint infrastructure projects for the development of military facilities, logistics, and communication networks that can enhance the overall defense capabilities of both nations.

  • Cross-Border Military Facilities: Explore the possibility of establishing cross-border military facilities to facilitate joint training, intelligence-sharing, and coordinated responses to security challenges.

11. Shared Maritime Domain Awareness:

  • Integrated Maritime Domain Awareness: Develop a shared maritime domain awareness system to monitor and address maritime security challenges effectively. This could include joint surveillance, reconnaissance, and information-sharing mechanisms.

  • Joint Maritime Security Strategy: Formulate a joint maritime security strategy to safeguard common interests and respond to emerging challenges in the maritime domain.

12. Regular Strategic Review Meetings:

  • Strategic Review Sessions: Establish a mechanism for regular strategic review meetings between defense officials from both countries to assess the evolving geopolitical scenario, align strategies, and recalibrate defense cooperation initiatives.

By implementing these measures, India and Bangladesh can deepen their defense cooperation, enhance mutual trust, and collectively address regional security challenges. This collaboration is essential not only for the security and well-being of the two nations but also for fostering stability in the broader South Asian region.

12. Discuss how the tenets of Treaty of Friendship with Nepal is hindering the deeper integration of both the countries? (India & its Neighbourhood)

The Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed between India and Nepal in 1950, often referred to as the “1950 Treaty,” has been a longstanding framework governing bilateral relations. While it initially aimed to foster close ties, the tenets of the treaty have become a source of contention and, at times, a hindrance to the deeper integration of both countries. 

1. Unequal Footing:

  • Concern: The treaty has been criticized for placing Nepal in a position that some perceive as unequal, with implications for sovereignty. The provision that allows for a “special relationship” has led to debates about the extent to which it may compromise Nepal’s autonomy.

2. Security Concerns:

  • Concern: Some provisions in the treaty, including those related to defense cooperation, have raised concerns about how they impact Nepal’s sovereignty and its ability to independently manage its security affairs. Debates around these provisions have occasionally strained bilateral relations.

3. Review and Amendment Demands:

  • Concern: Over the years, there have been periodic demands within Nepal for a review and amendment of the treaty to address perceived imbalances and ensure a more equitable relationship. These demands reflect concerns about the treaty’s impact on Nepal’s ability to independently shape its foreign policy.

4. Trade and Transit Issues:

  • Concern: While the treaty facilitates open borders and allows for free movement of people and goods, there have been occasional disputes related to trade and transit issues. Changes in transit regulations and concerns about their impact on Nepal’s economic interests have strained relations.

5. Perceptions of Interference:

  • Concern: The treaty, with its provisions on consultations and coordination in foreign affairs, has been criticized for potential interference in Nepal’s sovereign decision-making. 

6. Historical Legacy:

  • Concern: The historical legacy of the treaty and its framing during a different geopolitical era has led to differing interpretations. Some in Nepal view it through a lens of historical treaties and power dynamics, creating challenges for a modern, equal-footed relationship.

7. Public Sentiment:

  • Concern: Public sentiment in Nepal, at times, reflects dissatisfaction with certain aspects of the treaty. Addressing public concerns and perceptions becomes crucial for fostering a relationship based on mutual trust and understanding.

8. Need for a Comprehensive Framework:

  • Concern: The absence of a comprehensive and updated framework for bilateral relations, beyond the 1950 Treaty, has been highlighted. The lack of a contemporary agreement that reflects the evolving geopolitical dynamics may impede deeper integration.

9. Shifts in Geopolitical Context:

  • Concern: The geopolitical landscape has changed significantly since the signing of the treaty. Nepal’s geopolitical considerations and the evolving regional dynamics underscore the need for a framework that accommodates contemporary realities and mutual interests.

10. Bilateral Dialogues and Diplomacy:

  • Opportunity: Addressing the concerns related to the treaty requires ongoing diplomatic dialogues and negotiations. A proactive approach to bilateral discussions can provide opportunities to address grievances, clarify interpretations, and lay the groundwork for a more harmonious relationship.

While the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between India and Nepal has historical significance, its tenets have become a source of contention and challenges in recent years. Addressing these challenges requires diplomatic efforts, mutual understanding, and, potentially, a reassessment of certain provisions to align the treaty with contemporary geopolitical dynamics and the aspirations of both nations for a deeper and more integrated relationship.

13. Critically comment on the fears arising out of the closing gaps in the developmental indicators between India and Bangladesh? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

Geopolitics has played a significant role in shaping the relationship between India and Bangladesh, two neighboring countries with a complex and intertwined history. While shared cultural heritage, language, and religious ties have fostered a sense of connection, geopolitical considerations have often presented challenges and opportunities for cooperation.

Shared Border and Historical Ties

India and Bangladesh share a long border of over 4,000 kilometers, making it one of the longest borders in the world. This shared boundary has been a source of both friction and cooperation. On the one hand, it has facilitated cross-border movement of people and goods, fostering economic and cultural exchange. On the other hand, it has also led to disputes over land and water resources, as well as concerns about illegal migration and security threats.

The historical relationship between India and Bangladesh has been marked by both collaboration and conflict. The two countries were united under British colonial rule until 1947 when India gained independence. Bangladesh, then known as East Pakistan, remained part of Pakistan until 1971 when it gained independence through a bloody war of liberation. The war left a legacy of mistrust and unresolved issues between the two countries.

Geopolitical Considerations and Opportunities

Despite the challenges, India and Bangladesh have made significant progress in normalizing relations in recent years. This is partly due to a growing recognition of shared interests and the potential for mutual benefit. Both countries are seeking to expand their economic ties, enhance connectivity, and cooperate on security issues.

Geopolitical considerations have also played a role in shaping the relationship. India’s growing economic and military power has made it a significant regional actor, while Bangladesh seeks to maintain its strategic autonomy and balance its relations with India and other powers. The rise of China in the region has added another layer of complexity, as both India and Bangladesh seek to manage their ties with the world’s second-largest economy.

Key Geopolitical Issues

Several key geopolitical issues continue to shape the relationship between India and Bangladesh:

  • Border Disputes: Despite efforts to resolve outstanding border issues, some disputes remain, including the demarcation of maritime boundaries and the sharing of river waters.

  • Water Sharing: Both India and Bangladesh depend heavily on shared water resources for irrigation, drinking water, and hydropower. Disputes over water allocation have been a source of tension in the past.

  • Illegal Migration: The influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh to India has been a long-standing concern for the Indian government.

  • Security Cooperation: While both countries have made progress in security cooperation, there remain concerns about cross-border terrorism and smuggling.

  • Regional Dynamics: The rise of China and other powers in the region has added a new dimension to India-Bangladesh relations. Both countries are seeking to manage their ties with other regional players in a way that serves their national interests.

Prospects for the Future

Despite the challenges, there is a growing realization that India and Bangladesh have a shared destiny and that cooperation is essential for their mutual prosperity and security. The two countries have made progress in recent years in addressing outstanding issues and strengthening ties in key areas such as trade, connectivity, and cultural exchange.

The future of the India-Bangladesh relationship will depend on the ability of both countries to manage their differences and find common ground on issues of mutual interest. Geopolitical considerations will continue to play a role, but there is a growing recognition that cooperation is in the best interests of both countries.

14. Discuss how the engagement strategy with Bhutan can be template for India's regional power ambitions? (250 Words) 15 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

India’s engagement strategy with Bhutan serves as a unique template for its regional power ambitions, emphasizing a combination of historical ties, strategic cooperation, and respect for Bhutan’s sovereignty. The template provides insights into fostering strong bilateral relations with neighboring countries. 

1. Historical Ties and Cultural Affinity:

  • Mutual Respect: The template emphasizes the importance of historical ties and cultural affinity. India and Bhutan share deep-rooted cultural, historical, and religious connections. Acknowledging and respecting the historical context helps build trust and a sense of shared identity.

2. Non-Interference and Sovereignty:

  • Respect for Sovereignty: India’s approach to Bhutan underscores the principle of non-interference and respect for Bhutan’s sovereignty. This serves as a template for regional power ambitions by demonstrating the importance of treating neighbors as equal partners with their own agency and independence.

3. Security Cooperation:

  • Strategic Alignment: Security cooperation forms a crucial aspect of the engagement strategy. By aligning security interests and collaborating on defence matters, India and Bhutan ensure regional stability. This template suggests that regional power ambitions should prioritize mutual security concerns for a secure and stable neighbourhood.

4. Economic Collaboration:

  • Shared Economic Goals: The engagement strategy focuses on economic collaboration, including trade agreements and developmental projects. This template suggests that fostering economic ties and supporting neighboring countries in their development goals can enhance regional influence.

5. Infrastructure Development:

  • Connectivity Projects: Investing in joint infrastructure projects and connectivity initiatives strengthens regional ties. By facilitating transportation links and connectivity, India promotes economic integration, contributing to its role as a regional power.

6. Crisis Response and Humanitarian Assistance:

  • Swift Response to Crises: The engagement strategy with Bhutan involves a swift response to crises, including natural disasters. This template recommends proactive crisis management and humanitarian assistance to address shared challenges and build goodwill.

7. Environmental Conservation:

  • Joint Initiatives: Collaboration on environmental conservation, especially in the context of the Eastern Himalayas, demonstrates shared responsibility. This template highlights the importance of addressing ecological concerns collectively for sustainable development.

8. People-to-People Ties:

  • Cultural Exchanges: Promoting people-to-people ties through cultural exchanges and educational initiatives fosters a deeper understanding. This template underscores the significance of societal connections in building lasting regional partnerships.

9. Diplomatic Collaboration:

  • Regular Diplomatic Engagements: Consistent diplomatic engagements and high-level visits are integral to the engagement strategy. This template suggests that maintaining open lines of communication and regular diplomatic dialogues strengthen diplomatic ties.

10. Hydropower Cooperation:

  • Mutually Beneficial Projects: Collaborating on hydropower projects showcases how mutually beneficial projects can enhance energy security and economic cooperation. This template emphasizes the importance of identifying and implementing projects that contribute to shared goals.

11. Investment in Education and Capacity Building:

  • Capacity Building Initiatives: Investing in education and capacity-building initiatives demonstrates a commitment to human resource development. This template suggests that empowering neighboring nations through education contributes to regional influence.

12. Soft Power Diplomacy:

  • Cultural Influence: Leveraging soft power, including cultural diplomacy, literature, and media, enhances India’s influence in the region. This template underscores the strategic use of soft power elements to strengthen diplomatic ties.

13. Strategic Partnerships in Multilateral Forums:

  • Common Position in Multilateral Forums: A shared strategic position in multilateral forums strengthens regional influence. This template suggests that strategic partnerships in international organizations amplify collective voices on global issues.

14. Transparent Bilateral Agreements:

  • Clear Bilateral Agreements: Transparent and well-defined bilateral agreements contribute to trust and confidence. This template highlights the importance of clarity in agreements to avoid misunderstandings and build a foundation of trust.

By applying the principles embedded in India’s engagement strategy with Bhutan, India can shape its regional power ambitions by prioritizing mutual respect, sovereignty, economic collaboration, and strategic alignment. This template emphasizes the significance of building enduring relationships based on shared values and interests for regional stability and development.

15. Is the time ripe, owing to the misuse of open borders, India should now go for fencing the borders with Nepal? Critically Examine with supportive examples? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

The question of whether India should fence its borders with Nepal is a complex and sensitive issue that requires careful consideration of various factors, including historical ties, security concerns, and the impact on bilateral relations. 

Arguments in Favour of Fencing:

  1. Security Concerns:

    • Example: The open border has been misused for activities like smuggling, illegal immigration, and cross-border crimes. Fencing could help in better monitoring and control of such activities, enhancing national security.
  2. Border Management:

    • Example: Establishing physical barriers may aid in more effective border management. This can be especially relevant in addressing security challenges and preventing unauthorized border crossings.
  3. Sovereignty and Control:

    • Example: Fencing can be viewed as a measure to assert sovereignty and territorial control. It may help in demarcating the boundaries clearly, minimizing disputes, and ensuring a well-defined border.
  4. Preventing Infiltration:

    • Example: Fencing could serve as a deterrent to infiltrators, terrorists, and criminal elements who might exploit the porous border. This may contribute to maintaining law and order along the border regions.

