International Relations: January 2021 Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly

Current Affairs : International Relations: January 2021 Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


 
14                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
2. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 
2.1. INDIA-UNSC 
Why in news? 
India officially began its eighth term as a non-permanent member of UNSC for the 2021-22 period.  
More on news 
• India will serve as the president of the council, a position held by each of the members in turn for one month, 
according to the alphabetical order of the member states’ names. 
o Presidency entails presiding over council meetings, coordinating actions, deciding the content of UNSC 
debates and more. 
• India will also chair the crucial Taliban and Libya sanctions committees and the Counter-Terrorism 
Committee of the UN Security Council during its tenure as non-permanent member. 
Background 
• India was elected to the UN Security Council in June along with Norway, Mexico, Ireland and Kenya.  
• India had last assumed the role of a non-permanent member at the UNSC in 2011-12. Prior to that, it was a 
non-permanent member for 1950-51, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1977-78, 1984-85 and 1991-92. 
• At UNSC, India pledged to be guided by the five priorities under the overarching theme of NORMS: New 
Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System. They are new opportunities for progress, effective response 
to international terrorism, reforming multilateral systems, comprehensive approach to international peace 
and security and technology with a human touch. India will pursue these priorities through a Five-S approach: 
Samman (Respect), Samvad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), Shanti (Peace) and Samriddhi (Prosperity).  
• India’s entry into the UNSC coincides with the emergence of a new world order, one marked by  
o systemic uncertainty,  
o absence of global leadership,  
o the steady division of the world into rival blocs, and  
o an age marked by unabashed pursuit of narrow national interests.  
• The world has a pressing need for countries to stand up for a rules-based international order – one which is 
committed to protecting human security around the world. 
• India’s pursuit of its interests at the UNSC should, therefore, reflect its material and geopolitical limitations, 
and should be focused on a clearly identified agenda. As India looks for a productive tenure at the UNSC, 
various opportunities present themselves. 
Opportunities for India in its two-year term 
• Making the UNSC effective and more representative: The UNSC offers room for sustained diplomatic 
interaction between the major powers, who could minimize tensions and create new opportunities for 
cooperation. But the council is becoming less effective due to the deep divisions among the major powers. As 
the world’s largest democracy with economic and military prowess, India is in a unique position to be the 
leader that will champion such cooperation. 
o At the same time, making the UNSC more representative has been one of India’s demands since the end 
of the Cold War. India’s campaign, in partnership with Brazil, Germany and Japan, to expand the UNSC 
must continue.  
• Strengthen climate change dialogues: After the outbreak of COVID-19, the relationship between pandemics 
and climate change is in focus as a warming world becomes more susceptible to disease outbreaks. In times 
to come, climate change would be the biggest threat to humanity and India should use the UN platform for 
taking new initiatives on this important issue. 
o India’s flagship initiatives, International Solar Alliance and Coalition against Disaster Resilient 
Infrastructure highlights India’s potential leadership role in this arena.  
• Fight against terrorism: As terrorist activity breaches new frontiers, no country can afford to adopt an ostrich 
like approach. 
o India should use its tenure to force a search for solutions, especially on reining in terror finance 
infrastructure, cyber threats and use and misuse of information and communication technologies by state 
Page 2


 
14                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
2. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 
2.1. INDIA-UNSC 
Why in news? 
India officially began its eighth term as a non-permanent member of UNSC for the 2021-22 period.  
More on news 
• India will serve as the president of the council, a position held by each of the members in turn for one month, 
according to the alphabetical order of the member states’ names. 
o Presidency entails presiding over council meetings, coordinating actions, deciding the content of UNSC 
debates and more. 
• India will also chair the crucial Taliban and Libya sanctions committees and the Counter-Terrorism 
Committee of the UN Security Council during its tenure as non-permanent member. 
Background 
• India was elected to the UN Security Council in June along with Norway, Mexico, Ireland and Kenya.  
• India had last assumed the role of a non-permanent member at the UNSC in 2011-12. Prior to that, it was a 
non-permanent member for 1950-51, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1977-78, 1984-85 and 1991-92. 
• At UNSC, India pledged to be guided by the five priorities under the overarching theme of NORMS: New 
Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System. They are new opportunities for progress, effective response 
to international terrorism, reforming multilateral systems, comprehensive approach to international peace 
and security and technology with a human touch. India will pursue these priorities through a Five-S approach: 
Samman (Respect), Samvad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), Shanti (Peace) and Samriddhi (Prosperity).  
• India’s entry into the UNSC coincides with the emergence of a new world order, one marked by  
o systemic uncertainty,  
o absence of global leadership,  
o the steady division of the world into rival blocs, and  
o an age marked by unabashed pursuit of narrow national interests.  
• The world has a pressing need for countries to stand up for a rules-based international order – one which is 
committed to protecting human security around the world. 
• India’s pursuit of its interests at the UNSC should, therefore, reflect its material and geopolitical limitations, 
and should be focused on a clearly identified agenda. As India looks for a productive tenure at the UNSC, 
various opportunities present themselves. 
Opportunities for India in its two-year term 
• Making the UNSC effective and more representative: The UNSC offers room for sustained diplomatic 
interaction between the major powers, who could minimize tensions and create new opportunities for 
cooperation. But the council is becoming less effective due to the deep divisions among the major powers. As 
the world’s largest democracy with economic and military prowess, India is in a unique position to be the 
leader that will champion such cooperation. 
o At the same time, making the UNSC more representative has been one of India’s demands since the end 
of the Cold War. India’s campaign, in partnership with Brazil, Germany and Japan, to expand the UNSC 
must continue.  
• Strengthen climate change dialogues: After the outbreak of COVID-19, the relationship between pandemics 
and climate change is in focus as a warming world becomes more susceptible to disease outbreaks. In times 
to come, climate change would be the biggest threat to humanity and India should use the UN platform for 
taking new initiatives on this important issue. 
o India’s flagship initiatives, International Solar Alliance and Coalition against Disaster Resilient 
Infrastructure highlights India’s potential leadership role in this arena.  
• Fight against terrorism: As terrorist activity breaches new frontiers, no country can afford to adopt an ostrich 
like approach. 
o India should use its tenure to force a search for solutions, especially on reining in terror finance 
infrastructure, cyber threats and use and misuse of information and communication technologies by state 
 
