Indian Foreign Policy Objectives - Principles/Objectives of Indian Foreign Policy [UPSC Notes]

The foreign policy of India aims to maintain international peace and security, to oppose imperialism, to stand against the apartheid policy, to propagate the peaceful and political settlement of international disputes, to foster peaceful coexistence, to remain non-aligned and non-committed, and to maintain the unity and solidarity of the Third World. 

The important objectives of India’s foreign policy include preservation of national interest, achievement of world peace, disarmament, independence for Afro-Asian nations. These objectives are sought to be achieved through some guiding principles such as Panchsheel, NAM, and others. 

The candidates can read more about India’s Foreign Policy from the links below:

Major Objectives of India’s Foreign Policy

The major objectives governing India’s Foreign policy are detailed below:

The preservation of India’s territorial integrity and independence of foreign policy: 

  • The territorial integrity and protection of national boundaries from foreign aggression is the core interest of a nation. 
  • India had gained hard-earned independence from foreign rule after a long time. Thus, it was natural for her to give due emphasis on the independence of foreign policy. 
  • India’s effort to strengthen Afro-Asian solidarity endorsement of principles of non-interference, in the internal affairs of other nations and finally the adoption of the policy of non-alignment should be seen in this light.
  • To sustain the country’s growth trajectory, India needs to interact with its foreign partners to bring in Foreign Direct Investments, financial assistance, and transfer of technology for schemes and programmes like Make in India, Skills India, Smart Cities, infrastructure development, Digital India, Clean India etc. Therefore, it can be noted that in recent years, India’s foreign policy adopted an approach by integrating economic diplomacy with political diplomacy. 
  • India has the largest diaspora in the world, comprising about 20 million Non-Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin, spread all over the world. Therefore, one of the major objectives is to engage them and derive maximum benefits from their presence abroad, while at the same time protecting their interests to the extent possible.
  • To summarise, four important goals of India’s Foreign Policy are:
    • To protect India from traditional and non-traditional threats; 
    • To create an external environment that is conducive for inclusive development of India so that the benefits of growth can reach the poorest of the poor in the country;
    • To make sure that India’s opinions are heard on global platforms and that India is able to influence world opinion on issues of global dimensions such as terrorism, climate change, disarmament, reforms of institutions of global governance;
    • To engage and protect the Indian Diaspora.

Promoting international peace and security: 

  • India as a ‘newly independent and developing country rightly realized that international peace and development are correlated. 
  • Her emphasis on disarmament and the policy of keeping away from military alliances is intended to promote global peace.

The economic development of India: 

  • The fast development of the country was the fundamental requirement of India at the time of independence. 
  • It was also required to strengthen democracy and freedom in the country 
  • In order to gain financial resources and technology from both blocks and to concentrate her energy on the development, India opted away from the power bloc politics, which was the defining feature of Cold War international politics. 
  • The foreign policy practice of India also reveals its two other objectives:
    • Elimination of colonialism and racial discrimination
    • Protection of the interests of people of Indian origin abroad.
  • An official statement of the Ministry of External Affairs (2010) notes that India’s foreign policy seeks to safeguard her enlightened self-interest. 
  • Its primary objective is to promote and maintain a peaceful and stable external environment in which the domestic tasks of inclusive economic development and poverty alleviation can progress rapidly. 
  • Thus, India seeks a peaceful periphery and works for good neighbourly relations in her extended neighbourhood. India’s foreign policy also recognizes that issues such as climate change, energy, and food security are crucial for India’s transformation. Since these issues are global in nature, they require global solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Foreign Policy of India

What are the main objectives of foreign policy?

The main objective of foreign policy is to use diplomacy — or talking, meeting, and making agreements — to solve international problems

What were the three major objectives of PM Nehru foreign policy?

The three major objectives of Nehru’s foreign policy were to preserve the hard-earned sovereignty, protect territorial integrity, and promote rapid economic development. Nehru wished to achieve these objectives through the strategy of non- alignment.

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