ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Course Correction

The government has managed to re-establish a measure of autonomy in India's foreign policy.

As the sun sets on the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) second term, a look at its decade-long record suggests a welcome course correction from its initial policy of putting all its metaphorical eggs in the United States (US) basket. Despite the many missteps and missed opportunities, as things stand today, India’s foreign policy is closer to its professed aim of seeking strategic autonomy, promoting trade and economic linkages and, most importantly, stability and better ties in the immediate neighbourhood.

The UPA’s predecessor, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance had sought to decisively move India to become a strategic ally of the US. The UPA was initially inclined to continue with its predecessor’s policy vis-à-vis the US, but was constrained by the “red-lines” drawn by its alliance partner, the Left Front. This did not prevent it from signing a defence framework agreement with the US in 2005 and voting against Iran at the behest of the US in two International Atomic Energy Agency resolutions in 2005 and 2006, as this move hurt India’s energy security at a time when India’s fuel imports were peaking.

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