Arguments Against Fencing:

  1. Historical and Cultural Ties:

    • Example: India and Nepal share deep-rooted historical and cultural ties. Erecting fences may be perceived as a breach of trust and could strain the traditionally close relations between the two countries.
  2. Economic Impact:

    • Example: The open border facilitates trade, movement of people, and cultural exchanges. Fencing could hinder these activities, negatively impacting the economies of both countries and affecting the livelihoods of communities along the border.
  3. Diplomatic Fallout:

    • Example: Fencing may be seen as an unfriendly move by Nepal, potentially leading to diplomatic tensions. It could hinder collaborative efforts on various fronts and damage the overall bilateral relationship.
  4. Humanitarian Considerations:

    • Example: Fencing may impede the movement of people in need, particularly during natural disasters or emergencies. The open border has historically allowed for swift humanitarian responses, and fencing could hinder such efforts.
  5. Symbolic Significance:

    • Example: The open border symbolizes the historical trust and friendship between India and Nepal. Erecting fences may send negative signals, and the symbolism associated with an open border contributes to a sense of unity in the region.
  6. Alternative Security Measures:

    • Example: Instead of physical barriers, investment in modern surveillance technology, increased border patrolling, and intelligence-sharing mechanisms could address security concerns without the need for fencing.
  7. Environmental Impact:

    • Example: Fencing can have environmental consequences, disrupting wildlife habitats and migration routes. This could lead to ecological challenges and may not be in line with sustainable development goals.


The decision to fence the borders with Nepal is a multifaceted issue that requires a balanced approach, taking into account security concerns, historical ties, and the potential impact on bilateral relations. While addressing security challenges is crucial, it is equally important to explore alternative solutions that minimize the negative consequences on economic, cultural, and diplomatic aspects of the relationship. A collaborative and diplomatic approach, coupled with modern technology and enhanced border management, might offer a more balanced solution to address the concerns without jeopardizing the long-standing friendship between India and Nepal.

16. Discuss how China's growing political influence in Nepal is shaping India-Nepal relations? Is there a reason to worry for India? (250 Words) 15 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

China’s growing political influence in Nepal has raised concerns in India, as it could potentially affect the balance of power in the region and have implications for India’s security interests.

China’s Growing Influence in Nepal

China has been rapidly increasing its economic and political engagement with Nepal in recent years. This has been evident in a number of areas, including:

  • Infrastructure Development: China has invested heavily in infrastructure projects in Nepal, including roads, railways, and hydropower dams. This has helped Nepal to develop its economy and improve its connectivity, but it has also raised concerns about Nepal’s growing reliance on China.

  • Political Engagement: China has also been actively engaging with Nepal’s political leaders. This has included hosting high-level visits, providing training and support to Nepali officials, and funding political parties. This engagement has raised concerns about China’s attempts to influence Nepal’s domestic politics.

  • Military Cooperation: China has also been increasing its military cooperation with Nepal. This has included providing military aid, conducting joint military exercises, and training Nepali military personnel. This cooperation has raised concerns about China’s intentions in Nepal and its potential to pose a threat to India’s security.

Impact on India-Nepal Relations

China’s growing influence in Nepal has had a significant impact on India-Nepal relations. India has traditionally been Nepal’s closest ally, but China’s growing presence has created a sense of competition between the two powers. This competition has manifested itself in a number of ways, including:

  • Strained Diplomatic Relations: India and Nepal have experienced a number of diplomatic disputes in recent years, which have strained their relationship. These disputes have been partly due to India’s concerns about China’s growing influence in Nepal.

  • Perception of Indian Interference: There is a perception in Nepal that India has tried to interfere in Nepal’s internal affairs. This perception has been fueled by India’s past involvement in Nepal’s politics, as well as India’s economic dominance over Nepal.

  • China’s Economic Leverage: China’s economic leverage over Nepal has given it a significant advantage in its competition with India. This leverage has allowed China to influence Nepal’s economic policies and to secure favorable deals on infrastructure projects.

Reasons for Indian Concern

There are several reasons why India is concerned about China’s growing influence in Nepal:

  • Strategic Concerns: China’s growing influence in Nepal could pose a threat to India’s strategic interests in the region. Nepal is located in a strategic position between India and China, and China’s control over Nepal could give it a strategic advantage in any future conflict between the two powers.

  • Security Concerns: China’s military cooperation with Nepal could also pose a threat to India’s security. China’s training and arming of the Nepali military could give it a more capable military force that could be used against India.

  • Economic Concerns: China’s economic dominance over Nepal could also harm India’s economic interests in the region. China’s investment in infrastructure projects in Nepal could give it a competitive advantage in the Nepali market, and China’s control over Nepal’s economy could give it the power to manipulate trade and investment flows.


China’s growing political influence in Nepal is a complex issue with far-reaching implications for India-Nepal relations. India has legitimate concerns about China’s intentions in Nepal and the potential impact on India’s security and economic interests. It is important for India to manage its relationship with Nepal carefully and to work with Nepal to address its concerns about China’s growing influence.

17. Critically comment on the fears arising out of the closing gaps in the developmental indicators between India and Bangladesh? (250 Words) 15 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

The closing gaps in developmental indicators between India and Bangladesh can elicit both positive and concerning reactions. While narrowing disparities signify progress and improvement in Bangladesh’s socio-economic conditions, it may also raise certain fears and challenges for India. 

Positive Aspects:

  1. Poverty Reduction:

    • Positive Comment: The closing gap indicates that Bangladesh has made significant strides in poverty reduction, achieving improvements in living standards and economic conditions for its population.
  2. Human Development Index (HDI):

    • Positive Comment: Progress in closing developmental gaps suggests advancements in education, healthcare, and overall human development, reflecting positively on Bangladesh’s commitment to social welfare.
  3. Gender Equality:

    • Positive Comment: If the closing gap includes advancements in gender equality, it reflects a positive trend in empowering women and fostering inclusivity in social and economic development.
  4. Economic Growth:

    • Positive Comment: A narrowing gap can signify robust economic growth and resilience, showcasing Bangladesh’s success in attracting investments, promoting industries, and achieving macroeconomic stability.
  5. Social Infrastructure:

    • Positive Comment: Improved indicators may indicate enhanced social infrastructure, including healthcare facilities, education systems, and other essential services, contributing to the overall well-being of the population.

Concerns and Fears:

  1. Competitive Pressure:

    • Critical Comment: India may perceive the closing gaps as a form of competition in attracting investments, trade, and global attention. This could raise concerns about maintaining its position as a regional economic powerhouse.
  2. Global Perception:

    • Critical Comment: The narrowing gaps might impact the global perception of India as the dominant economic force in South Asia. This could raise concerns about India’s ability to attract foreign investments and geopolitical influence.
  3. Migration Patterns:

    • Critical Comment: If the closing gaps lead to increased migration from India to Bangladesh for economic opportunities, it may raise concerns about workforce dynamics, brain drain, and economic imbalances.
  4. Trade Imbalance:

    • Critical Comment: A more developed Bangladesh could impact the trade balance between the two countries, potentially affecting India’s export-oriented industries and trade relationships in the region.
  5. Strategic Influence:

    • Critical Comment: A more economically robust Bangladesh may alter the strategic dynamics in South Asia, potentially shifting geopolitical influence away from India. This could have implications for regional politics and alliances.
  6. Infrastructure Competition:

    • Critical Comment: As Bangladesh invests in infrastructure development, it might intensify competition with India for regional connectivity projects. This could impact India’s plans for economic corridors and transportation networks.
  7. Socio-Political Implications:

    • Critical Comment: A more developed Bangladesh may influence socio-political dynamics in the region. This could impact issues such as regional stability, cross-border migrations, and diplomatic alignments.

Mitigation Strategies:

  1. Collaborative Development Initiatives:

    • India and Bangladesh can engage in collaborative development initiatives, leveraging each other’s strengths for mutual benefit and regional stability.
  2. Trade and Economic Partnerships:

    • Strengthening trade and economic partnerships through initiatives like regional trade agreements can create win-win situations for both countries.
  3. Diplomatic Engagement:

    • Regular diplomatic engagement and open communication can address concerns and foster a cooperative approach to shared challenges.
  4. People-to-People Ties:

    • Promoting people-to-people ties through cultural exchanges, educational programs, and tourism can build understanding and goodwill.
  5. Inclusive Development Policies:

    • India can focus on inclusive development policies that address socio-economic disparities within its own borders, ensuring equitable progress.

While the closing gaps in developmental indicators between India and Bangladesh signify positive strides in the latter’s socio-economic progress, it also poses certain concerns for India. Effective diplomacy, economic collaborations, and a focus on inclusive development can help mitigate these concerns and contribute to the overall well-being and stability of the region.

18. Give a historical context to India-Bangladesh relationship? (250 Words) 15 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

The India-Bangladesh relationship has a rich historical context that spans the pre-independence era, the creation of Bangladesh, and the subsequent development of bilateral ties. While we appreciate our role in the creation of Bangladesh, we tend to forget the pre historical connections of common lineage and culture.

Pre-Independence Era:

  1. British India:

    • Before the partition of British India in 1947, the region that is now Bangladesh was part of Bengal Province. Calcutta (now Kolkata) was the capital.
  2. Language Movement (1952):

    • The Language Movement in 1952, advocating for the recognition of Bengali as one of the official languages of Pakistan, marked an early expression of linguistic and cultural identity in East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh).

Creation of Bangladesh (1971):

  1. Bangladesh Liberation War (1971):

    • The turning point in the India-Bangladesh relationship came during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The people of East Pakistan sought independence from West Pakistan due to political, economic, and cultural disparities.
  2. Indo-Pak War of 1971:

    • The Indo-Pak War of 1971 ensued, triggered by the atrocities committed by the Pakistani military in East Pakistan. India intervened in support of the Bangladeshi independence movement.
  3. Creation of Bangladesh:

    • The conflict led to the creation of the independent state of Bangladesh on December 16, 1971, following India’s decisive military victory over Pakistan.

Post-Independence Relations:

  1. Treaty of Friendship (1972):

    • In 1972, India and Bangladesh signed the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Peace, establishing the framework for their bilateral relations. The treaty focused on mutual respect, non-interference, and cooperation in various fields.
  2. Repatriation of Prisoners:

    • The Simla Agreement of 1972 facilitated the repatriation of prisoners of war and civilians between India and Pakistan.
  3. Economic Cooperation:

    • Over the years, India and Bangladesh have engaged in economic cooperation, trade, and developmental projects. Water-sharing agreements, such as the Ganges Water Treaty, have been significant aspects of their relations.

Periodic Strains:

  1. Issues and Conflicts:

    • The India-Bangladesh relationship has faced occasional strains due to issues such as border disputes, the sharing of river waters, and the illegal migration of people.
  2. Land Boundary Agreement (2015):

    • The Land Boundary Agreement signed in 2015 resolved long-standing border issues, simplifying the exchange of enclaves and contributing to improved relations.

Recent Developments:

  1. Connectivity and Trade:

    • Efforts have been made to enhance connectivity between the two countries. Agreements like the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade facilitate waterway transportation.
  2. Security Cooperation:

    • India and Bangladesh have cooperated on security matters, including counterterrorism efforts and intelligence sharing.
  3. Cultural and People-to-People Ties:

    • Cultural exchanges and people-to-people ties play a vital role in fostering understanding and goodwill between the two nations.
  4. COVID-19 Pandemic Cooperation:

    • During the COVID-19 pandemic, India provided medical assistance to Bangladesh, showcasing collaborative efforts in addressing global challenges.

Future Perspectives:

  1. Regional Stability:

    • The India-Bangladesh relationship is crucial for regional stability. Both countries share common concerns and interests in areas such as counterterrorism, climate change, and economic development.
  2. Multilateral Collaboration:

    • Both nations collaborate in regional forums such as SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) and BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation), contributing to regional cooperation.
  3. Economic Growth and Connectivity:

    • Economic growth, infrastructure development, and enhanced connectivity can further strengthen the India-Bangladesh relationship, contributing to the prosperity of the region.

The historical journey of the India-Bangladesh relationship has seen transformative events, challenges, and collaborative efforts. While addressing historical issues and occasional strains, both nations continue to work towards building a stable, cooperative, and mutually beneficial relationship.

