global order: Current status and measures for its optimum utilization for India

Current status of the global order and measures for its optimum utilization for India

Like any other country, India’s foreign policy also envisages expanding its sphere of influence, increasing its role among various nations, and making its presence felt like an emerging power.

The year 2021 has brought many challenges and opportunities from the point of view of fulfillment of foreign policy objectives. New scenarios require new thinking. In view of the changing dynamics of the current global order, India needs to take careful action.

global order: Current status and measures for its optimum utilizationfor India

Current global order

Presently the world is a victim of imbalance and directionlessness. We are neither in a bipolar cold war state nor moving towards a multipolar system, but the whole world is slowly becoming pided into many power centers.

The absence of a cohesive or coherent international response to the COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed the absence of an international order in the world and the ineffectiveness of multilateral institutions.

The international response to climate change and other international threats has also been ineffective.

The retreat from globalization and protectionism, regionalization of trade, shifting of the balance of power, the rise of China and other powers, and the Sino-US strategic rivalry shifted the world’s geopolitical and economic centers of gravity to Asia.

The situation of inequality between and within the states has given rise to narrow nationalism and regionalism. We are entering a new polarized era and facing the ecological crises of the ‘Anthropocene’ era, where climate change is becoming an existential threat.

‘Asian Century’

It is projected that Asia will continue to be a major area of ​​geopolitical rivalry in the coming decade, and while the US’s relative strength is declining, it will still remain one of the most important powers.

This time may present an important opportunity for China, although the hurry in which it appears, it fears that this opportunity may be lost due to the unfavorable attitude of the West and other countries.

China’s geography compels it to be active in both land and sea areas. Looking at China’s influence and its power, it can be inferred that China’s activity in the Indian region will continue in the coming times.

This will result in continued conflict and semi-hostile relations between India and China, which can benefit other countries. Looking at the current scenario, this mixed relationship of confrontation and cooperation will continue to mark India-China relations in the coming times.

As a whole, a traditional conflict between superpowers in Asia may not be a real situation, but it will lead to an increase in violence and other forms and levels of conflict in the international system.

Challenges for India

China’s strong position: China was the only major country that registered a positive growth rate at the end of the year 2020 and its economy is poised to grow more rapidly in the year 2021.

Militarily, China has strengthened itself and sought to increase its dominance in the Indo-Pacific region with the announcement of the launch of its third aircraft carrier in 2021.

In this context, there is no prospect of any major improvement in Sino-India relations, and the confrontation between the Indian and Chinese armed forces is expected to continue.

Development of the Russia-China axis: Russia is showing more and more interest in regional affairs. In addition, sanctions imposed on Russia after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 have brought Russia closer to China.

This also indicates his decreasing interest in countries like India.

Simultaneously, India’s proximity to the US has also undermined India’s ties with traditional friends such as Russia and Iran.

The Changing Equations of the Middle East: The US-mediated rapprochement between Israel and the four Arab countries—the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan—reflects the changing landscape in the region.

However, despite the over-enthusiasm expressed over the Abraham Accords, the actual situation remains volatile and there is still a risk of conflict between Iran and Israel.

The strategic variability of this territory could prompt Iran to use its nuclear capability to strengthen its position.

This is problematic for India, as it has relations with both countries.

India’s ‘self-isolation’: At present, India remains isolated from two important ‘supranational’ bodies- the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), of which it was a founding member.

In addition, India has also opted out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

This ‘self-isolation’ is not consistent with India’s aspiration to become a global power.

Weak relations with neighboring countries: A more worrying topic for Indian foreign policy is the weakening relations with neighboring countries.

This can be understood from examples such as China’s ‘CheckBook Diplomacy‘ with Sri Lanka, tensions with Bangladesh over the NRC issue, and the recent border dispute with Nepal due to the release of the new map.

Way ahead

Uncertainty and the ever-changing geopolitical environment clearly pose significant challenges to Indian policy, while there are also opportunities for India to expand the range of India’s strategic options and diplomatic opportunities if we adjust its policies internally and externally in the Indian sub-continent.

India should aim for the establishment of multipolarity in Asia.

Theme-Based Alliances: India has to keep pace with the changing circumstances. He has no choice but to belong to this uncertain and more volatile world. A better way to do this is to establish a topic-based alliance, where different actors will be involved and their engagement is based on their interest and ability.

Increasing security engagement with the US can also be important for cooperation in areas necessary for India’s development such as energy, trade, investment, education, and health, etc.

In addition, India and the US can increase cooperation in other areas such as climate change and energy, technological solutions for renewable energy, and digital cooperation.

Reviving SAARC: India can become the primary source of both prosperity and security for the subcontinent and neighboring countries in the Indian Ocean region. Excessive securitization of India’s policy towards neighboring countries has driven trade underground, as well as criminalized the country’s borders and enabled the widespread entry of Chinese goods into Northeast India destroying local industries.

India’s primary efforts should be focused on ‘self-reliance’ while reducing dependence on China and seeking external balance.

If there is one country that can match or even surpass China in terms of its size, population, economic potential, scientific and technological capabilities, it is India.

Importance of ‘self-reliance’: To ensure its role and influence abroad, India can take many steps, which can be helpful in India’s development. Economic policy must be harmonized with political and strategic engagement.

Globalization has played a central role in the development of India. A more active regional and international role for India cannot be found on the margins of the global economy.

In the present world, the goal of self-reliance can be realized only by being a part of the global economy. We should not imitate China, where it is going ahead with the claim of being a civilized country and being a ‘victim’. Instead, we must reaffirm our own strength and historical national identity.

Adequate External Aid: The current standoff with China reaffirmed the view expressed by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963 that India needed “a substantial amount of external aid”.

In this context, India will need continued support from countries such as the US, Japan, and Australia, apart from European countries such as France, Germany, and the UK.

India should welcome Europe’s entry into the ‘Indo-Pacific’ narrative, as France and Germany have already come out with their Indo-Pacific strategy.


In short, self-reliance is an essential precondition for protecting India’s fundamental sources of international influence. Our internal trajectory cannot be kept separate from the external path we want to take to transform India into a strong, secure, and prosperous country.

Current status of the global order and measures for its optimum utilization for India

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