15                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
and non-state actors. India must also strive for 
more cooperation and coordination between the 
UN and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on 
the issue of terrorism.  
• Deal with China’s growing hostility: China has 
unleashed its territorial nationalism and countries 
from India to Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines etc 
are facing China’s bullying.  
o India’s presence in the UNSC would be useful in 
building a narrative and consensus against 
China’s ill motives and also generating the 
conditions for resolving the boundary dispute 
and expand the areas of bilateral cooperation. 
• Strengthen new coalitions such as QUAD. India could 
also use the UNSC tenure to deepen collaboration 
with its European partners like France and Germany 
in the security arena, and find common ground with 
Britain that is carving out a new international path 
for itself after breaking away from the European 
Union.  
• Revitalise its engagement with its traditional 
partners in the global south: The numerous small 
island states around the world face existential 
challenges from global warming and rising sea levels. 
They also struggle to exercise control over their large 
maritime estates. Supporting the sovereignty and 
survivability of the island states by articulating their 
peace and security concerns in the UNSC is a crucial 
political task for India. 
o At the same time, the UNSC tenure is a good 
moment for India to intensify India’s engagement on peace and security issues in Africa at bilateral, 
regional and global levels. 
• Shaping debates on emerging issues: India will have the opportunity to shape the debate on some of the most 
pressing global peace and security challenges of our times, including the ongoing humanitarian crisis in 
Myanmar, the Iran nuclear deal, the COVID-19 pandemic among others. 
o Biological warfare: The pandemic has sensitised possibilities of malicious use of pathogens and the 
possibility of biological warfare. While the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention does exist, it has its 
own limitations and the issue needs some rethinking and action. India has the opportunity to build 
networks with like-minded nations to ensure constructive progress. 
o Growing nuclear risks, especially of inadvertent escalation or stumbling into a nuclear war like situation 
require global resolution. India could support a Special Session on Disarmament to meaningfully examine 
pathways towards elimination of nuclear risks and weapons. 
• India’s Bid for Permanent Seat: India’s inclusion into the grouping as a permanent member, has been time 
and again blocked by China. India’s case would be better strengthened by showcasing sincere leadership on 
international security concerns, especially in a polarised environment. This would require nudging inter-state 
relations into a working relationship to facilitate cooperative action. 
• Reforming peace keeping efforts: India is one of the largest contributors of peacekeeping troops to the UN 
and it shall seek to leverage its strengths in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve 
peacekeeping efforts around the world.   
Challenges in front of India 
• Lack of consensus on the definition of terrorism: India took the initiative to pilot a draft Comprehensive 
Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in 1996. The CCIT is however facing a deadlock at the UN since 
there are basic differences between various countries on the exact definition of terrorism. 
India chairing the committees on Terrorism 
• India is a leading voice at the UN in the fight against 
the global scourge of terrorism, particularly the 
threat posed in the region by cross-border terrorism 
emanating from Pakistan.  
• The three committees are highly significant 
subsidiary bodies of the UNSC and India chairing 
them is a ringing endorsement of the country’s 
leadership to steer the panels.  
• Counter-Terrorism Committee: The committee was 
established after the 9/11 terror attack in the 
United states and it works to bolster the ability of 
UN member states to prevent terrorist acts both 
within their borders and across regions. 
• Taliban Sanctions Committee: also known as the 
1988 Sanctions Committee The committee 
designates individuals and entities for participating 
in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or 
perpetrating of acts; supplying, selling or 
transferring arms; recruiting and supporting acts or 
activities of groups, undertakings and entities 
associated with the Taliban. The listed entities and 
individuals are subject to an assets freeze, travel 
ban and arms embargo.  
• Libya Sanctions Committee: Under the Committee, 
all member states are required to prevent the sale 
or supply of arms and related material to Libya; 
prevent the entry into or transit through their 
territories of all listed individuals; freeze all funds, 
other financial assets and economic resources that 
are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by 
the listed individuals or entities. 
Page 3