19. India's support to LTTE in whatever form, was primarily based on the concept of power devolution and self reliance of Tamilians in Sri Lanka? Comment (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

The claim that India’s support to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka was primarily based on the concept of power devolution and self-reliance of Tamilians in Sri Lanka is a complex and debated aspect of history. While the intervention did involve concerns about the rights and well-being of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, the motivations and outcomes were multifaceted.

Historical Context:

  1. Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka:

    • The roots of the conflict lay in the ethnic tensions between the majority Sinhalese community and the minority Tamil community in Sri Lanka. The Tamils, particularly in the northern and eastern regions, felt marginalized in terms of political representation and socio-economic opportunities.
  2. Indo-Sri Lanka Accord (1987):

    • The Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, facilitated by Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayewardene, aimed at addressing the ethnic conflict. The accord proposed devolution of power to the provinces, including the creation of a separate provincial council in the Northern and Eastern provinces, with autonomy.

India’s Support to LTTE:

  1. Humanitarian Concerns:

    • India’s support for the LTTE initially had humanitarian considerations, reflecting concerns about the reported human rights abuses against Tamils in Sri Lanka. The Indian government expressed solidarity with the Tamil population.
  2. Power Devolution:

    • The Indo-Sri Lanka Accord did propose power devolution as a solution to address the Tamil grievances. The creation of a provincial council was intended to grant a degree of autonomy to the Tamil-majority regions, allowing them to govern their own affairs.
  3. Self-Reliance of Tamils:

    • The concept of self-reliance for Tamils in Sri Lanka was tied to the idea of providing them with political autonomy and the ability to manage their own affairs. This was seen as a means to address the socio-economic disparities and ensure equal opportunities for Tamils.

Complex Motivations and Outcomes:

  1. LTTE’s Violent Methods:

    • While the initial support may have been rooted in addressing legitimate concerns, the LTTE’s adoption of violent and terrorist methods complicated the situation. The organization engaged in acts of terrorism, assassinations, and targeted killings, leading to a shift in perceptions.
  2. Changing Geopolitical Dynamics:

    • Geopolitical considerations also played a role in India’s involvement. The geopolitical landscape in South Asia, including India’s regional interests and concerns about external influence in Sri Lanka, influenced decision-making.
  3. Rajiv Gandhi’s Assassination:

    • The assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, allegedly by an LTTE suicide bomber, marked a turning point. The incident led to a shift in India’s stance, with subsequent governments adopting a more cautious approach toward the LTTE.
  4. Peacekeeping Mission and Withdrawal:

    • India’s involvement escalated with the launch of the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) in 1987 to implement the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord. However, the mission faced challenges, and by 1990, India withdrew its troops due to the escalation of conflict and strained relations with the LTTE.


While India’s initial support for the LTTE may have been influenced by the concept of power devolution and self-reliance for Tamils in Sri Lanka, the complex nature of the conflict, changing dynamics, and the LTTE’s violent methods shifted the course of events. The situation underscores the challenges of addressing ethnic conflicts and the importance of diplomatic and inclusive solutions to ensure the rights and well-being of all communities within a country.

20. Throw light on the Constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka. In what ways India can be of help being a culturally connected country? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

The Constitutional Crisis in Sri Lanka is a historical and a long pending struggle of the north and north eastern Tamil Dominated areas fighting for provincial autonomy. This was a direct consequence of the historical British divide and rule policy that created fractures in the political landscape of the country.

Constitutional Crisis in Sri Lanka:

  1. Context:

    • Sri Lanka has faced several periods of political instability and constitutional crises. One notable instance occurred in October 2018.
  2. Dissolution of Parliament (2018):

    • In October 2018, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved the parliament and called for snap elections. This move was met with opposition, as it was perceived by many as unconstitutional and against democratic norms.
  3. Legal and Political Challenges:

    • The dissolution led to legal and political challenges, with conflicting interpretations of the constitution. The Sri Lankan Supreme Court intervened, overturning the dissolution and reinstating the parliament.
  4. Change of Prime Ministers:

    • The crisis also involved changes in the position of Prime Minister. There were disputes over the legitimacy of appointing Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister, leading to further political turmoil.
  5. International Concerns:

    • The constitutional crisis raised concerns internationally about the rule of law, democratic principles, and political stability in Sri Lanka.

India’s Cultural Connection and Potential Assistance:

  1. Historical Ties:

    • India and Sri Lanka share deep cultural, historical, and geographical ties. The people-to-people connections and cultural affinities provide a strong foundation for diplomatic relations.
  2. Diplomatic Engagement:

    • India, with its diplomatic influence, can engage with Sri Lanka to encourage a peaceful resolution to constitutional crises. Diplomatic channels can be utilized to promote adherence to democratic principles and constitutional norms.
  3. Mediation and Dialogue:

    • India can potentially offer itself as a mediator to facilitate dialogue between conflicting parties within Sri Lanka. Sharing experiences of managing diverse democratic processes could contribute to conflict resolution.
  4. Capacity Building and Institutional Support:

    • India can provide capacity-building support to Sri Lanka in terms of strengthening its democratic institutions, governance structures, and legal frameworks. This assistance can help promote political stability and adherence to constitutional principles.
  5. Promoting Inclusive Policies:

    • India can share its experiences in managing diversity and fostering inclusive policies. This could be particularly relevant in a Sri Lankan context where ethnic and religious diversity has been a significant factor in political dynamics.
  6. Economic Cooperation:

    • Strengthening economic ties and cooperation can contribute to stability. Joint development projects and economic initiatives can provide a common ground for collaboration, fostering mutual benefit and stability.
  7. Humanitarian Assistance:

    • In times of political uncertainty, providing humanitarian assistance and support to the people of Sri Lanka can showcase solidarity and contribute to a positive perception of India’s role.
  8. Regional Forums:

    • India, as a member of regional forums like SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), can work collaboratively with other nations to address regional concerns and promote stability.

Caution and Respect for Sovereignty:

While India can offer assistance and support, it’s crucial to approach the situation with respect for Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. Any involvement should be guided by the principles of non-interference and mutual cooperation, ensuring that assistance is welcomed by the Sri Lankan government and people.

In summary, India, with its cultural connections and diplomatic influence, can play a constructive role in helping Sri Lanka navigate constitutional crises. The key lies in fostering dialogue, offering assistance based on mutual consent, and promoting democratic principles and stability in the region.

21. Give an overview of the scope of India-Afghanistan relations in the backdrop of changing political landscape in Afghanistan? (250 Words) 15 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

India’s engagement with Afghanistan has been historically driven by a developmental template and not as a security template. India’s studied absence in some spectrums of Afghanistan is a clear indication of India’s hands-off approach in Afghanistan.

Historical Overview:

  1. Historical Ties:

    • India and Afghanistan share a history of cultural, economic, and people-to-people ties that go back centuries. The relationship has been characterized by mutual respect and cooperation.
  2. Indian Development Assistance:

    • India has been a significant contributor to Afghanistan’s development. It has undertaken various projects in sectors such as infrastructure, education, healthcare, and capacity building to support Afghanistan’s reconstruction efforts.

Changing Political Landscape:

  1. Taliban Takeover (2021):

    • In August 2021, the Taliban took control of Kabul, marking a significant shift in Afghanistan’s political landscape. The takeover raised global concerns about governance, human rights, and regional stability.
  2. International Response:

    • The international community, including India, closely monitored developments in Afghanistan. Countries assessed their engagement policies in light of the changed circumstances.

Scope of India-Afghanistan Relations:

  1. Humanitarian Assistance:

    • India has consistently emphasized its commitment to providing humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. This includes medical aid, food assistance, and other forms of support, particularly during challenging times.
  2. Security and Counterterrorism Cooperation:

    • Both India and Afghanistan have shared concerns about terrorism. Strengthening cooperation on security and counterterrorism measures remains an important aspect of their relationship.
  3. Developmental Projects:

    • India’s commitment to development projects in Afghanistan is expected to continue. These projects aim to contribute to the country’s infrastructure, education, healthcare, and overall socio-economic development.
  4. People-to-People Ties:

    • The longstanding people-to-people ties between India and Afghanistan remain a foundation for the relationship. Cultural exchanges, scholarships, and educational opportunities for Afghan students in India contribute to fostering goodwill.
  5. Regional Stability:

    • Both India and Afghanistan have a shared interest in regional stability. The evolving situation in Afghanistan has implications for the broader South Asian region, and India may continue to engage diplomatically to promote stability.
  6. Engagement in Regional Forums:

    • India’s participation in regional forums like the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process reflects its commitment to regional cooperation and addressing common challenges, including those related to Afghanistan.
  7. Diplomatic Initiatives:

    • India may explore diplomatic initiatives to engage with the new authorities in Afghanistan. This could involve dialogue to address concerns related to governance, human rights, and the role of Afghanistan in regional dynamics.
  8. Refugee Concerns:

    • Given the potential for displacement and refugee flows, India, along with the international community, may address humanitarian concerns related to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Afghanistan.

Challenges and Considerations:

  1. Taliban’s Governance:

    • India, like other countries, may carefully assess its approach based on the nature of governance established by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  2. Security Dynamics:

    • The security dynamics in the region, including the potential for the reemergence of terrorism, will influence the scope and nature of India’s engagement.
  3. International Coordination:

    • India may coordinate its approach with other key international stakeholders to address common concerns and contribute to the stability of Afghanistan.

India needs to tread carefully in the Afghanistan matters owing to its geo-strategic significance. One wrong step can undo the long fought hard work historically.

22. Discuss how the British rule in Sri Lanka influenced its relations with India post independence? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) gained independence from British rule on February 4, 1948. The period of British colonial rule in Sri Lanka had a significant impact on its relations with India post-independence. Several factors shaped this relationship:

  1. Divide and Rule Policies: The British employed a strategy of divide and rule, which had lasting consequences on the demographic and political landscape of the region. They categorized the population based on ethnicity, favouring certain groups over others. This sowed the seeds for ethnic tensions, particularly between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka. The impact of these policies continued to affect Sri Lanka’s internal dynamics and its relations with India.

  2. Ethnic Composition and Tamil Issue: The Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, concentrated mainly in the northern and eastern regions, felt marginalized in the post-independence period. The Sinhala-dominated government implemented policies that further alienated the Tamils, leading to tensions and conflicts. This issue became a focal point in India-Sri Lanka relations due to the significant Tamil population in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

  3. Language Policies: The Sinhala Only Act of 1956, which made Sinhala the sole official language of Sri Lanka, marginalized the Tamil-speaking population. This led to increased feelings of alienation among the Tamils and contributed to the emergence of Tamil nationalist movements. India, with its own multilingual and multicultural society, was sensitive to linguistic issues, and this influenced its stance on the language policies in Sri Lanka.

  4. Indian Intervention: The Sri Lankan government’s handling of the Tamil issue and the discrimination against Tamils led to increased Tamil militancy and demands for a separate Tamil state (Tamil Eelam). As the situation escalated, India became involved in the affairs of its neighbor. The Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, brokered by then-Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayewardene, aimed to address the Tamil issue and ensure the devolution of power to the provinces.

  5. IPKF Operation: As part of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was deployed in Sri Lanka to assist in the implementation of the agreement. However, the operation faced numerous challenges, and India’s involvement became controversial. The IPKF withdrawal in 1990 marked the end of this phase of Indian intervention, leaving a complex legacy in India-Sri Lanka relations.

The British colonial legacy, especially the divide and rule policies, played a role in shaping the ethnic dynamics in Sri Lanka. Post-independence, issues related to the Tamil minority and the Sri Lankan government’s policies influenced India’s stance and interventions. The historical context of British rule in Sri Lanka thus had a lasting impact on the bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka.

23. Give a critical evaluation of India's stand in UNHRC against Human Rights violations in Sri Lanka post elimination of LTTE? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

India’s stand on the issue of human rights violations in Sri Lanka in the backdrop of growing LTTE menace has to be seen from multiple lenses. India being a neighbour to Sri Lanka and its developmental partner, its support to Sri Lanka in the UNHRC stands scrutiny of its long term relations. 

Historical Context:

  1. Support for Sri Lankan Sovereignty: Historically, India has emphasized the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and has respected Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. This principle has influenced India’s approach to issues related to internal conflicts and human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

  2. Concerns for Tamil Population: At the same time, India has expressed concerns about the welfare of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, particularly during and after the civil conflict with the LTTE. The end of the conflict in 2009 raised international concerns about alleged human rights abuses and civilian casualties.

