After World War II, the globe was bifurcated into two parts. The Socialist bloc was led by Russia (former USSR), and the Capitalist with liberals political ideas was led by the United States. This rivalry continued in the form of the Cold War and satellite countries aligned with the groupings were following their foreign policy considering the bloc. India, not completely but was tilted towards Russia, and its economic, political and foreign policy reflected the same. But, economic prosperity, defence capability, and political stability provided the country to play its game considering the national interest in mind, and the traditional bipolar world was balanced with India’s own pole.
Helping Developing Countries
In the recently concluded World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting, Commerce & Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, advocated for the rights of developing and least developed countries in international trade norms. Saving the interests of developing countries that are still fighting the Chinese Virus and not able to get access to low-cost vaccines, India was able to secure the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver for five years. He argued that the waiver would help developing countries in manufacturing the patented Covid vaccines in their own countries. Under the waiver agreement, a country will be able to issue compulsory licensing to local Vaccine manufacturing companies to produce the vaccine locally.
He further proposed to provide support for Indian Vaccine Manufacturing companies to all the developing countries that are lacking in the vaccine supply. He said, “India has sufficient vaccine manufacturing and technology to meet the needs of not only India but that of other parts of the world. We supported the TRIPS waiver at WTO to enable less developed countries to become Aatmanirbhar in vaccines”.
India has sufficient vaccine manufacturing and technology to meet the needs of not only India but that of other parts of the world.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) June 20, 2022
The support of India to developing and less developed countries is significant in terms of the protectionist policy adopted by the developed countries in the Covid times. After the spread of the virus and complete lockdown, developed countries blocked aid and most importantly pharmaceutical supplies to these economically weak countries. India not only supplied the essential food & medicines during the critical situation but when we started to produce vaccines in the country, a large share was given to less developed countries as a grant.
Even now, when the world is taking sides either with the US or Russia in the Ukraine War, India is engaged in supplying essential food supplies to countries that are highly dependent on imports for its food security.
Read More: India conquers the WTO
Recently, in a GLOBSEC 2022 Bratislava forum, the moderator asked questions related to India’s stand on the Ukraine War & foreign policy alignment with it. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, replying to the question, said, “Europe should get out of the mindset that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems, but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems”.
Further, when the moderator asked him to choose a side, either US or China, he said that “I don’t accept that India has to join either the US axis or China axis. We are one-fifth of the world’s population, and the fifth or sixth-largest economy in the world. We are entitled to weigh our own side.”
LOL, hope the European Union has an ambulance handy. (Watch full). pic.twitter.com/3PPZDLKz0V
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) June 3, 2022
The Minister’s spot-on reply in the above four lines described the foreign policy carried by India. India now is capable & confident enough to take its own route. The traditional bipolar global order is an outdated concept and we promote the multi-polar world, where the voice of ‘third world’ countries are heard.
Coming out of the hesitancy of history, India now aligns with the world according to its nation’s interests. On one hand, we are forming alliances with the West in the form of the QUAD and G-20. On the other hand, we are ready to contradict developed countries on international platforms like WTO for its interest. Now the time has gone when the World used to dictate the terms of engagement & hegemony of two poles deciding the international issues. India has set its own terms to deal with the world and has created its own pole.
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