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BPSE-142: India’s Foreign Policy in a Globalising World

BPSE-142: India’s Foreign Policy in a Globalising World

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BPSE-142/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPSE-142

Assignment Name: India’s Foreign Policy in a Globalising World

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer all questions in the three Assignments and submit them together.




Answer the following in about 500 words each. 20x2


Q1) Does Indian foreign policy reflect its desire to be an important regional/global power? Examine it.

Ans) In order to further the national interests of Great Britain during the lengthy period of British rule in India, the colonial authority did not think twice to thrust India into the centre of world affairs. The intriguing fact in this situation is that the declared positions of British rulers made on behalf of India frequently seemed to go against the received wisdom and intellectual underpinnings that had long defined India's worldview. When Jawaharlal Nehru was appointed India's temporary prime minister during the conclusion of colonial rule, his views on foreign affairs sharpened and became more definite.


Indian Freedom Movement and the Foreign Policy Values

An Indian worldview has been shaped by India's civilizational ideals, philosophy, culture, history, and heritage over the course of many centuries. Naturally, there are contradictions and conundrums in this rich philosophical and intellectual tradition regarding the position and function of India in the global community.


In more recent times, the British colonial rule did significantly influence India's worldview in the following ways:

  1. First, leaders of the independence struggle believed that all other colonised people in Asia and Africa shared a fundamental right to freedom. It was firmly held that India had to serve as a catalyst for the liberation of everyone else living under colonial rule. As long as racism and colonialism were prevalent in the rest of Asia and Africa, India's freedom would continue to be under danger.

  2. Second, the ahimsa, satyagraha, and swadeshi principles served as the foundation for the Indian liberation movement. These tenets of Christianity could not have been violated by its foreign policy.

  3. Thirdly, the movement for India's independence was widely supported. People from many castes, linguistic groupings, and communities had joined together in a single, national movement throughout the fight for freedom. The 1905 division of Bengal had caused a considerable deal of public unrest. Freedom movements were seen as a popular movement by leaders like Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Over many years, millions took part in demonstrations and fought against the brutality and persecution of the British government.

  4. Fourthly, this protracted battle gave rise to several ideals that the entire country still upholds today. These values include equality, non-discrimination, freedom, social justice, and development for all peoples and countries.


Mahatma Gandhi had seen how racism and apartheid operated in South Africa; he had also seen the racial prejudice and inhumane working and living conditions that Indian indentured labourers faced there. The foundations that underpinned Indian foreign policy were the ideals that emerged from the liberation movement.


Indian National Congress and the Evolution of India’s Worldview

India became more united as a result of the British colonial state apparatus, judicial system, all-India civil service, administrative structure, census system that counted different caste and religious identities, introduction of railways, postal system, taxation system, introduction of new agricultural crops, and establishment of textile mills and factories. These adjustments helped Indian awareness and the concept of India as a nation to grow. This heightened sense of national identity led to the creation of the Indian National Congress.

International problems were frequently discussed at the yearly sessions of the Indian National Congress. India's mindset towards nationalism and internationalism has changed over time:

  1. Mahatma Gandhi had expressed support for the Turkish government's decision to reinstate Khilafat in 1919. Mahatma Gandhi coupled the non-cooperation campaign, which was started in response to British repression like the Rowlett Act and the killing at Jallianwala Bagh, with the desire to reinstate the Caliph of the Ottoman Empire, a global problem.

  2. Mahatma Gandhi coupled the Swaraj proposal with the Khilafat demands during the Nagpur Session of the Indian National Congress in 1920, and he endorsed the non-cooperation plan to achieve the twin goals.


Q2) How does political leadership of a state affect its foreign policy. Explain with reference to India.

Ans) The geography, economics, history, culture, home environment, leadership personality, ideology, and external environment are some of the significant elements that have significantly influenced Indian foreign policy over time.