UNHRC Resolutions:

  1. Voting Patterns: India has played a role in the UNHRC regarding resolutions on human rights in Sri Lanka. In the past, India’s voting patterns on resolutions related to Sri Lanka have varied. There have been instances where India abstained from voting on certain resolutions, emphasizing its commitment to a balanced approach and respect for Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.

  2. Shifts in Position: India’s position has evolved over time, reflecting a balance between expressing concerns for human rights and acknowledging Sri Lanka’s efforts to address these concerns. The complexities of the situation, including the aftermath of the civil conflict and reconciliation efforts, have influenced India’s stance.


  1. Balancing Act: India’s approach has faced criticism for being perceived as a diplomatic balancing act, prioritizing strategic and geopolitical considerations over a more assertive stance on human rights issues. Some argue that India could play a more proactive role in advocating for justice and accountability.

  2. Lack of Consistency: India’s voting patterns on UNHRC resolutions have sometimes been criticized for lacking consistency. This inconsistency has been viewed by some as a reflection of the complex nature of India’s relations with Sri Lanka and other geopolitical considerations.


India’s stand in the UNHRC against human rights violations in Sri Lanka post the elimination of the LTTE is influenced by a combination of factors, including historical ties, regional dynamics, and the principles of non-interference. While India has expressed concerns about the well-being of the Tamil population, its approach has often been measured and mindful of maintaining diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka. Public and international perceptions of India’s role in addressing human rights issues in Sri Lanka continue to be subjects of debate and scrutiny. It’s important to refer to the latest sources for updates on India’s stance and actions regarding human rights in Sri Lanka.

24. Discuss how India can leverage its relations with Sri Lanka for gaining strategic depth in the Indian Ocean? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)


  1. Maritime Security Cooperation:

    • Strengthening maritime security cooperation can be a key aspect of India-Sri Lanka relations. Collaborative efforts in patrolling and surveillance can help address common challenges such as piracy, illegal fishing, and other maritime threats.
  2. Port Development and Connectivity:

    • Investment in Sri Lankan ports, such as Colombo and Trincomalee, can enhance connectivity and facilitate smoother maritime trade. India has been involved in projects like the development of the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT), and further collaborations can deepen economic ties and strategic influence.
  3. Naval Cooperation and Exercises:

    • Joint naval exercises and training programs can enhance the capabilities of both Indian and Sri Lankan navies. This cooperation not only strengthens maritime security but also fosters mutual trust and understanding.
  4. Strategic Infrastructure Development:

    • India can participate in strategic infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, including road and rail networks, which can contribute to the economic development of the island nation. Improved connectivity can enhance regional stability and strengthen India’s influence.
  5. Energy Security:

    • Collaboration in the energy sector, including joint exploration of oil and gas resources, can contribute to the energy security of both nations. This mutual interest in energy resources can be a basis for deeper strategic cooperation.
  6. Regional Stability and Diplomacy:

    • Working together on regional diplomatic initiatives can contribute to stability in the Indian Ocean region. Joint efforts in international forums and organizations can help address shared challenges and concerns.
  7. Cultural and People-to-People Ties:

    • Strengthening cultural and people-to-people ties can build a solid foundation for strategic relations. Promoting tourism, educational exchanges, and cultural events fosters mutual understanding and creates a positive environment for cooperation.
  8. Security Assistance and Capacity Building:

    • Providing security assistance and participating in capacity-building programs for Sri Lanka’s military and law enforcement can contribute to the island nation’s stability and enhance its ability to address security challenges effectively.
  9. Counterterrorism Cooperation:

    • Given the historical context of internal conflicts in Sri Lanka, counterterrorism cooperation can be an area of mutual interest. Sharing intelligence and collaborating on counterterrorism measures can contribute to regional security.
  10. Environmental Cooperation:

    • Collaboration on environmental issues, such as maritime pollution and disaster response, can not only address shared challenges but also enhance mutual trust and cooperation.

Leveraging relations with Sri Lanka for gaining strategic depth in the Indian Ocean involves a comprehensive approach that encompasses economic, military, diplomatic, and cultural dimensions. Building a strong and cooperative partnership with Sri Lanka aligns with India’s broader strategy of promoting stability and security in the Indian Ocean region, ultimately serving the interests of both nations.

25. Discuss how the growing political and economic deeper relations of China with India's neigbourhood is creating problems for India? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

The growing political and economic ties between China and India’s neighbouring countries have presented a range of challenges and complexities for India. These challenges stem from increased Chinese influence in the region, economic dependencies, strategic considerations, and geopolitical rivalries. Diplomatic dialogue and regional partnerships remain crucial for managing and mitigating the problems arising from China’s growing political and economic influence in India’s neighbourhood.

  1. Strategic Encirclement:

    • China’s increasing presence in India’s neighbouring countries, particularly through infrastructure projects, economic investments, and strategic partnerships, is often perceived by India as a form of strategic encirclement. This can potentially limit India’s influence in its immediate neighbourhood.
  2. String of Pearls Strategy:

    • The “String of Pearls” strategy refers to China’s maritime and military presence in strategic locations surrounding India, including ports and facilities in countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. India views this strategy as an attempt to enhance China’s maritime influence and challenge India’s security interests in the Indian Ocean.
  3. Economic Dependencies:

    • China’s economic investments and projects in neighbouring countries create economic dependencies that may not always align with India’s interests. Countries heavily reliant on Chinese investments may be less inclined to support Indian positions on regional or international issues.
  4. Competing Infrastructure Projects:

    • China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) includes infrastructure projects in several South Asian countries, sometimes in direct competition with India’s development initiatives. This competition can lead to tensions and affect regional stability.
  5. Border Disputes and Security Concerns:

    • Ongoing border disputes, such as the one in the Himalayan region (Doklam and Ladakh), contribute to heightened security concerns between India and China. These disputes can spill over into diplomatic tensions and impact overall bilateral relations.
  6. Diplomatic and Political Manoeuvring:

    • China’s engagement in diplomatic and political manoeuvring, such as influencing international forums and supporting certain political regimes, can create challenges for India. It may result in divided loyalties among neighbouring countries and make it more challenging for India to build consensus on regional issues.
  7. Regional Power Dynamics:

    • The deepening of China’s relations with India’s neighbours alters the regional power dynamics. This shift can lead to increased competition for influence, resources, and strategic advantages, potentially marginalizing India in regional affairs.
  8. Security Threats:

    • Perceived security threats emanating from China’s military presence and influence in India’s neighbourhood contribute to a complex security environment. India must continually assess and respond to these security challenges.
  9. Impact on Regional Stability:

    • The geopolitical rivalry between India and China can contribute to regional instability. Tensions and competition may impact the stability of neighbouring countries and hinder collaborative efforts on regional issues.

In navigating these challenges, India has sought to balance its own economic and strategic engagements in the region. Initiatives like the “Neighbourhood First” policy, Gujaral Doctrine etc aim to enhance cooperation with neighbouring countries, emphasizing shared interests and mutual benefits.


26. India's inability to extend a deep economic support to its neighbours in crisis is affecting its strategic interests? Comment (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

India’s inability to provide deep economic support to its neighbors in times of crisis can indeed have implications for its strategic interests. Economic support is a crucial element of diplomatic relations, and it plays a significant role in shaping perceptions, building influence, and fostering regional stability.

Influence and Soft Power:

    • Economic assistance is a powerful tool for building influence and soft power. Countries that can provide substantial economic support during crises are often viewed as reliable partners. India’s ability to influence regional dynamics is influenced by its capacity to offer economic aid, trade benefits, and investment opportunities.
  1. Regional Stability:

    • Economic instability in neighbouring countries can have spill-over effects on India’s security and stability. By extending economic support, India can contribute to the economic development and stability of its neighbours, creating a more secure and prosperous regional environment.
  2. Counteracting Rival Influence:

    • Other major players, including China, have been active in providing economic assistance and investments in the region. India’s inability to match or counteract such influence with its own economic support may lead to a shifting balance of power, affecting India’s strategic position.
  3. Trade and Connectivity:

    • Economic assistance can enhance trade and connectivity, fostering economic integration and cooperation. A lack of economic support may impede the development of robust economic ties and hinder the creation of interconnected and interdependent regional economies.
  4. Humanitarian Considerations:

    • Providing economic assistance during crises is not just a matter of strategic calculation but also reflects humanitarian considerations. Demonstrating solidarity and support in times of need can foster goodwill and strengthen people-to-people ties, contributing to long-term diplomatic relationships.
  5. Infrastructure Development:

    • Economic support often involves funding for infrastructure projects, which can contribute to the economic development of neighbouring countries. India’s inability to provide significant financial support may limit its role in shaping the infrastructural landscape of the region.
  6. Energy Security:

    • Neighbouring countries may look to India for support in addressing energy security challenges. Economic assistance can facilitate investments in energy projects, contributing to the energy security of both India and its neighbours.
  7. Diplomatic Leverage:

    • Economic assistance can be used as a tool for diplomatic leverage. Countries that receive economic support may be more inclined to align with India on regional and international issues, enhancing India’s diplomatic standing.
  8. Crisis Management:

    • During crises, countries often look to their neighbours for support. India’s ability to extend economic assistance in times of crisis can shape perceptions of its reliability as a regional partner and influence the response of neighbouring countries to shared challenges.

India’s limitations in providing deep economic support to its neighbours during crises can impact its strategic interests by affecting its influence, regional stability, and diplomatic leverage. Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive approach that involves economic diplomacy, development assistance, and strategic partnerships to foster a more stable and prosperous neighbourhood.

27. Discuss how Cold War Dynamics clouded India's deep engagement with its neighbours? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

During the Cold War, global geopolitics was marked by the ideological and strategic competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. The dynamics of the Cold War had a significant impact on India’s foreign policy and its deep engagement with neighboring countries. Several factors contributed to the influence of Cold War dynamics on India’s regional relationships:

  1. Non-Alignment Policy:

    • India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, adopted a policy of non-alignment during the Cold War. Non-alignment meant that India would not align itself with either the Western (led by the U.S.) or the Eastern (led by the Soviet Union) blocs. This policy was aimed at maintaining India’s independence and autonomy in international affairs.
  2. Regional Proxy Conflicts:

    • The Cold War led to the emergence of regional proxy conflicts, where superpowers supported different sides in regional disputes. In South Asia, the India-Pakistan conflict became intertwined with Cold War dynamics, with the U.S. generally supporting Pakistan and the Soviet Union supporting India.
  3. Indo-Soviet Friendship:

    • While India officially pursued a non-aligned stance, it developed a close strategic and military relationship with the Soviet Union. The Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed in 1971 was a manifestation of this relationship. Soviet military assistance during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 further solidified ties.
  4. U.S.-Pakistan Alliance:

    • The United States, seeking to counter Soviet influence, formed a close alliance with Pakistan during the Cold War. This alliance influenced U.S. policy in the region and sometimes strained India-U.S. relations. The U.S. military assistance to Pakistan and its role in regional conflicts added complexity to India’s engagement with its neighbours.
  5. Impact on Bilateral Relations:

    • Cold War alignments influenced India’s bilateral relations with neighbouring countries. For example, India’s relations with Bangladesh were affected by the Cold War dynamics, with the U.S. supporting Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
  6. Soviet Influence in the Region:

    • India’s deepening engagement with the Soviet Union had implications for regional dynamics. The Soviet Union’s influence extended to countries in India’s neighbourhood, including Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, potentially shaping political and strategic developments.
  7. Arms Race and Military Alliances:

    • The superpower rivalry contributed to an arms race in South Asia, with both India and Pakistan seeking military assistance from their respective Cold War allies. This arms race heightened regional tensions and influenced security dynamics.
  8. Limited Economic Cooperation:

    • Cold War considerations often took precedence over economic cooperation in the region. Economic partnerships were sometimes constrained by political and ideological alignments rather than based on mutual economic interests.
  9. Impact on Multilateral Forums:

    • India’s participation in multilateral forums, such as the United Nations, was influenced by Cold War dynamics. The alignment of major powers in these forums often shaped the resolutions and outcomes related to regional conflicts.

The Cold War dynamics had a multifaceted impact on India’s deep engagement with its neighbours. While India pursued a non-aligned policy, regional conflicts and alliances influenced by the superpowers sometimes clouded India’s efforts to maintain a balanced and independent foreign policy. The legacy of these dynamics continued to shape regional geopolitics even after the end of the Cold War.

