India and the World

India has formal diplomatic relations with most nations of the world. Being the world's second most populous country and the world's most populous democracy, India has been recognized as a nation with one of the fasted economic growth in the world.

With the world's tenth largest military expenditure and the ninth largest economy and the fourth largest by purchasing power; India is a regional power and a potential global power. India's growing international authority has given it more prominence in global affairs. India has had a long history of collaboration with several countries and because of its growing economy is considered the leader of the developing world. The country has also been a founding member of several international organizations like, the United Nations, the Non-Aligned movement, the Asian Development Bank and the G 20 Industrial Nations and has also played an important role in other international organizations like the East Asia Summit.

India is part of regional organizations such as SAARC (South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation), BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and economic Cooperation). The country has also taken part in several UN peacekeeping missions and in 2007; it was the second largest troop contributor to the United Nations and is currently seeking a permanent seat in the UN Security Council along with the G 4 nations.

Even before independence, the government of British-India maintained semi-autonomous diplomatic relations and was the founding member of the League of Nations and the United Nations. After gaining independence from the British in 1947, it soon joined the Commonwealth of Nations and supported independence movements in other colonies. Partition and territorial disputes over Kashmir have led to strained diplomatic relations with Pakistan over the years, though both governments are making continuous efforts to mend relationships between both countries. Even during the cold war, India adopted a foreign policy of not aligning itself with any major power bloc, though India developed a close relation with the Soviet Union and received generous military support from them.

India's foreign policy has always regarded the concept of neighbourhood as one of widening concentric circles, around a common turning point of historical and cultural commonalities. The guiding principle of India's Foreign Policy has been founded on Panchsheel, pragmatism and pursuit of national interest. India has recognized that in this period of rapid and continuous change, foreign policy must be capable of responding capably to new challenges and opportunities.

Last Updated on : 22 November 2011