India’s moment under the diplomatic sun must be used


  • India has assumed the prestigious G20 presidency and is hosting various G20 meets.
    • Later this year, it will host, G20 Leaders’ Summit.





  • The G20 is an informal group:19 countries and the European Union, with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • The G20 Presidency rotates annually: according to a system that ensures a regional balance over time.
  • For the selection of the presidency19 countries are divided into 5 groups, each having no more than 4 countries.
    • The presidency rotates between each group.
  • Every year the G20 selects a country from another group to be president.
    • India is in Group 2 which also has Russia, South Africa, and Turkey.
  • The G20 does not have a permanent secretariat or Headquarters.


Meetings hosted so far:

  • G-20 Foreign Ministers meeting (March 1-2, 2023)
  • G-20 Finance Ministers meeting (February 22-25)
  • Quad Foreign Ministers meeting (March 3)
  • Global leaders and thinkers attending the Ministry of External Affairs-supported Raisina dialogue (March 2-4).
  • Voice of Global South Summit’ (January 12–13).



  • India’s pivotal position at the G-20the Quad, the SCO and the Global South has given it a sudden surge in stature and reputation.


India’s role in the world:

  • Indian leaders, from Jawaharlal Nehru to A.B. Vajpayee and Narendra Modi have spoken of India’s role in the world — because of its culture, history, demography and economic strength.


Contemporary Indian foreign policy:

  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar book, The India Way:“advancing national interests by identifying and exploiting opportunities created by global contradictions”.
  • India has become adept at playing both sides (though not without its costs).
  • India is the chair of both the United States/West-led G-20, and the China-centered SCO at the same time.
  • The Ukraine war: India has not alienated, directly or indirectly, any of the parties involved in the war in a big way.
  • Threat of China has brought it closer to the U.S. and the West
  • India is also an active member of multilateral forums which has China in it — BRICS and the SCO.
  • Contemporary Indian policy: combination of revisionism and status quoism


What does India want?

  • India has long wanted a seat at the global high table-United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
  • India has hinted at the dysfunctionality of the UNSC and utility of more inclusive and flexible forums such as the G-20.
  • The Prime Minister said at the G-20 Foreign Ministers meeting that “global governance has failed”
    • He said:
      • “We are meeting at a time of deep global divisions.
      • We have a responsibility to those not in this room”,
      • underscoring the importance of the G-20 and India’s role in it.
    • Impact:
      • The meeting ended without a joint statement thanks to the Ukraine war
      • success:
        • It created the environment for the U.S. Secretary of State and the Russian Foreign Minister to have a meeting for the first time since the war began a year ago
        • when most other forums are unable to bring together the warring parties in one room, the G-20 has been able to do it.
      • India is actively seeking a seat at a restructured global high table, the G-20 has its utility as does the Global South.


The challenges

  • Indian chairmanship of the G-20 and the SCO ends this year, and China will not let India take over the leadership of the Global South so easily.
  • Some of the language that emanates from India in response to western or the U.S.’s statements/criticisms could be construed as needlessly offensive.
    • Indian diplomacy needs to adopt the language of finesse and authority rather than that of aggression.
  • Balancing opposites has its limits: India might not end up making strong strategic partnerships that should come to your aid
    • While bridging the divide in world politics indecisiveness might not yield lasting partnerships.
  • There is always a danger of governments using diplomatic highs such as this towards domestic political ends rather than for geopolitical objectives.


Way Forward

  • The solid foundations laid through the decades are starting to make a difference.
  • Contemporary India’s pivotal position in world politics is thanks to a fortunate confluence of deliberate and unforeseen factors which appear to be working in India’s favor.
  • A far stronger economic and military power, courted by great powers, India has cleverly used the failure of the post-war world order today to its advantage.
  • The worry about an aggressively rising China has further prompted global leaders to look for geopolitical alternatives in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • India has understood the instrumental utility of the Global South argument in its pursuit of power and status.
    • If China can use the Global South argument for its geopolitical ends, India can definitely do so too.
  • India has realized that it is its ability to carefully balance the global fault lines that increases its utility.
  • Those seeking to enlist India’s support for bringing more stability and order into the international system might want to consider what India is really after: a seat at the high table of international politics.
  • India’s revisionist language is rooted in its desire to be part of a restructured status quo.

Source: The Hindu

  • Prelims: Current events of international importance, G20, Global south, Inflation etc.
  • Mains GS Paper II & III: Significance of G20 countries, Bilateral, regional and global grouping and agreements involving India or affecting India’s interests


The long sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalized nations has disappeared on account of its new found role in the emerging global order.’ Elaborate(UPSC 2019) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)

You might also like

Comments are closed.