28. Describe the effect of Colonial History as a limiting factor in India's deeper engagement with its neighbours? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

India’s colonial history has had a lasting impact on its relationships with neighbouring countries, influencing the nature of diplomatic, political, and economic engagements. The effects of colonial history serve as both opportunities and challenges in India’s efforts to deepen ties with its neighbours. While the fault lines deepened the challenges, India’s altruistic approach brought some opportunities. 

  1. Partition Legacy:

    • The partition of British India in 1947, leading to the creation of Pakistan, was a pivotal event shaped by colonial policies. The scars of partition continue to influence India’s relations with Pakistan, affecting diplomatic ties and regional stability.
  2. Legacy of Borders and Territorial Disputes:

    • Colonial-era border demarcations and territorial divisions have left a legacy of disputes that impact India’s relations with neighbouring countries. For example, issues related to the Line of Control in Kashmir with Pakistan, or the border disputes with China, have historical roots in colonial-era agreements and demarcations.
  3. Strategic Interests and Buffer States:

    • During the colonial period, the British often pursued strategic policies that created buffer states to safeguard their imperial interests. The geopolitical consequences of these policies continue to influence India’s relations with neighbouring countries, including Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar.
  4. Economic Exploitation and Dependency:

    • Colonial exploitation of resources and economic policies have left a legacy of economic disparities and dependencies. Neighboring countries may perceive economic engagements with India through the lens of historical exploitation, impacting economic cooperation and trade relationships.
  5. Inherited Political Structures:

    • The political structures inherited from colonial rule, including administrative divisions and governance systems, can contribute to complexities in regional relations. Historical administrative boundaries may not always align with cultural or ethnic affinities, potentially leading to tensions.
  6. Legacy of Colonial-Era Treaties:

    • Treaties and agreements signed during the colonial era, such as the Shimla Agreement between British India and Tibet, continue to influence India’s relations with neighbouring countries. The interpretation and implementation of these agreements can be a source of contention.
  7. Impact on Multilateral Relations:

    • Colonial history also plays a role in shaping India’s interactions in multilateral forums. Historical grievances and legacies of colonialism may influence diplomatic postures and alliances in international organizations.
  8. Shared Historical Grievances:

    • Historical grievances arising from colonial-era actions, such as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, can influence relations with countries like the United Kingdom, adding a historical dimension to diplomatic interactions.
  9. Cultural and Social Ties:

    • While colonial history may present challenges, it also provides a common historical and cultural heritage that can be leveraged for diplomatic engagement. Shared colonial experiences can create avenues for cultural exchanges and people-to-people ties.
  10. Colonial-Era Infrastructure and Connectivity:

    • Infrastructure projects, such as railways and roads, established during the colonial period, can contribute to connectivity and economic cooperation. However, issues related to their maintenance and development may arise due to historical legacies.

India’s colonial history has left a complex legacy that shapes its relationships with neighboring countries. While historical ties can provide opportunities for cooperation, they can also present challenges and grievances that need careful management in the pursuit of deeper engagement. Navigating these historical dynamics requires a nuanced understanding of the colonial past and a proactive approach to building positive and mutually beneficial relationships in the region.

29. Critically comment how the policy of Non-Alignment affected India's engagement with its neighbours? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

The policy of Non-Alignment, a cornerstone of India’s foreign policy since the early years of independence, had both positive and negative impacts on India’s engagement with its neighbours. Non-Alignment was a strategic choice made by India to maintain independence and avoid alignment with any of the Cold War blocs led by the United States or the Soviet Union. 

Positive Impacts:

  1. Sovereignty and Autonomy:

    • Non-Alignment allowed India to maintain its sovereignty and autonomy in international affairs. By avoiding alignment with any major power bloc, India sought to pursue an independent foreign policy agenda based on its own national interests.
  2. Peaceful Coexistence:

    • Non-Alignment emphasized the principles of peaceful coexistence and diplomacy over military alliances. This approach contributed to India’s image as a responsible and non-aggressive regional power, fostering goodwill among its neighbours.
  3. Regional Leadership:

    • Non-Alignment provided India with an opportunity to assume a leadership role in regional forums. By not being tied to any major power, India could play a mediator role in regional conflicts and contribute to the stability of South Asia.
  4. Diplomatic Flexibility:

    • Non-Alignment afforded India the flexibility to engage with a diverse range of countries, both Western and Eastern, without being constrained by ideological commitments. This flexibility was beneficial in pursuing economic, cultural, and diplomatic ties with a broad spectrum of nations.

Negative Impacts:

  1. Security Concerns:

    • Non-Alignment didn’t provide a clear security umbrella for India, especially during times of conflict with its neighbours. The lack of a formal military alliance meant that India had to depend on its own resources for defence and security.
  2. Regional Perceptions:

    • Some neighbouring countries perceived India’s non-alignment as indecision or reluctance to take a clear stance on regional security issues. This could create uncertainty among neighbouring nations about India’s commitment to their security.
  3. Border Conflicts:

    • Non-Alignment did not prevent border conflicts with neighbouring countries, notably China and Pakistan. The absence of a strong military alliance may have emboldened adversaries, leading to conflicts that impacted regional stability.
  4. Limited Leverage in Global Affairs:

    • While Non-Alignment allowed India to maintain a principled stance in global affairs, it may have limited India’s leverage in international decision-making processes. Major powers could sometimes overlook India’s interests due to its non-aligned status.
  5. Economic Cooperation Challenges:

    • Non-Alignment did not necessarily translate into economic cooperation with neighbouring countries. Economic engagement requires a proactive approach, and the absence of a formal alliance structure might have limited India’s ability to forge economic partnerships in the region.
  6. Shifts in Global Alliances:

    • The end of the Cold War and changes in the global geopolitical landscape altered the relevance of Non-Alignment. India had to reassess its foreign policy in the post-Cold War era, as new geopolitical realities emerged.
  7. Inability to Prevent Proxy Conflicts:

    • Non-Alignment did not prevent proxy conflicts, such as the India-Pakistan conflicts and the Sri Lankan Civil War, where external powers supported regional actors. India’s non-aligned stance might not have been effective in preventing such interventions.

The policy of Non-Alignment had a complex impact on India’s engagement with its neighbours. While it provided India with diplomatic flexibility and regional leadership opportunities, it also presented challenges related to security, regional perceptions, and economic cooperation. The evolving global landscape, marked by shifts in alliances and geopolitical realities, necessitated adjustments in India’s foreign policy approach in the post-Cold War era.

30. Discuss how Defence co-operation is at the heart of India's Neighbourhood First Policy? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India & its Neighbourhood)

India’s Neighbourhood First Policy places a strong emphasis on defence cooperation as a central pillar of its approach to regional diplomacy. This policy underscores the importance of building strong, cooperative relationships with neighbouring countries to address common security challenges, foster stability, and contribute to mutual development. 

  1. Security and Stability:

    • Defence cooperation is seen as crucial for ensuring the security and stability of the region. By collaborating on defence matters, India aims to contribute to the overall security environment in its neighbourhood, fostering a sense of stability and trust among neighboring countries.
  2. Countering Transnational Threats:

    • Neighbourhood First Policy recognizes the importance of addressing transnational threats such as terrorism, extremism, and organized crime. Defense cooperation enables joint efforts to counter these threats, including intelligence sharing, coordinated border management, and joint military exercises.
  3. Capacity Building:

    • India seeks to enhance the defence capabilities of its neighbours through capacity-building initiatives. This may involve training programs, provision of military equipment, and assistance in strengthening defence institutions. Building the capacity of neighbouring nations contributes to their self-reliance in addressing security challenges.
  4. Disaster Response and Humanitarian Assistance:

    • Defense cooperation extends beyond traditional security concerns to include disaster response and humanitarian assistance. Neighboring countries often face natural disasters, and collaborative defense efforts can facilitate a coordinated and effective response to such crises.
  5. Joint Military Exercises:

    • Conducting joint military exercises is a tangible expression of defense cooperation. These exercises enhance interoperability, improve communication, and build mutual trust between the armed forces of India and its neighbors. They also serve as confidence-building measures.
  6. Border Management and Maritime Security:

    • India’s Neighbourhood First Policy recognizes the significance of effective border management and maritime security. Defense cooperation involves collaborative efforts to secure land and maritime borders, prevent cross-border crime, and ensure the free flow of legitimate trade and people.
  7. Regional Security Architecture:

    • Defense cooperation contributes to the development of a robust regional security architecture. India aims to work collaboratively with its neighbors to create a secure environment that promotes economic development and regional integration.
  8. Peacekeeping Operations:

    • Participation in UN peacekeeping missions is another aspect of defense cooperation. India has a long history of contributing to peacekeeping efforts, and collaboration with neighbouring countries in such operations fosters shared responsibility for regional and global security.
  9. Diplomatic Outreach:

    • Defence cooperation serves as a tool for diplomatic outreach. By engaging in joint defence initiatives, India builds stronger diplomatic ties with its neighbours, reinforcing the principles of mutual respect and cooperation.
  10. Promoting a Rules-Based Order:

    • Defence cooperation supports the promotion of a rules-based international order. By working together on security matters, India and its neighbours contribute to the development of norms and rules that govern responsible state behaviour in the region.

Defence cooperation is integral to India’s Neighbourhood First Policy, reflecting a commitment to building strong, collaborative relationships with neighbouring countries to address shared security challenges and promote regional stability and development. Through these efforts, India seeks to create a secure and prosperous neighbourhood that benefits all nations in the region.

31. Discuss the influence of the past in crafting of the foreign policy in contemporary times of India? (150 Words) 10 Marks (Formulation of Foreign Policy)

India’s foreign policy is deeply influenced by its historical experiences, reflecting a continuity that shapes its approach to contemporary global affairs. Several key elements from India’s past continue to play a significant role in the crafting of its foreign policy in contemporary times:

  1. Colonial Legacy:

    • India’s long struggle against British colonial rule has left a lasting impact on its foreign policy. The experience of being colonized informs India’s commitment to principles of sovereignty, non-interference, and self-determination in international relations.
  2. Non-Alignment Movement (NAM):

    • India’s founding leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru, crafted the policy of non-alignment during the Cold War. This approach aimed at maintaining strategic autonomy and not aligning with any major power bloc. Although the geopolitical landscape has evolved, the spirit of non-alignment continues to influence India’s foreign policy decisions.
  3. Peaceful Coexistence:

    • India’s historical philosophy of peaceful coexistence, rooted in its cultural and religious traditions, guides its interactions with other nations. This principle is evident in India’s emphasis on diplomacy, dialogue, and conflict resolution to address international disputes.
  4. Strategic Autonomy:

    • The desire for strategic autonomy, reinforced by historical experiences, remains a fundamental aspect of India’s foreign policy. India seeks to make independent decisions based on its national interests rather than being dictated by external powers.
  5. Historical Conflicts and Territorial Concerns:

    • Historical conflicts, especially with neighboring countries, continue to shape India’s foreign policy. Ongoing issues, such as the dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir and historical tensions with China, influence regional dynamics and foreign policy priorities.
  6. Role in International Institutions:

    • India’s historical role in championing issues of decolonization, anti-apartheid, and global justice has translated into its contemporary participation in international institutions. India advocates for reforms in organizations like the United Nations to better reflect the geopolitical realities of the 21st century.
  7. Economic Liberalization:

    • India’s decision to liberalize its economy in the early 1990s, influenced by a reassessment of its economic policies, has had a profound impact on its foreign relations. Economic diplomacy and trade have become central components of India’s foreign policy in the contemporary era.
  8. Diaspora Influence:

    • The historical migration of Indian communities across the world has led to the formation of a significant Indian diaspora. This diaspora is now an influential factor in shaping India’s relations with various countries, contributing to cultural, economic, and political ties.
  9. Security Concerns:

    • Historical experiences of conflicts and invasions continue to influence India’s security concerns. The emphasis on maintaining a credible defense capability and securing its borders remains a core aspect of contemporary foreign policy.
  10. Global Leadership Aspirations:

    • India’s historical contributions to global peacekeeping efforts and its leadership in various international forums reflect its aspirations for a more prominent role in shaping global governance structures.