 
14                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
2. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 
2.1. INDIA-UNSC 
Why in news? 
India officially began its eighth term as a non-permanent member of UNSC for the 2021-22 period.  
More on news 
• India will serve as the president of the council, a position held by each of the members in turn for one month, 
according to the alphabetical order of the member states’ names. 
o Presidency entails presiding over council meetings, coordinating actions, deciding the content of UNSC 
debates and more. 
• India will also chair the crucial Taliban and Libya sanctions committees and the Counter-Terrorism 
Committee of the UN Security Council during its tenure as non-permanent member. 
Background 
• India was elected to the UN Security Council in June along with Norway, Mexico, Ireland and Kenya.  
• India had last assumed the role of a non-permanent member at the UNSC in 2011-12. Prior to that, it was a 
non-permanent member for 1950-51, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1977-78, 1984-85 and 1991-92. 
• At UNSC, India pledged to be guided by the five priorities under the overarching theme of NORMS: New 
Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System. They are new opportunities for progress, effective response 
to international terrorism, reforming multilateral systems, comprehensive approach to international peace 
and security and technology with a human touch. India will pursue these priorities through a Five-S approach: 
Samman (Respect), Samvad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), Shanti (Peace) and Samriddhi (Prosperity).  
• India’s entry into the UNSC coincides with the emergence of a new world order, one marked by  
o systemic uncertainty,  
o absence of global leadership,  
o the steady division of the world into rival blocs, and  
o an age marked by unabashed pursuit of narrow national interests.  
• The world has a pressing need for countries to stand up for a rules-based international order – one which is 
committed to protecting human security around the world. 
• India’s pursuit of its interests at the UNSC should, therefore, reflect its material and geopolitical limitations, 
and should be focused on a clearly identified agenda. As India looks for a productive tenure at the UNSC, 
various opportunities present themselves. 
Opportunities for India in its two-year term 
• Making the UNSC effective and more representative: The UNSC offers room for sustained diplomatic 
interaction between the major powers, who could minimize tensions and create new opportunities for 
cooperation. But the council is becoming less effective due to the deep divisions among the major powers. As 
the world’s largest democracy with economic and military prowess, India is in a unique position to be the 
leader that will champion such cooperation. 
o At the same time, making the UNSC more representative has been one of India’s demands since the end 
of the Cold War. India’s campaign, in partnership with Brazil, Germany and Japan, to expand the UNSC 
must continue.  
• Strengthen climate change dialogues: After the outbreak of COVID-19, the relationship between pandemics 
and climate change is in focus as a warming world becomes more susceptible to disease outbreaks. In times 
to come, climate change would be the biggest threat to humanity and India should use the UN platform for 
taking new initiatives on this important issue. 
o India’s flagship initiatives, International Solar Alliance and Coalition against Disaster Resilient 
Infrastructure highlights India’s potential leadership role in this arena.  
• Fight against terrorism: As terrorist activity breaches new frontiers, no country can afford to adopt an ostrich 
like approach. 
o India should use its tenure to force a search for solutions, especially on reining in terror finance 
infrastructure, cyber threats and use and misuse of information and communication technologies by state 
 
