Do you think that there is change and continuity in India’s foreign policy? Identify the major changes.

 Do you think that there is change and continuity in India’s foreign policy? Identify the major changes.

India's foreign policy has evolved significantly since its independence in 1947. It reflects the country's efforts to navigate a complex global landscape while safeguarding its national interests and promoting international cooperation. Over the decades, India's foreign policy has showcased a combination of continuity and change, responding to both domestic imperatives and global transformations.

Continuity in India's Foreign Policy

Despite the evolving global context, certain fundamental principles have remained consistent in India's foreign policy. Non-alignment, a cornerstone of India's foreign policy since its inception, remains relevant. While the term itself might have evolved, the essence of non-alignment – maintaining strategic autonomy and pursuing an independent foreign policy – persists. India continues to uphold a multi-polar world order and prioritize diplomacy as a means to address international challenges. Do you think that there is change and continuity in India’s foreign policy? Identify the major changes.

A fundamental principle of India's foreign policy, non-alignment, continues to guide its diplomatic engagements. While the Cold War era has passed, the spirit of non-alignment remains relevant as India avoids aligning with any specific bloc and maintains the flexibility to collaborate with various countries based on its interests.

India's foreign policy emphasizes the importance of strategic autonomy, allowing the nation to make independent decisions without being influenced by external pressures. This principle has remained consistent, safeguarding India's sovereignty and diverse interests.

India's commitment to peaceful coexistence and resolving conflicts through diplomatic means has been an enduring feature. This approach is evident in its efforts to maintain stability in the region and its participation in international peacekeeping missions.


Major Changes in India's Foreign Policy

Economic Liberalization and Look East Policy: One of the most significant changes in India's foreign policy was the economic liberalization in the 1990s. As India embraced market-oriented economic reforms, it sought to integrate into the global economy. This shift led to the "Look East" policy, which later evolved into the "Act East" policy. This marked a departure from the more insular economic approach of the past, reflecting India's desire to engage more deeply with Southeast Asia and beyond.

Strategic Partnerships and Diversification: India has actively sought to establish strategic partnerships with various countries, moving beyond its traditional allies. The United States-India partnership, for instance, has transformed significantly since the Cold War era. This shift towards closer engagement with major powers reflects India's recognition of its emerging global role.

Counterterrorism and Security Cooperation: In the wake of increasing global terrorism threats, India's foreign policy underwent a change, placing greater emphasis on counterterrorism cooperation. This was exemplified by India's efforts to diplomatically isolate countries that sponsor terrorism and its active involvement in regional security initiatives. Do you think that there is change and continuity in India’s foreign policy? Identify the major changes.

Neighborhood First Policy: India's focus on its immediate neighbors has seen a resurgence in the form of the "Neighborhood First" policy. This policy seeks to enhance economic and strategic ties with neighboring countries while addressing long-standing issues. The emphasis on regional connectivity and development aligns with India's pursuit of stability and growth in its immediate vicinity.

Global Governance and Climate Change: India's foreign policy approach has evolved to engage with global governance and address pressing challenges such as climate change. India's active participation in international forums like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reflects a growing recognition of the importance of collective action on global issues.


Change and Modernization of Defense Strategy

Another noteworthy change in India's foreign policy pertains to its defense strategy and military posture. Over the years, India has transitioned from a predominantly defensive military posture to a more proactive and capability-driven approach. This shift is a response to changing security dynamics in the region, including the modernization of military capabilities by neighboring countries. India's acquisition of advanced defense technology, the development of a credible nuclear deterrence, and the enhancement of its maritime capabilities all highlight this change. This modernization of defense strategy signifies India's preparedness to protect its national interests and respond effectively to emerging security challenges.

Evolving Approach to Multilateralism

India's engagement with multilateral institutions has also evolved significantly. While the country initially emphasized sovereignty and non-interference, there has been a shift towards a more active participation in multilateral forums. India's aspiration for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and its involvement in organizations like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) underscore this change. This evolving approach reflects India's recognition of the need to collaborate on global issues while safeguarding its strategic autonomy.

The advent of technology, India's foreign policy has also witnessed changes in its diplomatic approach. The rise of digital diplomacy and the use of social media platforms have enabled India to engage directly with global audiences, especially the Indian diaspora. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have become avenues for public diplomacy, allowing India to convey its narratives, policies, and cultural richness directly to the global community. This change reflects a new dimension in India's diplomatic efforts, enhancing its soft power and outreach. Do you think that there is change and continuity in India’s foreign policy? Identify the major changes.

While India's foreign policy has experienced notable changes, it continues to face challenges and constraints. One persistent challenge is the complex relationship with neighboring Pakistan, marked by historical disputes and security concerns. Despite attempts at engagement, the relationship remains fraught with tensions, posing a challenge to India's efforts to ensure regional stability. Additionally, China's assertive behavior in the region and border disputes have necessitated a recalibration of India's foreign policy approach, balancing cooperation and competition.



India's foreign policy has experienced both change and continuity since its independence. While certain foundational principles like non-alignment and diplomatic engagement have remained steady, significant shifts have occurred in response to evolving global dynamics and domestic imperatives. Economic liberalization, strategic partnerships, counterterrorism efforts, regional focus, and engagement with global challenges exemplify the major changes in India's foreign policy. Do you think that there is change and continuity in India’s foreign policy? Identify the major changes. These changes underline India's aspirations to maintain its national interests while actively participating in shaping the global order. As India continues to navigate the complex international arena, the interplay between change and continuity in its foreign policy will likely remain a defining feature. Do you think that there is change and continuity in India’s foreign policy? Identify the major changes. 

For PDF and Handwritten
WhatsApp – 8130208920

Read Also : What are the major threats which China perceives from India? Explain.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.