India no longer a reluctant engager: Deputy NSA | Current Affairs, Current Affairs 2017

India no longer a reluctant engager: Deputy NSA

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India no longer a reluctant engager: Deputy NSA“India is not a reluctant engager any more” and is engaging more proactively across the geopolitical spectrum, Deputy National Security Advisorr Arvind Gupta said here.

The process has just begun and will deepen quite significantly over the years, he added.

Gupta was delivering the valedictory address at the concluding day of the 17th Asian Security Conference on ‘Asian Security: Comprehending the Indian Approach’ conference organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) Feb 11-13.

Gupta, while rounding up the conference, chalked out the visible trends of India’s foreign policy in recent years.

India was making significant efforts in assessing the current trends in the world and was willing to engage on regional and global projects, he said. India realises the importance of proactive international cooperation to combat increasing tensions and turmoil in the world.

Commenting on the direct linking of India’s domestic interests with its foreign policy, Gupta said the idea had been positively received and many countries have shown interest in cooperating with India, giving a new meaning to bilateral relations.

Further, India’s foreign policy has witnessed an increased emphasis on sub-regional cooperation, said Gupta, adding India should also work on connectivity and overcome geographical barriers in dealing with Central and West Asia.

Reflecting on the role that the Indian Diaspora occupies in India’s foreign policy, he said the declaration of June 21 as International Yoga Day by the UN was a clear indicator of India’s growing power and the influence of its Diaspora.

Speaking on maritime security, Gupta said India was willing to work with like-minded partners to guard the interests of global commons. Cyber security was another area where the world was willing to cooperate with India.

While discussing the future trends and scenarios of Asian security, experts agreed that with the emergence of new regional powers, the unipolar world was now coming to an end. New power centres were likely to dominate the global geopolitics of the world.

Speaking about the role that India can play in such a scenario, they insisted that India should follow its policy of fruitful and non confrontational relations with other nations of the region, but should aim to revitalize its strategic partnerships with major global actors.

Earlier, while discussing the major strategic regions of Asia, the experts insisted that India must contemplate on regional constructs to strengthen its future geo-strategic position.

They argued that India’s approach to the region was dominated by the ‘China factor’. Post Cold War era also sees India’s growing emphasis on SAARC.

Reflecting on India’s relations with ASEAN nations, the experts felt that the focus of India-ASEAN relations had moved from economic to security and strategy. India has bilateral and multilateral linkage with ASEAN, starting with land connectivity, and was increasing defence relations with individual ASEAN nations.

They added that India needed to re-calibrate its position in Southeast Asia, following changes within the ASEAN.

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