In essence, the past plays a critical role in shaping India’s foreign policy by providing a historical context, influencing strategic thinking, and contributing to the formulation of principles that guide its interactions with the international community in the contemporary era.

32. Discuss how the burden of past is limiting India's choice of aggressive solutions to its pestering problems? (150 Words) 10 Marks (Formulation of Foreign Policy)

The burden of the past can limit India’s choice of aggressive solutions to its persisting challenges in several ways. Its responsible and measured approach to find a peaceful solution to the pestering problems is driven by its record of non violent approach and civilizational past. 

  1. Historical Baggage and Regional Relations:

    • Historical conflicts and unresolved issues with neighboring countries, such as the long-standing Kashmir dispute with Pakistan and historical border tensions with China, create a complex geopolitical environment. The burden of historical animosities constrains India’s ability to adopt aggressive solutions without risking escalation and regional instability.
  2. Non-Aligned Legacy:

    • India’s historical commitment to non-alignment and a policy of peaceful coexistence continues to shape its foreign policy. This legacy discourages overtly aggressive or confrontational approaches, emphasizing diplomacy, dialogue, and international cooperation instead.
  3. International Image and Soft Power:

    • India’s image as a peaceful and democratic nation is an important aspect of its soft power. Aggressive solutions may tarnish this image, affecting diplomatic relationships and international standing. India’s historical commitment to principles of non-aggression contributes to its reputation as a responsible global actor.
  4. Commitment to International Law:

    • India’s adherence to international law and commitment to resolving disputes through peaceful means, as enshrined in its foreign policy principles, limits the choice of aggressive solutions. This commitment reflects a historical belief in the efficacy of legal and diplomatic mechanisms for conflict resolution.
  5. Economic Priorities:

    • India’s focus on economic development and attracting foreign investments requires a stable and predictable environment. Aggressive solutions that lead to geopolitical tensions may negatively impact economic growth, trade relationships, and foreign investments.
  6. Strategic Autonomy and Multi-polarity:

    • The historical pursuit of strategic autonomy and a multipolar world order influences India’s foreign policy. Aggressive actions that align too closely with one major power may compromise this autonomy and disrupt delicate geopolitical balances.
  7. Ethical Considerations:

    • India’s commitment to ethical and moral principles in international relations, rooted in its historical struggle against colonialism, shapes its approach to problem-solving. Adopting aggressive solutions may be perceived as inconsistent with these principles.
  8. Public Opinion and Domestic Stability:

    • The burden of historical events, such as past wars and conflicts, influences public opinion and societal attitudes. Aggressive solutions may evoke memories of past traumas and potentially lead to domestic unrest. Policymakers often consider public sentiment and the need for internal stability when formulating strategies.
  9. Global Leadership Aspirations:

    • India’s aspirations for global leadership are linked to a responsible and measured approach in international affairs. Aggressive actions could undermine these aspirations by raising concerns about India’s commitment to stability and peace.
  10. Nuclear Deterrence and Strategic Restraint:

    • India’s nuclear weapons capability, established in response to historical security challenges, adds a layer of strategic restraint. The awareness of the consequences of nuclear escalation influences India’s approach to conflict resolution and limits the pursuit of aggressive solutions.

The emphasis on peaceful solutions, diplomatic engagement, and adherence to ethical and legal principles often prevails over more aggressive alternatives, reflecting a complex interplay between history, geopolitics, and contemporary decision-making.

33. Describe with examples how geography influences the foreign policy of a country like India? (250 Words) 15 Marks (Formulation of Foreign Policy)

Geography plays a crucial role in shaping the foreign policy of a country like India. India’s diverse geographical features, its strategic location, and its proximity to key global actors contribute significantly to the formulation of its foreign policy. 

  1. Proximity to Neighbors:

    • Example: India shares land borders with Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar. The geographical proximity to these neighbors influences India’s foreign policy priorities, emphasizing regional stability, conflict resolution, and economic cooperation.
  2. Himalayan Frontiers:

    • Example: The Himalayan mountain range acts as a natural barrier and also presents strategic challenges. Border issues with China in the Himalayan region, as witnessed in events like the Doklam standoff, impact India’s foreign policy decisions and defense strategies.
  3. Indian Ocean Dominance:

    • Example: India’s geographical location along the Indian Ocean is strategically vital. The Indian Navy’s focus on maintaining control and ensuring security in the Indian Ocean region is driven by the country’s geopolitical and economic interests.
  4. Strategic Maritime Position:

    • Example: India’s location at the crossroads of major maritime routes influences its maritime security policies. The Malacca Strait, a crucial chokepoint for global trade, is of strategic importance, and India aims to ensure the security of sea lanes in the region.
  5. Geostrategic Significance:

    • Example: India’s location between the Middle East and Southeast Asia gives it geostrategic importance. The country serves as a key player in connecting these regions, impacting its foreign policy approach towards issues like energy security, counter-terrorism, and cultural diplomacy.
  6. Landlocked Neighbors:

    • Example: India’s landlocked neighbors like Nepal and Bhutan rely on India for transit routes and access to the sea. This geographical reality shapes India’s approach towards fostering economic ties, connectivity, and infrastructure development in the region.
  7. Shared River Basins:

    • Example: India shares several river basins with neighboring countries, including the Ganges-Brahmaputra with Bangladesh. The geographical interdependence due to shared water resources influences diplomatic efforts to manage water-related disputes and promote regional cooperation.
  8. Island Territories:

    • Example: The Andaman and Nicobar Islands provide India with a strategic maritime advantage. The geographical location influences India’s policies related to maritime security, naval presence, and disaster response in the Bay of Bengal and the Southeast Asian region.
  9. Arabian Sea Access:

    • Example: India’s access to the Arabian Sea has implications for its energy security and trade routes. The development of the Chabahar Port in Iran is an example of how India leverages its geographical position for strategic interests and connectivity.
  10. Climate Change and Environmental Concerns:

    • Example: Geographical factors, including the vulnerability to climate change impacts, influence India’s foreign policy approach towards global environmental initiatives. Issues such as climate resilience, sustainable development, and cooperation in renewable energy are paramount.
  11. High-Tech Corridors:

    • Example: India’s growing ties with countries in Central Asia are influenced by geographical considerations. Initiatives like the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) aim to enhance connectivity and trade between India, Iran, Russia, and Central Asian nations.
  12. Impact on Defense Strategy:

    • Example: The varied geography, from mountains to plains and deserts, influences India’s defense strategies. The country’s military posture and infrastructure development are shaped by the need to address diverse terrains and potential security threats.

Geography is a fundamental determinant of India’s foreign policy, influencing its strategic imperatives, regional engagements, and global positioning. The geographical context provides a backdrop for India’s pursuit of security, economic interests, and diplomatic relations with neighboring and distant nations.

34. Discuss how foreign policy needs to be evolutionary to reflect the contemporary world realities? (150 Words) 10 Marks (Formulation of Foreign Policy)

Foreign policy, to be effective, must be evolutionary to reflect the dynamic and ever-changing realities of the contemporary world. A static foreign policy shall not serve the purpose in a globalized world. In fact, even a slight delay in corrections to foreign policy can have devastating effect in international relations.

  1. Globalization and Interconnectedness:

    • Rationale: In an era of globalization, nations are more interconnected than ever. Economic, technological, and cultural interdependence requires foreign policies that adapt to the increasing complexity and interconnectivity of global affairs.
  2. Rapid Technological Advancements:

    • Rationale: Advances in technology, such as the internet, social media, and artificial intelligence, have transformed communication, trade, and security. Foreign policies must evolve to address the challenges and opportunities presented by technological changes.
  3. Shifting Geopolitical Realities:

    • Rationale: Geopolitical dynamics are in constant flux. Emerging powers, changes in alliances, and regional developments necessitate foreign policies that respond to the evolving geopolitical landscape.
  4. Security Challenges:

    • Rationale: New security challenges, including cyber threats, terrorism, and pandemics, require foreign policies that prioritize international cooperation, intelligence sharing, and collective responses to ensure global security.
  5. Environmental Concerns:

    • Rationale: Climate change and environmental degradation have become critical issues with global implications. Foreign policies need to incorporate sustainable development goals and climate diplomacy to address these challenges.
  6. Economic Interests and Trade:

    • Rationale: Economic realities shape foreign policies. As the global economic landscape evolves, nations must adjust their policies to foster economic growth, trade relations, and investment opportunities.
  7. Human Rights and Global Governance:

    • Rationale: Evolving norms regarding human rights, democracy, and governance demand foreign policies that align with international expectations. Nations need to adapt their policies to support global initiatives aimed at upholding universal values.
  8. Pandemic Response and Health Diplomacy:

    • Rationale: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for effective health diplomacy. Future foreign policies must incorporate lessons learned from pandemic response, emphasizing global health cooperation and preparedness.
  9. Migration and Demographic Shifts:

    • Rationale: Migration patterns and demographic shifts influence societies and economies. Foreign policies need to consider the impact of these changes on diplomatic relations, labor markets, and cultural dynamics.
  10. Soft Power and Cultural Diplomacy:

    • Rationale: Soft power, including cultural influence, has become increasingly important in international relations. Foreign policies should incorporate cultural diplomacy and public engagement to enhance a nation’s global image and influence.
  11. Role of International Institutions:

    • Rationale: The role and effectiveness of international institutions are subject to change. Nations need to adapt their foreign policies to engage with and, if necessary, reform these institutions to better address contemporary challenges.
  12. Social Media and Public Diplomacy:

    • Rationale: The rise of social media has transformed the landscape of public diplomacy. Nations must adapt their communication strategies to engage with global audiences effectively and shape international narratives.
  13. Emerging Threats and Unforeseen Challenges:

    • Rationale: The world is susceptible to unforeseen challenges, such as new forms of conflict, technological crises, or natural disasters. Foreign policies must be flexible enough to address these emerging threats as they arise.

The evolving nature of the contemporary world demands that foreign policies be dynamic, adaptable, and responsive. Nations that recognize and respond to these changing realities are better equipped to navigate the complexities of the international arena and secure their national interests in a rapidly changing global landscape.

35. Discuss how the military prowess of a country becomes harbinger of its foreign policy objectives? (250 Words) 15 Marks (Formulation of Foreign Policy)

The military prowess of a country can influence foreign policy greatly. The capacity to respond to any military aggression by the adversary naturally gives the strength to be aggressive in foreign policy posturing. However, one must understand that, the military prowess alone does not contribute to foreign policy formulation.

  1. Deterrence and Security Assurance:

    • Role: A strong military acts as a deterrent, dissuading potential adversaries from engaging in hostile actions. This helps assure the security of the nation and its allies.
    • Impact on Foreign Policy: The presence of a robust military can influence foreign policy by reducing the likelihood of external threats and conflicts. This can enable a nation to focus on diplomatic initiatives and economic development.
  2. Negotiating Power:

    • Role: Military strength enhances a country’s bargaining power in diplomatic negotiations. The capability to use force can provide leverage in shaping outcomes that align with national interests.
    • Impact on Foreign Policy: A powerful military can influence diplomatic negotiations, giving a nation the ability to assert its interests and preferences on the global stage.
  3. Alliance Building and Partnerships:

    • Role: Military capabilities contribute to the attractiveness of a country as a potential ally. Nations with strong militaries are often sought after as strategic partners in alliances and security agreements.
    • Impact on Foreign Policy: Military prowess enhances a nation’s ability to build alliances and partnerships, influencing its foreign policy by shaping geopolitical alignments and regional security dynamics.
  4. Peacekeeping and Stability Operations:

    • Role: Countries with military strength are often called upon to participate in peacekeeping and stability operations. Their ability to contribute to international security can enhance their diplomatic standing.
    • Impact on Foreign Policy: Participating in peacekeeping missions allows a nation to demonstrate its commitment to global stability, shaping its foreign policy by emphasizing cooperation and responsibility.
  5. Regional Influence and Power Projection:

    • Role: Military capabilities enable a country to project power beyond its borders, influencing regional dynamics and reinforcing its influence.
    • Impact on Foreign Policy: A nation with the ability to project power regionally can shape the geopolitical landscape, influencing the behavior of neighboring countries and contributing to regional stability.
  6. Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief:

    • Role: A capable military can swiftly respond to humanitarian crises and natural disasters, providing assistance and relief.
    • Impact on Foreign Policy: Military capabilities enhance a nation’s ability to engage in humanitarian efforts, shaping foreign policy by fostering goodwill and strengthening diplomatic ties.
  7. National Prestige and Global Standing:

    • Role: A powerful military enhances a nation’s prestige and global standing. It signals to the international community that the country is a significant player on the world stage.
    • Impact on Foreign Policy: A nation with a strong military can leverage its global standing to pursue diplomatic objectives, influence international norms, and participate in shaping global governance structures.
  8. Technological Innovation and Defense Industry:

    • Role: A technologically advanced military can stimulate innovation and development in the defense industry, contributing to economic growth and technological prowess.
    • Impact on Foreign Policy: A vibrant defense industry and technological innovation enhance a nation’s influence by fostering economic ties and strategic partnerships, shaping its foreign policy objectives.
  9. Response to Emerging Threats:

    • Role: Military capabilities allow a nation to respond effectively to emerging threats, whether they be traditional security challenges, cyber threats, or unconventional forms of warfare.
    • Impact on Foreign Policy: The ability to address a wide range of threats influences foreign policy by enabling a nation to adapt its strategies and engage in cooperative efforts to counter shared challenges.
  10. National Sovereignty and Autonomy:

    • Role: A strong military is seen as a guarantor of national sovereignty and autonomy, ensuring a nation’s ability to make independent decisions without external coercion.
    • Impact on Foreign Policy: Military strength reinforces a nation’s commitment to its sovereignty, influencing foreign policy by emphasizing the importance of self-determination and autonomy in international relations.