15                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
and non-state actors. India must also strive for 
more cooperation and coordination between the 
UN and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on 
the issue of terrorism.  
• Deal with China’s growing hostility: China has 
unleashed its territorial nationalism and countries 
from India to Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines etc 
are facing China’s bullying.  
o India’s presence in the UNSC would be useful in 
building a narrative and consensus against 
China’s ill motives and also generating the 
conditions for resolving the boundary dispute 
and expand the areas of bilateral cooperation. 
• Strengthen new coalitions such as QUAD. India could 
also use the UNSC tenure to deepen collaboration 
with its European partners like France and Germany 
in the security arena, and find common ground with 
Britain that is carving out a new international path 
for itself after breaking away from the European 
Union.  
• Revitalise its engagement with its traditional 
partners in the global south: The numerous small 
island states around the world face existential 
challenges from global warming and rising sea levels. 
They also struggle to exercise control over their large 
maritime estates. Supporting the sovereignty and 
survivability of the island states by articulating their 
peace and security concerns in the UNSC is a crucial 
political task for India. 
o At the same time, the UNSC tenure is a good 
moment for India to intensify India’s engagement on peace and security issues in Africa at bilateral, 
regional and global levels. 
• Shaping debates on emerging issues: India will have the opportunity to shape the debate on some of the most 
pressing global peace and security challenges of our times, including the ongoing humanitarian crisis in 
Myanmar, the Iran nuclear deal, the COVID-19 pandemic among others. 
o Biological warfare: The pandemic has sensitised possibilities of malicious use of pathogens and the 
possibility of biological warfare. While the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention does exist, it has its 
own limitations and the issue needs some rethinking and action. India has the opportunity to build 
networks with like-minded nations to ensure constructive progress. 
o Growing nuclear risks, especially of inadvertent escalation or stumbling into a nuclear war like situation 
require global resolution. India could support a Special Session on Disarmament to meaningfully examine 
pathways towards elimination of nuclear risks and weapons. 
• India’s Bid for Permanent Seat: India’s inclusion into the grouping as a permanent member, has been time 
and again blocked by China. India’s case would be better strengthened by showcasing sincere leadership on 
international security concerns, especially in a polarised environment. This would require nudging inter-state 
relations into a working relationship to facilitate cooperative action. 
• Reforming peace keeping efforts: India is one of the largest contributors of peacekeeping troops to the UN 
and it shall seek to leverage its strengths in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve 
peacekeeping efforts around the world.   
Challenges in front of India 
• Lack of consensus on the definition of terrorism: India took the initiative to pilot a draft Comprehensive 
Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in 1996. The CCIT is however facing a deadlock at the UN since 
there are basic differences between various countries on the exact definition of terrorism. 
India chairing the committees on Terrorism 
• India is a leading voice at the UN in the fight against 
the global scourge of terrorism, particularly the 
threat posed in the region by cross-border terrorism 
emanating from Pakistan.  
• The three committees are highly significant 
subsidiary bodies of the UNSC and India chairing 
them is a ringing endorsement of the country’s 
leadership to steer the panels.  
• Counter-Terrorism Committee: The committee was 
established after the 9/11 terror attack in the 
United states and it works to bolster the ability of 
UN member states to prevent terrorist acts both 
within their borders and across regions. 
• Taliban Sanctions Committee: also known as the 
1988 Sanctions Committee The committee 
designates individuals and entities for participating 
in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or 
perpetrating of acts; supplying, selling or 
transferring arms; recruiting and supporting acts or 
activities of groups, undertakings and entities 
associated with the Taliban. The listed entities and 
individuals are subject to an assets freeze, travel 
ban and arms embargo.  
• Libya Sanctions Committee: Under the Committee, 
all member states are required to prevent the sale 
or supply of arms and related material to Libya; 
prevent the entry into or transit through their 
territories of all listed individuals; freeze all funds, 
other financial assets and economic resources that 
are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by 
the listed individuals or entities. 
 
16                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• China Factor: Beijing is asserting itself at the global stage much more vigorously than ever. It heads at least six 
UN organisations — and has challenged the global rules. China also continues to brazenly support Pakistan at 
multilateral fora further undermining Indian interests.  
• Post COVID Global Order: Global economy is in shambles with various countries facing recession and health 
emergencies. At the same time, narrow nationalism is sweeping across the world which challenges the 
prospects of global cooperation. To handle all these situations need careful strategy to move the world out of 
this burdening challenge.  
• Global geopolitics: With the situation deteriorating between USA and Russia and increasing tensions 
between USA and Iran, it will be tough situation for India to promote multilateral solutions to global problems.  
Way forward 
• As India enters the United Nations Security Council for the third time since the end of the Cold War, there is a 
very different dynamic than the one it encountered during the earlier tenures in 1991-92 and 2011-12. India, 
too, has changed over the last decade. The range of Indian interests has expanded and so has the circle of 
India’s international partners. 
• India’s new stint at the UNSC should therefore be more purposeful and pragmatic. Purposefulness is about 
integrating its UNSC engagement with India’s broader national goals and Pragmatism is about adapting to the 
changed conditions at the UNSC and avoiding overly ambitious goals. 
• India’s belief in the dictum of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world is a family), must manifest in 
bridging the geopolitical divide and play its part in ensuring global justice in areas of common concern like 
health, climate change, terrorism and reform of global institutions. 
To know more on UNSC, its functioning and India’s stance vis-à-vis UNSC reforms, kindly refer to our Weekly 
Focus document on “India and UNSC Reforms”. 
 
2.2. INDIA’S VACCINE DIPLOMACY  
Why in news?  
Days after India began vaccinating its own population against the novel coronavirus, India has begun dispatching 
millions of doses to its South Asian neighbors and key partner countries.  
What is Vaccine Diplomacy and why is it important in the current global context?  
Vaccine diplomacy can be seen as a branch of global health diplomacy that relies on the use or delivery of vaccines 
and alongside providing ancillary services like distribution assistance and related research. For instance, India has 
been a major supplier of RT-PCR vaccines in the African region since the AIDS outbreak. This can be seen as an 
example of India’s vaccine diplomacy.  
In the current context, when the world is amid a health crisis in the form of COVID-19, vaccine diplomacy has 
assumed an even larger role due to following reasons:  
• Countering emergence of Vaccine Nationalism: With the development of vaccines, it was seen that some rich 
countries started cornering and sometimes hoarding vaccines. This is being termed as vaccine nationalism 
where myopic view of national needs is solely catered to with disregard for collective global needs. For 
instance, rich countries account for just 16 percent of the world’s population, but they have cornered 60 
percent of the vaccines bought globally. 
o In this context, it becomes important to not follow suit and create a counter narrative of vaccine 
internationalism or vaccine diplomacy where supply of vaccines is seen as geopolitical opportunity rather 
than a national liability.  
Page 4


