हिंदी साहित्य: पेन ड्राइव कोर्स
This just in:

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. In shedding “hesitations of history”, India’s foreign policy seems to be moving away from “non-alignment.” Comment. (250 words)

    03 Dec, 2018 GS Paper 2 International Relations


    • Briefly describe policy of Non alignment and its context.
    • Talk about the historical stand India has taken over the years.
    • Mention what led to the recent shift in the policy.
    • Give examples showing change not country specific – having broad contours.
    • Conclude by giving India’s balanced approach.


    Non Alignment –its context

    • Policy of Non-alignment had its genesis in the backdrop of cold war, where U.S. and USSR signified 2 power blocs of the era.
    • India’s Non alignment was about not joining any of the bloc and taking a balanced approach.
    • Term coined by V.K. Menon in 1953 and was popularized by Jawaharlal Nehru.
    • It was to enable the domestic transformation of India from a poor and backward society and steer it away from any major global crisis.


    The term ‘hesitancy of history’ was used by ex-US president Barack Obama in 2015 when India moved towards US overlooking its traditional partner Russia.  

    • India has always had closer ties with USSR sharing a time tested friendship.
    • Principles of social justice, equality and human dignity were borrowed from socialist model of USSR. Early nationalist leaders related more to soviet ideology.
    • India also shared close diplomatic strategic and trade ties with USSR.
    • Treaty of friendship with USSR in 1971, country’s largest arm supplier.

    However scenario has significantly changed since the disintegration of USSR in 1991 and emergence of multiple power dynamics.

    • Economic needs of the fast developing India had to be supported by opening of its economy and getting more foreign assistance.
    • World that emerged post soviet era saw the rise of US as both an economic and strategic power. It was difficult to pursue India’s growth trajectory without engaging with US.
    • India signed a nuclear deal with US in 2008.
    • India today is a signatory to 3 of 4 US foundational agreements that it signs with its strategic defence partners that is LEMOA, COMACASA and GSOMIA.
    • US recently changed the name of its Pacific command to Indo-Pacific command.
    • Globalization, growing interdependence, and the emergence of transnational challenges have pushed India to engage with multiple global partners.
    • Emergence of economic powerhouse in form of China has also posed a new challenge in front of India.

    Departure of stance not only limited to US.

    • India today has vibrant relations with Israel which were earlier marred with Palestinian considerations.
    • India’s traditional stance has always been of recognition of Arab rights of Palestine and limited relations with Israel.
    • India is a member of QUAD which partners Japan, US, Australia and India. It looks to further Indian interest in pacific region creating a major power bloc in the region.
    • India is also member of major groupings such as BRICS, ASEAN and BIMSTEC etc. emphasizing Indian engagement in multiple global fronts.


    • It would not be right to call it departure from india’s policy of Non alignment.
      • Indo-US trade dispute in WTO, India’s largest arms deal with Russia (S-400 ), Indian purchase of oil from Iran even when US has imposed CAATSA on both of these nations.

    • Indian considerations in foreign relations are driven by their own strategic autonomy.
    • Indian foreign policy is evolving to encompass the growing needs of its national security and prosperity.
    • However Non alignment being India’s own brainchild it is unlikely that it will not be a part of India’s near future foreign policy.


To get PDF version, Please click on "Print PDF" button.

Print PDF
SMS Alerts

Please login or register to view note list


Please login or register to list article as bookmarked


Please login or register to make your note


Please login or register to list article as progressed


Please login or register to list article as bookmarked