The military prowess of a country is a critical factor that shapes its foreign policy objectives. A strong military not only provides security but also serves as a tool for diplomacy, strategic influence, and the pursuit of national interests on the global stage. The relationship between military strength and foreign policy is dynamic, with each influencing and reinforcing the other in the pursuit of a nation’s strategic goals.

36. Discuss how the present global realities do not allow India to take a moralist stand point against geopolitical compulsions? (250 Words) 15 Marks (Formulation of Foreign Policy)

India, like many other nations, faces a complex international environment where geopolitical compulsions often limit the feasibility of adopting a purely moralistic stance in its foreign policy. Also, being realistic over moralist approach is the key to foreign policy in contemporary times of self centered nations. 

  1. Security Concerns:

    • Geopolitical Compulsion: India faces multiple security challenges, including border disputes, terrorism, and regional instability. Prioritizing national security often requires engaging with states that may not align with India’s moral values.
  2. Economic Interests:

    • Geopolitical Compulsion: Economic considerations, including trade partnerships and investment opportunities, are crucial for India’s growth and development. Pragmatic foreign policy decisions may involve engagement with countries that have different ethical standards or human rights records.
  3. Regional Stability:

    • Geopolitical Compulsion: India’s strategic interests are tied to regional stability. Diplomatic engagements with neighboring countries, even those with differing political systems or governance practices, are often necessary for maintaining peace and stability in the region.
  4. International Alliances:

    • Geopolitical Compulsion: India participates in various international forums and alliances where shared interests may outweigh moral considerations. Collaborative efforts with nations that have different political ideologies are often necessary to address global challenges.
  5. Balance of Power:

    • Geopolitical Compulsion: In a multipolar world, India needs to carefully navigate its relationships to maintain a balance of power. Taking an overly moralistic stance may limit India’s ability to engage with a diverse set of nations for strategic purposes.
  6. Diplomatic Pragmatism:

    • Geopolitical Compulsion: Nations often adopt pragmatic and realistic diplomatic approaches to safeguard their interests. While promoting values such as democracy and human rights, India may engage with countries that do not adhere to these principles for strategic reasons.
  7. Global Governance and International Institutions:

    • Geopolitical Compulsion: India is a participant in various international institutions where decisions are often made based on a mix of political, economic, and strategic considerations. A purely moralistic approach may hinder effective participation in these forums.
  8. Counterterrorism Cooperation:

    • Geopolitical Compulsion: Given the global nature of terrorism, India engages with nations for counterterrorism cooperation, even if there are concerns about their internal governance. The imperative to address shared security threats may take precedence over moral considerations.
  9. Energy Security:

    • Geopolitical Compulsion: India’s growing energy needs necessitate engagement with countries that are major energy suppliers. Geopolitical realities may require collaboration with nations that have different political systems or human rights records.
  10. Realpolitik in Diplomacy:

    • Geopolitical Compulsion: Realpolitik considerations often dominate international relations. Navigating a complex geopolitical landscape requires a nuanced approach that recognizes the realities of power dynamics and national interests.
  11. Changing Global Order:

    • Geopolitical Compulsion: The evolving global order demands adaptability. India may need to engage with a range of nations to navigate shifting alliances, emerging powers, and changing geopolitical dynamics, even if it means compromising on moral absolutism.

The present global realities compel India to adopt a pragmatic and nuanced approach in its foreign policy, balancing moral principles with geopolitical compulsions. Navigating this delicate balance is crucial for India to safeguard its national interests, maintain regional stability, and contribute meaningfully to the evolving dynamics of the international system.

37. What ethical values Mahatma Gandhi imbibed from the teachings of Leo Tolstoy and their application in India's freedom struggle? (250 Words) 15 Marks ( India-Russia Relations)

Mahatma Gandhi drew profound ethical inspiration from the teachings of Leo Tolstoy, the Russian philosopher and writer. The two had a correspondence that deeply influenced Gandhi’s philosophical and ethical perspectives. 

  1. Non-Violence (Ahimsa):

    • Tolstoy’s Influence: Tolstoy’s profound influence on Gandhi was evident in the concept of non-violence. Tolstoy’s essay “The Kingdom of God Is Within You” made a lasting impression on Gandhi’s thinking.
    • Application in Freedom Struggle: Gandhi elevated non-violence as the cornerstone of his philosophy. He applied this principle in India’s freedom struggle, advocating for non-violent resistance, civil disobedience, and satyagraha (the force of truth) to confront British colonial rule.
  2. Simple Living and High Thinking:

    • Tolstoy’s Influence: Tolstoy’s emphasis on leading a simple life, free from material excess and focused on higher moral and spiritual values, resonated with Gandhi.
    • Application in Freedom Struggle: Gandhi adopted a simple lifestyle, wearing traditional Indian clothes and living in ashrams. This simplicity became a symbol of his commitment to the values of truth, humility, and self-reliance.
  3. Respect for All Religions:

    • Tolstoy’s Influence: Tolstoy’s universalist and inclusive view of religion influenced Gandhi’s perspective on religious harmony and tolerance.
    • Application in Freedom Struggle: Gandhi advocated for religious pluralism and communal harmony during India’s freedom struggle. He believed in the unity of all religions and sought to bridge religious divides.
  4. Critique of Modern Civilization:

    • Tolstoy’s Influence: Tolstoy criticized the moral and spiritual shortcomings of modern industrial civilization, arguing for a return to simpler, more humane ways of life.
    • Application in Freedom Struggle: Gandhi echoed this critique, emphasizing the need for rural self-sufficiency and decentralized, community-based economies as alternatives to the dehumanizing aspects of modern civilization.
  5. Self-Reliance and Swadeshi:

    • Tolstoy’s Influence: Tolstoy’s philosophy of self-sufficiency and emphasis on self-reliance influenced Gandhi’s ideas about economic independence.
    • Application in Freedom Struggle: Gandhi advocated for the economic empowerment of India through the promotion of swadeshi (self-reliance). He encouraged the use of indigenous goods and the development of village industries to reduce dependence on foreign imports.
  6. Sarvodaya (Welfare of All):

    • Tolstoy’s Influence: Tolstoy’s concern for the welfare of all, especially the marginalized and oppressed, influenced Gandhi’s vision of sarvodaya.
    • Application in Freedom Struggle: Gandhi envisioned a society where the well-being of every individual, irrespective of caste or class, was prioritized. His social and economic programs aimed at uplifting the poorest sections of society.
  7. Decentralization of Power:

    • Tolstoy’s Influence: Tolstoy’s ideas on the decentralization of power and the importance of local self-governance influenced Gandhi’s views on political organization.
    • Application in Freedom Struggle: Gandhi advocated for decentralized political structures, emphasizing the importance of village panchayats and local self-governance. His vision sought to empower individuals at the grassroots level.
  8. Personal Responsibility and Conscience:

    • Tolstoy’s Influence: Tolstoy emphasized the importance of individual conscience and personal responsibility in making ethical choices.
    • Application in Freedom Struggle: Gandhi urged individuals to act in accordance with their conscience and moral principles. He believed that personal integrity and ethical conduct were essential for the success of any movement for social or political change.

The ethical values derived from Tolstoy’s teachings significantly influenced Gandhi’s philosophy and played a crucial role in shaping the ethical foundations of India’s freedom struggle. Gandhi’s commitment to non-violence, simplicity, religious tolerance, and the welfare of all became guiding principles that inspired not only the freedom movement but also subsequent movements for justice and human rights worldwide.

38. Discuss how India's choice of socialistic model of development find it's roots in the Russian revolution? (250 Words) 15 Marks (India-Russia Relations)

India’s choice of a socialistic model of development finds its roots in the influence of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent emergence of the Soviet Union. The Russian Revolution, led by the Bolsheviks and Vladimir Lenin, had a profound impact on the global political landscape, inspiring movements for social justice, economic equality, and anti-imperialism. 

  1. Ideological Influence:

    • Russian Revolution: The Bolsheviks’ victory in the Russian Revolution marked the establishment of a socialist state with the goal of achieving a classless society.
    • Impact on India: The success of the Russian Revolution inspired Indian leaders, intellectuals, and freedom fighters who were seeking alternative models for socio-economic development and liberation from colonial rule.
  2. Anti-Imperialist Sentiments:

    • Russian Revolution: The revolution was viewed as a symbol of resistance against imperialism and colonial oppression.
    • Impact on India: India, then under British colonial rule, found inspiration in the idea that a determined and united struggle against imperialism could lead to the establishment of a sovereign and socialist state.
  3. Socialist Ideals for Equality:

    • Russian Revolution: The Bolsheviks championed socialist ideals, emphasizing equality, social justice, and the welfare of the working class.
    • Impact on India: Indian leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru, were drawn to socialist ideals as a means to address the socio-economic disparities prevalent in Indian society and promote social justice.
  4. Economic Planning and State Control:

    • Russian Revolution: The Soviet Union implemented centralized economic planning and state control over key industries.
    • Impact on India: Indian leaders saw economic planning and state intervention as crucial tools to address poverty, inequality, and underdevelopment. The idea of a planned economy influenced India’s economic policies, as evident in the Five-Year Plans.
  5. Land Reforms and Agrarian Policies:

    • Russian Revolution: The Soviet Union implemented land reforms, redistributing land to peasants.
    • Impact on India: Land reform became a key component of India’s socialistic model. Agrarian policies aimed at addressing landlordism and ensuring equitable distribution of land were influenced by the Soviet experience.
  6. Industrialization and Public Sector:

    • Russian Revolution: The Soviet Union prioritized industrialization and emphasized the role of the state in key industries.
    • Impact on India: India’s socialistic approach involved the establishment of a public sector, with the government playing a significant role in strategic industries. Industrialization became a priority for economic development.
  7. Labor Rights and Workers’ Welfare:

    • Russian Revolution: The Soviet Union introduced labor rights and measures to improve workers’ welfare.
    • Impact on India: Labor rights and workers’ welfare became integral to India’s socialist vision. The establishment of labor laws and the promotion of workers’ rights were influenced by the Soviet model.
  8. Cold War Dynamics:

    • Russian Revolution: The Cold War rivalry between the capitalist West and the socialist East influenced global politics.
    • Impact on India: India, as a non-aligned nation, navigated the Cold War dynamics by adopting a socialist model that sought to balance the pursuit of economic development with strategic autonomy.
  9. Educational and Social Policies:

    • Russian Revolution: The Soviet Union prioritized education and social policies aimed at creating an egalitarian society.
    • Impact on India: India’s socialistic model emphasized education as a means of empowerment and implemented social policies to uplift marginalized sections of society.
  10. Inspiration for Leftist Movements:

    • Russian Revolution: The success of the Russian Revolution inspired leftist movements around the world.
    • Impact on India: The socialist model found resonance with Indian leftist movements, contributing to their ideological framework and influencing policy discourse.