 
14                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
2. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 
2.1. INDIA-UNSC 
Why in news? 
India officially began its eighth term as a non-permanent member of UNSC for the 2021-22 period.  
More on news 
• India will serve as the president of the council, a position held by each of the members in turn for one month, 
according to the alphabetical order of the member states’ names. 
o Presidency entails presiding over council meetings, coordinating actions, deciding the content of UNSC 
debates and more. 
• India will also chair the crucial Taliban and Libya sanctions committees and the Counter-Terrorism 
Committee of the UN Security Council during its tenure as non-permanent member. 
Background 
• India was elected to the UN Security Council in June along with Norway, Mexico, Ireland and Kenya.  
• India had last assumed the role of a non-permanent member at the UNSC in 2011-12. Prior to that, it was a 
non-permanent member for 1950-51, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1977-78, 1984-85 and 1991-92. 
• At UNSC, India pledged to be guided by the five priorities under the overarching theme of NORMS: New 
Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System. They are new opportunities for progress, effective response 
to international terrorism, reforming multilateral systems, comprehensive approach to international peace 
and security and technology with a human touch. India will pursue these priorities through a Five-S approach: 
Samman (Respect), Samvad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), Shanti (Peace) and Samriddhi (Prosperity).  
• India’s entry into the UNSC coincides with the emergence of a new world order, one marked by  
o systemic uncertainty,  
o absence of global leadership,  
o the steady division of the world into rival blocs, and  
o an age marked by unabashed pursuit of narrow national interests.  
• The world has a pressing need for countries to stand up for a rules-based international order – one which is 
committed to protecting human security around the world. 
• India’s pursuit of its interests at the UNSC should, therefore, reflect its material and geopolitical limitations, 
and should be focused on a clearly identified agenda. As India looks for a productive tenure at the UNSC, 
various opportunities present themselves. 
Opportunities for India in its two-year term 
• Making the UNSC effective and more representative: The UNSC offers room for sustained diplomatic 
interaction between the major powers, who could minimize tensions and create new opportunities for 
cooperation. But the council is becoming less effective due to the deep divisions among the major powers. As 
the world’s largest democracy with economic and military prowess, India is in a unique position to be the 
leader that will champion such cooperation. 
o At the same time, making the UNSC more representative has been one of India’s demands since the end 
of the Cold War. India’s campaign, in partnership with Brazil, Germany and Japan, to expand the UNSC 
must continue.  
• Strengthen climate change dialogues: After the outbreak of COVID-19, the relationship between pandemics 
and climate change is in focus as a warming world becomes more susceptible to disease outbreaks. In times 
to come, climate change would be the biggest threat to humanity and India should use the UN platform for 
taking new initiatives on this important issue. 
o India’s flagship initiatives, International Solar Alliance and Coalition against Disaster Resilient 
Infrastructure highlights India’s potential leadership role in this arena.  
• Fight against terrorism: As terrorist activity breaches new frontiers, no country can afford to adopt an ostrich 
like approach. 
o India should use its tenure to force a search for solutions, especially on reining in terror finance 
infrastructure, cyber threats and use and misuse of information and communication technologies by state 
 
