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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. India’s engagement in the QUAD is a reflection of its evolving multi-polar foreign policy. Comment. (250 words)

    21 May, 2019 GS Paper 2 International Relations


    • Describe India’s core foreign policy goals and origin of QUAD.
    • Highlight QUAD as reflection of India’s multi-polar foreign policy.
    • Give conclusion.


    • India is geopolitically placed in a hostile neighborhood, concentrating three nuclear powers i.e India, China and Pakistan.
    • Also China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which has neocolonialist underpinnings mandates that India must go for strategic balancing
    • Both these factors and shifting geopolitical dimensions paves way for QUAD dialogue.
    • QUAD is a group of four countries i.e. India, the US, Australia and Japan that started as a strategic dialogue in 2007 to check the growth of Chinese power in Indo-Pacific.


    • QUAD as reflection of India’s multi-polar policy
      • Though India is part of Quad but Quad is not a formal alliance or any security architecture against China. Moreover, alliances are not even feasible in this globalized world based on complex interdependence
      • But QUAD membership reinforces India’s multi-polar foreign policy as:
        • India is associated with several forums such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),BRICS etc.
          • The other members of these grouping face some sought of strategic competition from USA, but India has managed well to maintain strategic autonomy which is a pillar of multi polar world order.
        • China’s assertion in South China Sea (SCS) compromises freedom of navigation. Through QUAD India seeks to reassert rule based world order to counter China’s growing power and assertion.
        • Democratic, Cooperative and Peacekeeping endeavor: The QUAD initiative is group of four largest and powerful democracies in the world which values democratic, peaceful, rule based international order.
          • India held that the Quad was more about sharing democratic experiences than a security arrangement directed at China.
        • Emergence of Indo-pacific: USA under its pivot to China policy held Indo-Pacific region is now world’s most strategic location.
          • Different nations are seeking to project their strategic power in the region.
          • India’s membership to QUAD should be seen in this light as a counterbalancing initiative to secure its own neighborhood.


    The Quad remains a work in progress and its members are still in the process of defining its priorities. India seek to promote goals of its foreign policy through strategic partnership with multiple international organizations and QUAD is one such group to deal with emerging challenges in Indo-pacific region.

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