Geographical Factors

Geographical considerations include a nation's size, shape, resource endowments, geophysical quirks, and surrounding geopolitical environment. In this sense, India is a sizable nation, with the seventh-largest landmass in the globe, located in the southernmost region of Asia. She has a lot of leverage from nature to play a significant part in international affairs because she has nearly all types of geographical formations, weather, climate, water bodies, and flora and fauna. Natural barriers on many of its borders give the nation a real defence against hostile troops. India's strategic location is further enhanced by the extensive coastline that encircles the nation from the east, west, and south.


Economic Factors

The endowment of a nation with natural resources, such as metals, minerals, fossil fuels, fertile land, water, and human resources, as well as the utilisation of all these endowments to attain and maintain a high rate of economic growth for the nation, are economic variables. Even if economic factors have traditionally served as the primary determinant of a nation's foreign policy, their importance has grown to critical proportions as a result of globalisation, privatisation, and other forms of economic liberalisation in various regions of the world. Following economic globalisation, rates of resource extraction have risen to previously unheard-of levels. India also has a favourable population make-up.


Historical and Cultural Factors

History and culture provide the context for the development of a nation's foreign policy. One of the few nations in the world with a long history and rich cultural heritage is India. The roughly 200 years of colonial rule, as well as a lengthy and contentious history of national movement, have both contributed significantly to the development of Indian foreign policy. Similar to this, the ideals expressed during the national struggle are still valued today and serve as the cornerstones of Indian foreign policy. Anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, anti-apartheid, support for United States initiatives, solidarity with the struggle of Afro-Asian nations, etc. are some recurring themes of the national movement that continue to be engrained in the nation's foreign policy even today.


Domestic Milieu

Theoretically, domestic milieu refers to the general conditions and unique settings present in a nation that influence how its foreign policy is shaped. One of India's distinguishing characteristics in world politics is its enormous social and cultural diversity. India's relations with Sri Lanka are always determined by the politics of Tamil Nadu. The foundation of India's relations with Bangladesh is the Bengali Bhadra Lok of West Bengal. The situation in Kashmir now ranks as the single most important factor affecting India and Pakistan's relations. In many different ways, Nepal and Bhutan undoubtedly hold a special position in the cultural landscape of the Indian population.


Persona of the Leadership

It is debatable if the leadership's personality also has a significant impact on the design of a nation's definitive foreign policy. Strong leaders have supplied crucial impetus to various nations' foreign affairs on a number of occasions around the world. There are numerous examples of the leadership persona's influence on how India conducts its foreign policy. In addition to costing India dearly in terms of loss in the India-China conflict, Jawaharlal Nehru's idealistic vision and utopian viewpoint of India's relations with her neighbours also spawned a number of enduring issues, such as Kashmir. Instead, Indira Gandhi's unwavering leadership helped India win its conflict with nefarious Pakistan, win over all-weather allies like the Soviet Union, and transform India into a nuclear power that other powers should be afraid of.



Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. 10x3


Q1) What are the main features of Indian foreign Policy?

Ans) The set of values, interests, and objectives that a nation promotes in its dealings with other nations is known as its foreign policy. The goals and actions of a country's foreign or external policy in connection to its dealings with other countries, unions, and other political organisations, whether bilaterally or via multilateral forums.



International peace was something Nehru firmly believed in. He understood the connection between world peace and the advancement and survival of humanity. He had seen the destruction wrought by the two world wars and understood that for a country to advance, a protracted period of calm was necessary. India pushed for adherence to the Panchsheel, or five guiding principles, when it signed a treaty with China on April 28, 1954. India wanted peaceful and friendly relations with all nations, especially the big powers and nearby countries.



Non-alignment has been the cornerstone of Indian foreign policy. By refusing to join any military alliance established after World War II by the United States and the Soviet Union, non-alignment aimed to maintain national independence in international affairs. The concepts of neutrality, non-engagement, and isolationism are not related to non-alignment.


Anti-Imperialism, Anti Racism and Anti Colonialism

India has consistently been a fierce opponent of racism and colonialism. India always spoke out in the face of injustice, as when Indonesian identity was threatened by Dutch colonialism in 1947. India expressed its objection to South Africa's controversial apartheid policy as well as its illegitimate occupation of Namibia. The United Nations' admission of communist China has the strong backing of India.