15                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
and non-state actors. India must also strive for 
more cooperation and coordination between the 
UN and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on 
the issue of terrorism.  
• Deal with China’s growing hostility: China has 
unleashed its territorial nationalism and countries 
from India to Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines etc 
are facing China’s bullying.  
o India’s presence in the UNSC would be useful in 
building a narrative and consensus against 
China’s ill motives and also generating the 
conditions for resolving the boundary dispute 
and expand the areas of bilateral cooperation. 
• Strengthen new coalitions such as QUAD. India could 
also use the UNSC tenure to deepen collaboration 
with its European partners like France and Germany 
in the security arena, and find common ground with 
Britain that is carving out a new international path 
for itself after breaking away from the European 
Union.  
• Revitalise its engagement with its traditional 
partners in the global south: The numerous small 
island states around the world face existential 
challenges from global warming and rising sea levels. 
They also struggle to exercise control over their large 
maritime estates. Supporting the sovereignty and 
survivability of the island states by articulating their 
peace and security concerns in the UNSC is a crucial 
political task for India. 
o At the same time, the UNSC tenure is a good 
moment for India to intensify India’s engagement on peace and security issues in Africa at bilateral, 
regional and global levels. 
• Shaping debates on emerging issues: India will have the opportunity to shape the debate on some of the most 
pressing global peace and security challenges of our times, including the ongoing humanitarian crisis in 
Myanmar, the Iran nuclear deal, the COVID-19 pandemic among others. 
o Biological warfare: The pandemic has sensitised possibilities of malicious use of pathogens and the 
possibility of biological warfare. While the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention does exist, it has its 
own limitations and the issue needs some rethinking and action. India has the opportunity to build 
networks with like-minded nations to ensure constructive progress. 
o Growing nuclear risks, especially of inadvertent escalation or stumbling into a nuclear war like situation 
require global resolution. India could support a Special Session on Disarmament to meaningfully examine 
pathways towards elimination of nuclear risks and weapons. 
• India’s Bid for Permanent Seat: India’s inclusion into the grouping as a permanent member, has been time 
and again blocked by China. India’s case would be better strengthened by showcasing sincere leadership on 
international security concerns, especially in a polarised environment. This would require nudging inter-state 
relations into a working relationship to facilitate cooperative action. 
• Reforming peace keeping efforts: India is one of the largest contributors of peacekeeping troops to the UN 
and it shall seek to leverage its strengths in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve 
peacekeeping efforts around the world.   
Challenges in front of India 
• Lack of consensus on the definition of terrorism: India took the initiative to pilot a draft Comprehensive 
Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in 1996. The CCIT is however facing a deadlock at the UN since 
there are basic differences between various countries on the exact definition of terrorism. 
India chairing the committees on Terrorism 
• India is a leading voice at the UN in the fight against 
the global scourge of terrorism, particularly the 
threat posed in the region by cross-border terrorism 
emanating from Pakistan.  
• The three committees are highly significant 
subsidiary bodies of the UNSC and India chairing 
them is a ringing endorsement of the country’s 
leadership to steer the panels.  
• Counter-Terrorism Committee: The committee was 
established after the 9/11 terror attack in the 
United states and it works to bolster the ability of 
UN member states to prevent terrorist acts both 
within their borders and across regions. 
• Taliban Sanctions Committee: also known as the 
1988 Sanctions Committee The committee 
designates individuals and entities for participating 
in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or 
perpetrating of acts; supplying, selling or 
transferring arms; recruiting and supporting acts or 
activities of groups, undertakings and entities 
associated with the Taliban. The listed entities and 
individuals are subject to an assets freeze, travel 
ban and arms embargo.  
• Libya Sanctions Committee: Under the Committee, 
all member states are required to prevent the sale 
or supply of arms and related material to Libya; 
prevent the entry into or transit through their 
territories of all listed individuals; freeze all funds, 
other financial assets and economic resources that 
are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by 
the listed individuals or entities. 
 
16                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• China Factor: Beijing is asserting itself at the global stage much more vigorously than ever. It heads at least six 
UN organisations — and has challenged the global rules. China also continues to brazenly support Pakistan at 
multilateral fora further undermining Indian interests.  
• Post COVID Global Order: Global economy is in shambles with various countries facing recession and health 
emergencies. At the same time, narrow nationalism is sweeping across the world which challenges the 
prospects of global cooperation. To handle all these situations need careful strategy to move the world out of 
this burdening challenge.  
• Global geopolitics: With the situation deteriorating between USA and Russia and increasing tensions 
between USA and Iran, it will be tough situation for India to promote multilateral solutions to global problems.  
Way forward 
• As India enters the United Nations Security Council for the third time since the end of the Cold War, there is a 
very different dynamic than the one it encountered during the earlier tenures in 1991-92 and 2011-12. India, 
too, has changed over the last decade. The range of Indian interests has expanded and so has the circle of 
India’s international partners. 
• India’s new stint at the UNSC should therefore be more purposeful and pragmatic. Purposefulness is about 
integrating its UNSC engagement with India’s broader national goals and Pragmatism is about adapting to the 
changed conditions at the UNSC and avoiding overly ambitious goals. 
• India’s belief in the dictum of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world is a family), must manifest in 
bridging the geopolitical divide and play its part in ensuring global justice in areas of common concern like 
health, climate change, terrorism and reform of global institutions. 
To know more on UNSC, its functioning and India’s stance vis-à-vis UNSC reforms, kindly refer to our Weekly 
Focus document on “India and UNSC Reforms”. 
 
2.2. INDIA’S VACCINE DIPLOMACY  
Why in news?  
Days after India began vaccinating its own population against the novel coronavirus, India has begun dispatching 
millions of doses to its South Asian neighbors and key partner countries.  
What is Vaccine Diplomacy and why is it important in the current global context?  
Vaccine diplomacy can be seen as a branch of global health diplomacy that relies on the use or delivery of vaccines 
and alongside providing ancillary services like distribution assistance and related research. For instance, India has 
been a major supplier of RT-PCR vaccines in the African region since the AIDS outbreak. This can be seen as an 
example of India’s vaccine diplomacy.  
In the current context, when the world is amid a health crisis in the form of COVID-19, vaccine diplomacy has 
assumed an even larger role due to following reasons:  
• Countering emergence of Vaccine Nationalism: With the development of vaccines, it was seen that some rich 
countries started cornering and sometimes hoarding vaccines. This is being termed as vaccine nationalism 
where myopic view of national needs is solely catered to with disregard for collective global needs. For 
instance, rich countries account for just 16 percent of the world’s population, but they have cornered 60 
percent of the vaccines bought globally. 
o In this context, it becomes important to not follow suit and create a counter narrative of vaccine 
internationalism or vaccine diplomacy where supply of vaccines is seen as geopolitical opportunity rather 
than a national liability.  
 
