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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. ‘The expansion and strengthening of NATO and a stronger US-Europe strategic partnership works well for India.’ What is your opinion about this statement ? Give reasons and examples to support your answer. (Answer in 250 words, UPSC Mains 2023)

    02 Jan, 2024 GS Paper 2 International Relations


    • Begin with stating the opinion on whether the expansion and strengthening of NATO, along with a stronger US-Europe strategic partnership, is beneficial for India.
    • Discuss the factors because of which expansion and strengthening of NATO, along with a stronger US-Europe strategic partnership works for India.
    • Mention some challenges for India in closeness with the Western countries.
    • Conclude by summarizing the key points.


    While the world seems to be embracing the concept of multipolar world quite well, it is no doubt that NATO and European Union remain the centres of power internationally. India looks forward to becoming a major power in the coming years but for now it will also benefit from a strengthened NATO and US-Europe relationship.


    Why it works for India

    • China Problem: Since NATO and EU seem to be in consensus on the Chinese aggression problem, it is in favour of India to engage in strategic partnerships with them.
    • Economic Returns: The amount of world GDP that is held by these countries is enormous. India will benefit from trade relations from these countries and additionally from the politico-economic stability that is brought about by their partnership.
    • Democratic Values: Shared ideological values of democracy that are being upheld by these groupings aligns with India's interest as contrasted against its two hostile neighbours.
    • Defence Capabilities: Increased engagement with the western military, will benefit India in terms of technological know-how, advanced military trainings, and strategic collaboration.
    • Tackling Terrorism: India being a country with history of dealing with terrorist attacks would greatly appreciate any effort towards ending or at least mitigating terrorism which would be an indirect benefit of the US-Europe strategic partnership.

    Few challenges

    • India-Russia Relations: A closeness with the Western countries would have to be done in a way that does not offend India's relationship with its long-term partner, Russia. Balancing between USA and Russia is a test of Indian diplomacy.
    • Increased Competition: A stronger EU and US relationship would mean increased competition in sectors where India is trying to grow, e.g., the IT industry and pharmaceuticals.


    Overall, India would benefit immensely from a strengthened NATO and a stronger US-Europe strategic partnership if it can tackle the challenges that come with it.

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