Foreign Policy Making in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 31, 2022, 5:58

Like any other country, India's foreign policy is to expand its sphere of influence, strengthen its role across nations, and make its presence feel like an emerging force. To achieve foreign policy goals, 2021 brings several obstacles and opportunities.

The rise of China and its influence on India's neighbourhood, for example, is a source of concern for the country. Furthermore, the conclusion of discussions for an EU-China Comprehensive Investment Treaty dispels the idea of Chinese isolation following the Covid-19 outbreak and strengthens China's position. This brings in the need to understand the Foreign Policy Making in India.

Furthermore, India's foreign policy actions, such as increasing convergence with the United States, have weakened its ties with historic allies such as Russia and Iran. As a result, India must carefully address foreign policy difficulties and harness opportunities to shift the regional power balance.

Process of Foreign Policy Making in India

Foreign policy is a complicated process mediated by numerous parties' involvement. The issue of international affairs falls under the jurisdiction of the Union or Central government in India, which is a federal country. Political parties, the media, pressure organisations, and government structures and authorities such as the Prime Minister and the Ministry of External Affairs have a vital influence on the development of foreign policy.

Since India has been a functioning democracy, non-government stakeholders have begun to play a more significant role. The administration has also launched a public diplomacy apparatus to gather public support for its foreign policy initiatives both at home and abroad. In addition, the development of a new type of information and communication technology has resulted in substantial changes in how foreign policy is created and carried out. We need to talk about the role of some of the stakeholders in India's foreign policy development.

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About the Ministry of External Affairs

The Ministry of External Affairs is the central government institution in charge of foreign affairs. It is officially in charge of foreign policymaking, policy execution, and the day-to-day management of international relations.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) balances and maintains 171 Indian Missions (as of 2010) worldwide, most of which are staffed by Indian Foreign Service officers. A cabinet minister leads the Ministry, supported by the Deputy Foreign Minister. The Foreign Service Training Institute in New Delhi, founded in 1986, provides training for Indian Foreign Service officers (IFS).

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The MEA's administrative structure is divided into two categories: territorial divisions and functional divisions. It is divided into thirteen territorial divisions, each covering a huge part of the globe. In its relevant domain, each division is in charge of policy coordination.

External publicity, protocol, consular affairs, Indians abroad, the United Nations (UN) and other international organisations, and international conferences are the MEA's functional departments.

Foreign Policy Making in India is a crucial process directly managed by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Prime Minister of India. With the rise of tensions among several foreign countries, Foreign Policy Making in India has become crucial.

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FAQs on Foreign Policy Making in India

Q.1. What are some of the important principles of Foreign Policy Making in India?

Some of the essential principles of Foreign Policy Making in India are:

  • Mutual respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of each other
  • Non-aggression pact
  • Mutual non-interference in one another's private lives
  • Equality and mutual benefit are two words that come to mind while thinking about this topic
  • Peaceful coexistence

Q.2. India is isolated from which important supranational bodies affect the Foreign Policy Making in India?

India is still cut off from two significant supranational organisations, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. It was a founding member (SAARC), and it affects the Foreign Policy Making in India.

Q.3. Who was the pioneer of Foreign Policy Making in India?

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the pioneer of Foreign Policy Making in India.

Q.4. What has impacted Foreign Policy Making in India the most?

The Foreign Policy Making in India is impacted by the weakening ties of the country with its neighbours.