Effective Multilateralism

It acknowledges the fact of the rise of numerous states and knows that many voices, not just a few, should determine the global agenda. This also undermines the hegemony of any power. Based on this strategy, India started to forge ties with those nations who were receiving less attention, mostly because of policy impasse.


Unilateral Sanctions/Military Actions Are Not Endorsed By India

India opposes imposing sanctions or taking military action against a single nation or a group of nations unless the United Nations has approved these measures as a consequence of an international accord. India thus only takes part in military peacekeeping missions that are a part of the UN Peacekeeping Forces.


Q2) Highlight important changes in India Foreign policy since 1991.

Ans) India was in a dire situation at the start of the 1990s. India had lost the cornerstone of its foreign policy as a result of the demise of the Soviet Union, among other reasons. India was forced to fumble with the implementation of a number of new policies. India faced serious problems as a result of the fact that it "has generally seen itself as a world power in making and conducted its regional and international affairs on this premise."


Due to the shifting international order, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the restructuring of the Indian economy, India had to radically revamp its foreign policy. Many foreign policy initiatives were launched in the 1990s. In 1992, Rao travelled to the US. India believed that the US was "sometimes friendly, sometimes hostile, but, more frequently, plain aloof" throughout the Cold War. Maybe I didn't overstate it with that statement. After all, India's foreign policy has mirrored its attitude to the US for the past 50 years.


At the end of the 1990s, in 1997, India and South Africa established their first strategic partnership. The development of strategic alliances is now central to Indian foreign policy. As of 2015, India still has strategic partnerships with 28 countries. At the end of the 1990s, in 1998, India conducted an atomic bomb test for the second time since 1974. These tests strengthened India's status as a great power, despite incurring scathing criticism from all across the world.


All of these policy alterations improved India's reputation abroad, but they were essentially side initiatives with no clearly defined new objective for India's foreign policy. Naturally, there were many people and organisations who criticised India's foreign policy: "Even as India's rise in the interstate global hierarchy continues steadily, its policymakers still act in the international arena as if India can continue to afford the luxury of responding to foreign policy challenges on a case-by-case basis with no requirement for a long-term strategic policy framework." The same ad hoc ism from the past continues to guide Indian foreign policy now.


Q3) Describe the nature of India Foreign policy during the Cold War.

Ans) Five Prime Ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, and Rajiv Gandhi provided overarching direction for India's foreign policy. Shastri succeeded Nehru as prime minister of India after his death. Even though Shastri's tenure as prime minister was too brief to have any significant influence on the development of India's foreign policy, his period was nevertheless eventful enough to warrant inclusion in any discussion of the country's foreign policy's development.


During the rule of Indira Gandhi, there were significant departures from the Nehruvian Consensus in Indian foreign policy, including Non-alignment and panchsheel. Mrs. Gandhi made it abundantly plain that the Americans, particularly the Nixon Administration, were already concerned about India's socialistic views. She appeared to have little choice except to compromise on, if not completely abandon, the non-alignment policy and ally with the Soviet Union in this circumstance. In the end, India and the Soviet Union agreed to a Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1971. According to the terms of this Treaty, the Soviet Union supported India during the Indo-Pakistan War and at the UN Security Council.


After his mother was killed in 1984, Rajiv Gandhi became prime minister, and India's foreign policy was subject to some cosmetic modifications. In fact, Rajiv Gandhi appeared to have had a preference for resolving protracted ethnic conflicts both within the nation and in its immediate surroundings. Indian Peace Keeping Forces were dispatched to Sri Lanka in compliance with the terms of the Peace Accord in order to uphold peace in that nation's northern region. This was interpreted as an attack by India on the Tamil liberation struggle in Sri Lanka, which was entirely Rajiv Gandhi's fault. Despite the fact that IPKF did not entirely succeed in attaining the goals for which it was sent to Sri Lanka, its actions there resulted in the deaths of many Indian soldiers.


