One year of Modi 2.0: How India’s foreign policy has shaped up

PM Modi (File Image)

The first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw India emerging from the shadows to step into the global spotlight.

Leading from the front, PM Modi made sure that India’s voice was heard globally. Former External Affairs Minister Late Sushma Swaraj, too, brought in a completely new people-oriented dimension to foreign policy.

As the Modi government completes the first year of its second term, NewsMobile brings you the top highlights of India’s foreign policy and global outreach.

Leading the global pandemic response

• Mammoth coordinating efforts led by India’s High Commissions and Embassies across the world under Vande Bharat Mission. More than 40,000 Indians have returned to India in over 230 flights and naval ships.

• COVID-related medical supply to over 154 countries. Deployment of Rapid Response Teams around the world.

• MEA COVID-19 Control Room manned 24×7 to facilitate emergency requests from stranded Indians.

• Corona-era Diplomacy activated. PM held Video Conference with SAARC Leaders – COVID-19 Emergency Fund created.

• Over 100 virtual diplomatic meetings held to share perspectives on combating the virus and tackling post-pandemic challenges.

• e-ITEC courses on Covid-healthcare being offered under MEA’s Development Partnership initiative for partner countries.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 | Delhi-Moscow AI flight under Vande Bharat Mission returns mid-way as pilot tests positive

Neighbourhood First

• Reaffirming the friendship. PM visited Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. Visits from leaders of Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Mauritius in the last year.

• Bhutan: Inauguration of 720 MW Mangdechhu Hydropower Project, Ground Earth Station.

• Nepal: Motihari-Amlekhgunj cross-border petroleum products pipeline and Integrated Check Post at Biratnagar inaugurated; over 45,000 houses under post-earthquake housing reconstruction have been rebuilt with GOI assistance.

• Bangladesh: Joint Inauguration of 3 projects by PM Modi and PM Sheikh Hasina: LPG supply pipeline, Vivekananda Bhaban (students hostel) in Dhaka and Professional Skill Development Institute at Khulna.

• Mauritius: Major grant projects -ENT Hospital, Supreme Court Building, Metro Express

• Sri Lanka: Emergency Ambulance Service, Cultural Centre in Jaffna

• Maldives: Gifting of Made in India Coast Guard Ship; launch of fish processing plants; water and sanitation projects

India and the World

• Elevation of ties with US. Immensely successful visits of PM Modi and President Trump, of which – “Howdy, Modi!” and “Namaste Trump”- were the highlights.

• New dimensions of defence cooperation and space partnership with Russia. PM visited Russia in September 2019. USD 1 billion credit line announced by PM for development of Russian Far East.

• #ChennaiConnect with China. PM and President Xi Jinping held their second Informal Summit in Mamallapuram in October 2019.

• European Outreach – President Kovind paid visits to Iceland, Switzerland and Slovenia while VP visited the Baltic countries last year. Official visits by EAM to 10 European countries. State Visit by the King and Queen of the Netherlands, the King and Queen of Sweden, German Chancellor and Portuguese President and PM.

• Participation for the first time in Europe-based forums – Mediterranean Dialogue, Munich Security Conference.

• First India-Japan ‘2+2’ (Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue) held. President Kovind visited Japan in October last year.

• Reinforcing relations with the Gulf-: PM awarded the highest civilian awards in UAE and Bahrain.

• ASEAN & India: The inaugural Trilateral Maritime Exercise between India, Singapore & Thailand (SITMEX). Construction of 12 ‘Offshore Patrol Vessels’ for Vietnam Border Guards.

• Stepping up relations with Latin America & Caribbean: Brazilian President as Chief Guest at Republic Day 2020.

• First ever India-CARICOM Leaders’ meet led by PM in September, 2019.

• First ever India- Pacific Islands Developing States Summit. PM announced grant support for high impact developmental projects.

• Launch of Africa projects such as e-VidyaBharti (Tele-education) and e-ArogyaBharti (Tele-medicine) network. Inauguration of Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre in Niger and the Gandhi-Mandela Skills Institute in South Africa.

• Enlarging India’s footprint in Africa: New Indian Embassies opened in: Eswatini, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Republic of Congo.

• Visit by President Kovind to Benin, The Gambia, Guinea; VP visited Comoros and Sierra Leone last year. State visit by President of Zambia.

Multilateral & Plurilateral engagements

• Highlighting the India Way @UN. PM led the Indian delegation at the UNGA; participated in the Climate Action Summit and a special event commemorating 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi.

• Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) has been launched at UN.

• PM led India’s participation at the G20 Summit, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, G7 Summit Outreach Sessions, BRICS Summit and ASEAN-related Summits.

Cultural Outreach

• Creation of a new specialised Division in the Ministry for restoration and conservation projects of ancient cultural and heritage monuments. Shiva Linga dating back 9th cent CE was excavated at Cham Temple Complex at My Son, Vietnam with its support.

• Commemorating [email protected]: ICCR installed 29 bronze busts and 17 statues of Mahatma Gandhi in 40 countries.

• The 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji was celebrated across the globe. PM inaugurated the Kartarpur corridor in November 2019.

People connect

• MEA Performance Monitoring Dashboard launched.

• New Division set up in MEA for emerging and strategic technologies.

• 3 new Protector of Emigrant offices have been opened at Bengaluru, Guwahati, Patna.

• 12 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras inaugurated during last one year. 45 Missions/Posts have been integrated into Passport Seva Programme platform.

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