Over the past year, India’s foreign policy has reflected pragmatic realpolitik while maintaining deliberative continuity. Our strategy remains rhetorically threefold: improving India’s relationships in South Asia, attracting significant foreign direct investment (FDI) in infrastructure, and positioning India as agreat power. India needs to flesh out this pursuit, deepening democracy and maintaining strategic autonomy through a conducive and realistic foreign policy.

This government has put economics first, seeking better connections with countries hosting India’s capital and skills-rich diaspora, like Australia and the US, promoting its ‘Make in India’ programme for seeking investment in India’s infrastructure. East Asia has been courted to build infrastructure corridors and factories, while South Asia has been encouraged to boost connectivity and economic ties.

India’s military modernisation has been speeded up, concluding negotiations on long-pending acquisitions, such as France’s Rafale fighter, while a series of strategic partnerships with Australia, the US and Japan have been signed up. However, much still remains. Rhetorical promises aside, FDI investment needs a quantum shift to have a necessary impact on our infrastructure needs. Our defence acquisition policy should reflect our indigenisation needs too, in addition to faster clearance of prolonged acquisitions. This government needs to expand in four areas: consolidating India’s South Asian relationships, diversifying India’s energy imports, defining a China strategy, and solving intractable regional problems.

Over the past year, India’s foreign policy has reflected pragmatic realpolitik while maintaining deliberative continuity. Our strategy remains rhetorically threefold: improving India’s relationships in South Asia, attracting significant foreign direct investment (FDI) in infrastructure, and positioning India as agreat power. India needs to flesh out this pursuit, deepening democracy and maintaining strategic autonomy through a conducive and realistic foreign policy.

This government has put economics first, seeking better connections with countries hosting India’s capital and skills-rich diaspora, like Australia and the US, promoting its ‘Make in India’ programme for seeking investment in India’s infrastructure. East Asia has been courted to build infrastructure corridors and factories, while South Asia has been encouraged to boost connectivity and economic ties.

India’s military modernisation has been speeded up, concluding negotiations on long-pending acquisitions, such as France’s Rafale fighter, while a series of strategic partnerships with Australia, the US and Japan have been signed up. However, much still remains. Rhetorical promises aside, FDI investment needs a quantum shift to have a necessary impact on our infrastructure needs. Our defence acquisition policy should reflect our indigenisation needs too, in addition to faster clearance of prolonged acquisitions. This government needs to expand in four areas: consolidating India’s South Asian relationships, diversifying India’s energy imports, defining a China strategy, and solving intractable regional problems.