Section 2


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each. 6x5


Q1) Describe the main goals of India’s Foreign Policy.

Ans) India's foreign policy strives to uphold world peace and security, fight imperialism, reject apartheid, promote peaceful and political resolution of international conflicts, encourage peaceful cohabitation, be neutral and uncommitted, and uphold the Third World's unity and solidarity. India's foreign policy has several significant goals, including the protection of its own interests, the promotion of international peace, disarmament, and the independence of Afro-Asian countries.


The following is a discussion of India's main international goals:

  1. The maintenance of India's independence in its foreign policy and its geographical integrity.

  2. Encouraging global security and peace.

  3. When India gained independence, one of its core requirements was for the country to prosper quickly economically.


Q2) Why India did not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

Ans) India actively participated in the negotiations, we decided not to sign the NPT since it was obviously unjust and not in our best interests. Despite Western protests and sanctions, India carried out a peaceful nuclear explosion in 1974 and weapons testing in 1998. The Non-Proliferation Treaty, an international pact, aims to promote peaceful nuclear energy usage, halt the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, and advance the disarmament goal. But only the five nations that built and used a nuclear weapon before to January 1, 1967, are allowed to keep them after signing the NPT. India still hasn't ratified the NPT because it rejects this unfair disarmament strategy and supports the comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons.


Q3) What was Afro-Asian Unity?

Ans) In order to highlight India's involvement with African and Asian countries known as Afro-Asian Unity, the Bandung Conference, an Afro-Asian conference, was convened in Indonesia in 1955. In March 1947, India hosted the Asian Relation Conference under Nehru's direction. India was a steadfast advocate for decolonization and a strong opponent of racism, particularly apartheid in South Africa. The Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organization was established at the meeting, and according to its subsequent constitution from the 1988 Delhi Conference, it describes itself as a mass movement of solidarity between the peoples of Africa and Asia in their shared fight to end human abuses.


Q4) The Panchsheel Agreement

Ans) The Panchsheel Agreement serves as the cornerstone of relations between China and India. It would improve bilateral economic and security cooperation. The Fiver Principles made the implicit premise that newly independent states following decolonization would have a more practical perspective on international politics.


The following are the Five Principles of the Panchsheel Agreement:

  1. Mutual respect for one another's sovereignty and geographical integrity.

  2. Mutual restraint.

  3. Mutual abstention from meddling in each other's private matters.

  4. Fairness and mutual gain.

  5. Coexistence in peace.


After signing the Sino-Indian Agreement in Beijing, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Premier Zhou Enlai made a broadcast statement highlighting the five principles at the Asian Prime Ministers Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.


A statement of 10 principles based on the original five ideas was later released in April 1955 during the landmark Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia. The meeting itself would result in the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement, giving expression to the notion that the Cold War's two opposing camps could benefit from the post-colonial countries.


Q5) The Tashkent Agreement

Ans) The Soviet Union offered to use its influence to help resolve the conflict amicably. Between January 4 and 10, 1966, President Ayyub Khan and Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri met at Tashkent to examine the problems. The Indian Prime Minister requested that Pakistani infiltrators leave Kashmir immediately and provide assurances going forward that Pakistan won't engage in such actions. He also offered Pakistan a "no war treaty," which is significant. President Ayyub Khan continued to insist that the Kashmir issue be discussed, and that the referendum be held.


On January 10, 1966, the two sides came to an agreement and signed the Tashkent Declaration, pledging to withdraw their militaries to their positions from August 5, 1965. Haji Pir and other Pakistani regions will be returned by India. The two nations reaffirmed their commitment to working hard to build good neighbourly ties, to refrain from using force, and to settle differences amicably. They also promised to refrain from promoting disinformation about one another. A peace pact has been called the Tashkent Declaration. Actually, the end of hostilities was more the result of an agreement. The contract was signed on January 10th, 1966. Incidentally, that very night in Tashkent, Prime Minister Shastri passed away.

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