The Russian Revolution provided a template for an alternative socio-economic and political order, inspiring leaders in India to adopt a socialistic model of development. The ideals of equality, anti-imperialism, and state-led economic planning from the Russian experience had a lasting impact on India’s post-independence policies and vision for development.

39. Discuss how India's choice of non-alignment disturbed India-Russia relations during the Cold War? (150 Words) 10 Marks (India-Russia Relations)

India’s choice of non-alignment during the Cold War did lead to certain disturbances in India-Russia (formerly Soviet Union) relations. The Cold War was characterized by the ideological and geopolitical rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, with nations aligning themselves with either of the superpowers or pursuing a non-aligned stance. 

  1. Soviet Expectations of Alignment:

    • Issue: The Soviet Union, as a major socialist power, expected countries with similar ideologies to align with it against the capitalist bloc led by the United States.
    • Impact: India’s non-alignment was perceived by the Soviet Union as a deviation from the expected socialist solidarity, leading to a degree of disappointment and strained relations.
  2. Military Cooperation with the U.S.:

    • Issue: India’s defense cooperation with the United States, particularly during the India-China conflict of 1962, raised concerns in the Soviet Union.
    • Impact: The Soviet Union viewed India’s engagement with the U.S. as a departure from non-alignment in matters of military security. This created tensions in the India-Russia relationship.
  3. 1971 Indo-Pak War:

    • Issue: During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, the United States supported Pakistan, while the Soviet Union backed India.
    • Impact: The alignment of the superpowers during the conflict created a situation where India was seen as leaning towards the Soviet Union, disrupting the non-aligned image.
  4. Soviet Influence in Afghanistan:

    • Issue: The Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan in 1979 and India’s support for the Soviet-backed government in Kabul strained India’s relations with the United States.
    • Impact: India’s perceived alignment with Soviet actions in Afghanistan created unease in India-Russia relations, particularly as non-alignment was compromised in the eyes of some.
  5. Changes in Global Dynamics:

    • Issue: As the Cold War evolved and new geopolitical dynamics emerged, India’s non-alignment faced challenges in adapting to the changing global scenario.
    • Impact: India’s efforts to maintain a balance between the superpowers while addressing its security concerns led to complexities in diplomatic relations, including those with the Soviet Union.
  6. Shifts in India’s Economic Policies:

    • Issue: India’s pursuit of economic reforms and a more open economy in the 1990s, moving away from socialist economic policies, led to shifts in global alliances.
    • Impact: The changing economic policies and efforts to integrate with the global economy affected India-Russia relations, as the economic dimension became more pronounced in international partnerships.
  7. Post-Cold War Realignment:

    • Issue: With the end of the Cold War, there was a realignment of global powers, and India sought to diversify its diplomatic engagements.
    • Impact: The post-Cold War era saw India establishing new partnerships, including improved relations with the United States. These shifts had implications for India-Russia ties, creating a need for recalibration.

Despite these disturbances, it is essential to note that India and Russia maintained a generally positive and enduring relationship during the Cold War. The historic ties established in areas like defense cooperation, space exploration, and economic collaboration have endured beyond the Cold War era. India’s non-alignment, while causing occasional strains, did not result in a complete rupture of its relationship with the Soviet Union. The diplomatic landscape evolved, and the foundation for a continued strategic partnership was laid, with both countries recognizing the mutual benefits of cooperation in various fields.

40. Throw light on the components of India-Russia strategic partnership? (250 Words) 15 Marks (India-Russia Relations)

The India-Russia strategic partnership is characterized by a longstanding and multifaceted relationship that encompasses various dimensions, including political, economic, defense, energy, and cultural ties. The strategic partnership has evolved over the decades, and both countries continue to collaborate on regional and global issues. 

  1. Defense and Security Cooperation:

    • Historic Ties: India and Russia have a robust history of defense collaboration dating back to the Cold War era. Russia has been a major supplier of defense equipment to India, including aircraft, tanks, naval vessels, and missile systems.
    • Joint Exercises: The two countries regularly conduct joint military exercises, fostering interoperability and strengthening their defense capabilities.
  2. Military Technology Transfer:

    • Technology Transfer: Russia has been a key partner in transferring military technology to India. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, jointly developed by the two countries, is an example of successful technology collaboration.
  3. Nuclear Energy Cooperation:

    • Civil Nuclear Cooperation: India and Russia have collaborated on civil nuclear energy, including the construction of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in India. The agreement reflects their commitment to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
  4. Space Cooperation:

    • Historic Collaboration: India and Russia have a history of cooperation in space exploration. Russian space technology has been instrumental in India’s space program, including assistance in launching satellites and sending astronauts into space.
  5. Economic and Trade Ties:

    • Economic Collaboration: While economic ties have diversified over the years, there is potential for further expansion. Both countries have set ambitious targets for bilateral trade and investment, with a focus on sectors like energy, technology, and pharmaceuticals.
  6. Strategic Dialogue:

    • Regular Consultations: India and Russia engage in high-level strategic dialogues to discuss regional and global issues. These consultations include the annual India-Russia Summit, where leaders discuss ways to enhance the strategic partnership.
  7. Counterterrorism Cooperation:

    • Mutual Concerns: Both countries face common challenges related to terrorism and extremism. India and Russia collaborate on intelligence sharing, joint efforts to combat terrorism, and diplomatic initiatives to address global security threats.
  8. Regional and Global Coordination:

    • UN and BRICS: India and Russia coordinate closely on various global platforms, including the United Nations, where they share common perspectives on issues such as UN Security Council reforms. Both are also members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), collaborating on issues related to global governance and development.
  9. Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges:

    • Cultural Ties: Cultural and educational exchanges play a crucial role in fostering people-to-people connections. Events such as the Days of Russian Culture in India and the Days of Indian Culture in Russia promote cultural understanding.
  10. Arms Sales and Defense Industry Cooperation:

    • Strategic Partnership: Russia remains a significant supplier of arms to India, and both countries have expressed a commitment to deepen their defense industry collaboration. Joint projects and co-production agreements contribute to this aspect of the partnership.
  11. Multilateral Cooperation:

    • Shaping Global Narratives: India and Russia collaborate within various multilateral frameworks to shape global narratives. Their cooperation extends to organizations like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  12. Humanitarian Assistance:

    • Disaster Relief: Both countries have shown solidarity in times of crisis, providing humanitarian assistance during natural disasters and emergencies.

The India-Russia strategic partnership reflects a shared commitment to mutual interests and regional stability. The relationship has weathered geopolitical changes and continues to adapt to evolving global dynamics, demonstrating the resilience and depth of the ties between the two nations.

41. Discuss how the India-Russia 1971 Treaty of friendship was a departure from the non-alignment movement of India? (250 Words) 15 Marks (India-Russia Relations)

The India-Russia Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation, signed in August 1971, marked a departure from India’s traditional policy of non-alignment to a certain extent. The treaty was signed during a critical period in South Asian geopolitics, particularly with the impending conflict between India and Pakistan, which ultimately led to the creation of Bangladesh. 

  1. Military Support and Strategic Alignment:

    • Non-Alignment Context: Non-alignment traditionally involved avoiding military alliances and alignments with major power blocs during the Cold War.
    • Treaty of 1971: The treaty reflected a strategic alignment between India and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union committed to providing military support to India in the event of aggression, signifying a departure from the non-aligned principle of not entering military alliances.
  2. Soviet Assurance in the Context of the 1971 War:

    • Non-Alignment Context: Non-alignment emphasized maintaining equidistance from both superpower blocs and not seeking military assistance from either side.
    • Treaty of 1971: The treaty was signed against the backdrop of the impending Indo-Pak War of 1971. The Soviet Union’s commitment to assist India militarily in the event of external aggression was a departure from the non-aligned principle of self-reliance in matters of defense.
  3. Shift in Global Alliances:

    • Non-Alignment Context: Non-alignment aimed at keeping India free from entanglements in Cold War alliances and conflicts.
    • Treaty of 1971: The treaty signaled a shift in India’s global alliances, with a closer alignment with the Soviet Union during a period of heightened tensions in South Asia. This was perceived as a deviation from the non-aligned path of equidistance.
  4. Diplomatic Implications:

    • Non-Alignment Context: Non-alignment sought to maintain flexibility in foreign policy, avoiding overt alignment with any major power.
    • Treaty of 1971: The treaty, particularly the military assistance clause, had diplomatic implications and was perceived as a significant alignment with the Soviet Union, influencing India’s relations with other major powers.
  5. Bilateral Cooperation in the United Nations:

    • Non-Alignment Context: Non-aligned nations aimed to foster cooperation within the framework of the United Nations and maintain an independent stance in global affairs.
    • Treaty of 1971: While the treaty did not explicitly undermine India’s commitment to the UN, the strong Soviet support during the 1971 conflict had an impact on India’s image in the global arena.
  6. Impact on India-Pakistan Relations:

    • Non-Alignment Context: Non-alignment sought to maintain balanced relations with neighboring countries, avoiding overtly aligning with one against the other.
    • Treaty of 1971: The treaty and the subsequent Soviet support during the conflict had a clear impact on India-Pakistan relations, contributing to increased tensions and an imbalance in regional dynamics.
  7. Post-War Influence in South Asia:

    • Non-Alignment Context: Non-alignment aimed at promoting peace and stability in the region without overtly taking sides.
    • Treaty of 1971: The treaty and Soviet support during the 1971 conflict had a lasting impact on the regional balance of power, influencing India’s relations with neighboring countries.

It’s important to note that while the Treaty of 1971 represented a departure from strict non-alignment principles, it did not mark a complete alignment with the Soviet Union, as India continued to pursue an independent foreign policy. The treaty’s primary motivation was to secure support during a critical period of conflict rather than a long-term shift in India’s non-aligned stance. Over time, India continued to navigate its foreign policy with a degree of non-alignment, maintaining relationships with various countries without forming formal military alliances.

42. Discuss how the coincidence of U.S.S.R's disintegration and liberalisation of Indian economic landscape affected India-Russia relationship? (250 Words) 15 Marks (India-Russia Relationship)

The coincidence of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the liberalization of the Indian economic landscape in the early 1990s had a significant impact on the India-Russia relationship. 

  1. Strategic Shifts in Global Politics:

    • With the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the geopolitical dynamics underwent a radical transformation. The bipolar world order gave way to a unipolar system dominated by the United States. This shift had implications for countries like India, which had historically maintained close ties with the Soviet Union.
  2. Economic Liberalization in India:

    • In 1991, India undertook major economic reforms aimed at liberalizing its economy. This included opening up to foreign investments, reducing trade barriers, and adopting market-oriented policies. This shift was a departure from the earlier socialist economic model and marked India’s integration into the global economy.
  3. Impact on Bilateral Trade:

    • The economic reforms in India opened up new avenues for trade and investment. India sought to diversify its economic partnerships, and this included fostering stronger economic ties with Western countries. Russia, undergoing its own economic transition, faced challenges, and its ability to engage in economic cooperation with India was affected.
  4. Military Ties and Defense Cooperation:

    • Historically, India had been a major buyer of defense equipment from the Soviet Union. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia emerged as its successor state and continued to be an important defense partner for India. However, the dynamics of defense cooperation evolved as India began exploring other sources for defense technology and equipment.
  5. Diplomatic Realignment:

    • As India diversified its global engagements, its diplomatic focus shifted. The traditional Indo-Soviet friendship was re-evaluated in the context of changing global geopolitics. India sought to maintain balanced relations with multiple countries, and this included building closer ties with the United States and other Western nations.
  6. Energy Cooperation:

    • Despite the geopolitical changes, energy cooperation remained a key aspect of the India-Russia relationship. Russia continued to be an important source of energy for India, and both countries explored opportunities for collaboration in the energy sector.
  7. Evolution of the Relationship:

    • The India-Russia relationship evolved over the years, adapting to the changing global landscape. While the ideological closeness that characterized the Soviet era diminished, strategic and defense cooperation continued to be significant. Both countries explored ways to adapt their relationship to the new realities of the post-Cold War era.

The coincidence of the U.S.S.R.’s disintegration and the liberalization of India’s economy led to a reorientation of India’s foreign policy and diplomatic engagements. While the nature of the India-Russia relationship changed, elements of strategic cooperation, especially in defense and energy, persisted, reflecting the ability of both countries to adapt to the evolving global scenario.