17                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Strengthening the idea of collective global response: Since the start of the pandemic, it has been made clear 
that only a collective response from all countries executed simultaneously would be able to eliminate the 
virus. On those lines, vaccine diplomacy ensures that supply of vaccines reaches all areas in a short span of 
time creating a swift and timely global response.  
 
Vaccines that constitute majority of vaccines used and supplied by India  
• Covisheild Vaccine: It is developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and manufactured by the Serum Institute 
of India (SII).  
• Covaxin: Locally developed and manufactured vaccine by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.  
How can vaccine diplomacy aid India’s foreign policy? 
• Generating goodwill in the neighborhood: In keeping with its “Neighborhood First” initiative, the first 
consignments of the Covishield vaccine and Covaxin have gone to its immediate neighbors i.e., Bangladesh, 
Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, and Nepal, and to key Indian Ocean partners, Mauritius and Seychelles. 
o Vaccine diplomacy may help provide a fresh start to troubled relationships in the neighborhood. For 
example, Nepal which has been sparring with India in recent months, has expressed gratitude for India’s 
gesture.  
o Also, such gestures will help counter the “big brother” or “bully” perception of India among the smaller 
neighbors like Bangladesh.   
• Vaccine pacts with other developing nations: India envisages to distribute vaccines to Latin America, Africa, 
and the former Soviet Republics. Many of the recipient countries have signed vaccine pacts with India on a 
government-to-government basis. This will strengthen India’s soft power in the region by decreasing the 
“vaccine inequality” in the developing world.  
o India has also offered to help friendly nations in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the 
delivery of Vaccines. 
• India’s Vaccine Maitri (Vaccine Friendship) has evoked a positive response globally. The leadership shown by 
India during this crisis may increase its global standing. India’s gesture of sharing its vaccine supplies with other 
countries stands in sharp contrast to the idea of Vaccine Nationalism.  
• India’s comparative advantage in vaccine diplomacy: There are several advantages that makes India a more 
suitable candidate for vaccine diplomacy from other countries including China-  
o India is one of the largest manufacturers of vaccines in the world; it supplies around 60 percent of the 
global requirement of DPT, BCG, and measles vaccines. 
o Indian vaccines have shown less side-effects and are low cost and easier to store and transport. 
o Extension of already prevalent supply of medicines and generic drugs like hydroxychloroquine (once 
thought to help treat COVID-19) and paracetamol (a painkiller). 
• Aiding overall medical diplomacy and pharmaceutical sector: Global demand for its COVID-19 vaccines is 
soaring. Its commercial supply will benefit Indian pharmaceutical businesses now and in the long run. 
What are the challenges that India faces in executing the idea of vaccine diplomacy?  
• Balancing Vaccine Diplomacy with domestic needs: India will need more than a billion doses to protect its 
own population. To ensure that supply is not constrained in India and simultaneously fulfilling international 
commitments on the ‘vaccine pacts’ will be a manufacturing as well as a logistical challenge.  
• Competition from China: Although India has a comparative advantage with regard to China due to its medical 
Industry. But China has by and large recovered from the pandemic and it will be able to inject more diplomatic 
resources towards vaccine diplomacy, thus challenging India’s leadership in the domain.  
Way forward  
India’s potential and the current context provides it with a twin opportunity to serve humanity and simultaneously 
strengthen its geopolitical position, efforts should be made to capitalize on this opportunity as far as possible. The 
immediate gains which may generated, like opening of communication channels, creation of goodwill etc. should 
be capitalized with more concrete engagements through geopolitical partnerships, economic agreements and 
resolution of bilateral issues.  
 
Page 5


 
14                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
2. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 
2.1. INDIA-UNSC 
Why in news? 
India officially began its eighth term as a non-permanent member of UNSC for the 2021-22 period.  
More on news 
• India will serve as the president of the council, a position held by each of the members in turn for one month, 
according to the alphabetical order of the member states’ names. 
o Presidency entails presiding over council meetings, coordinating actions, deciding the content of UNSC 
debates and more. 
• India will also chair the crucial Taliban and Libya sanctions committees and the Counter-Terrorism 
Committee of the UN Security Council during its tenure as non-permanent member. 
Background 
• India was elected to the UN Security Council in June along with Norway, Mexico, Ireland and Kenya.  
• India had last assumed the role of a non-permanent member at the UNSC in 2011-12. Prior to that, it was a 
non-permanent member for 1950-51, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1977-78, 1984-85 and 1991-92. 
• At UNSC, India pledged to be guided by the five priorities under the overarching theme of NORMS: New 
Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System. They are new opportunities for progress, effective response 
to international terrorism, reforming multilateral systems, comprehensive approach to international peace 
and security and technology with a human touch. India will pursue these priorities through a Five-S approach: 
Samman (Respect), Samvad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), Shanti (Peace) and Samriddhi (Prosperity).  
• India’s entry into the UNSC coincides with the emergence of a new world order, one marked by  
o systemic uncertainty,  
o absence of global leadership,  
o the steady division of the world into rival blocs, and  
o an age marked by unabashed pursuit of narrow national interests.  
• The world has a pressing need for countries to stand up for a rules-based international order – one which is 
committed to protecting human security around the world. 
• India’s pursuit of its interests at the UNSC should, therefore, reflect its material and geopolitical limitations, 
and should be focused on a clearly identified agenda. As India looks for a productive tenure at the UNSC, 
various opportunities present themselves. 
Opportunities for India in its two-year term 
• Making the UNSC effective and more representative: The UNSC offers room for sustained diplomatic 
interaction between the major powers, who could minimize tensions and create new opportunities for 
cooperation. But the council is becoming less effective due to the deep divisions among the major powers. As 
the world’s largest democracy with economic and military prowess, India is in a unique position to be the 
leader that will champion such cooperation. 
o At the same time, making the UNSC more representative has been one of India’s demands since the end 
of the Cold War. India’s campaign, in partnership with Brazil, Germany and Japan, to expand the UNSC 
must continue.  
• Strengthen climate change dialogues: After the outbreak of COVID-19, the relationship between pandemics 
and climate change is in focus as a warming world becomes more susceptible to disease outbreaks. In times 
to come, climate change would be the biggest threat to humanity and India should use the UN platform for 
taking new initiatives on this important issue. 
o India’s flagship initiatives, International Solar Alliance and Coalition against Disaster Resilient 
Infrastructure highlights India’s potential leadership role in this arena.  
• Fight against terrorism: As terrorist activity breaches new frontiers, no country can afford to adopt an ostrich 
like approach. 
o India should use its tenure to force a search for solutions, especially on reining in terror finance 
infrastructure, cyber threats and use and misuse of information and communication technologies by state 
 
15                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
and non-state actors. India must also strive for 
more cooperation and coordination between the 
UN and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on 
the issue of terrorism.  
• Deal with China’s growing hostility: China has 
unleashed its territorial nationalism and countries 
from India to Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines etc 
are facing China’s bullying.  
o India’s presence in the UNSC would be useful in 
building a narrative and consensus against 
China’s ill motives and also generating the 
conditions for resolving the boundary dispute 
and expand the areas of bilateral cooperation. 
• Strengthen new coalitions such as QUAD. India could 
also use the UNSC tenure to deepen collaboration 
with its European partners like France and Germany 
in the security arena, and find common ground with 
Britain that is carving out a new international path 
for itself after breaking away from the European 
Union.  
• Revitalise its engagement with its traditional 
partners in the global south: The numerous small 
island states around the world face existential 
challenges from global warming and rising sea levels. 
They also struggle to exercise control over their large 
maritime estates. Supporting the sovereignty and 
survivability of the island states by articulating their 
peace and security concerns in the UNSC is a crucial 
political task for India. 
o At the same time, the UNSC tenure is a good 
moment for India to intensify India’s engagement on peace and security issues in Africa at bilateral, 
regional and global levels. 
• Shaping debates on emerging issues: India will have the opportunity to shape the debate on some of the most 
pressing global peace and security challenges of our times, including the ongoing humanitarian crisis in 
Myanmar, the Iran nuclear deal, the COVID-19 pandemic among others. 
o Biological warfare: The pandemic has sensitised possibilities of malicious use of pathogens and the 
possibility of biological warfare. While the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention does exist, it has its 
own limitations and the issue needs some rethinking and action. India has the opportunity to build 
networks with like-minded nations to ensure constructive progress. 
o Growing nuclear risks, especially of inadvertent escalation or stumbling into a nuclear war like situation 
require global resolution. India could support a Special Session on Disarmament to meaningfully examine 
pathways towards elimination of nuclear risks and weapons. 
• India’s Bid for Permanent Seat: India’s inclusion into the grouping as a permanent member, has been time 
and again blocked by China. India’s case would be better strengthened by showcasing sincere leadership on 
international security concerns, especially in a polarised environment. This would require nudging inter-state 
relations into a working relationship to facilitate cooperative action. 
• Reforming peace keeping efforts: India is one of the largest contributors of peacekeeping troops to the UN 
and it shall seek to leverage its strengths in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve 
peacekeeping efforts around the world.   
Challenges in front of India 
• Lack of consensus on the definition of terrorism: India took the initiative to pilot a draft Comprehensive 
Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in 1996. The CCIT is however facing a deadlock at the UN since 
there are basic differences between various countries on the exact definition of terrorism. 
India chairing the committees on Terrorism 
• India is a leading voice at the UN in the fight against 
the global scourge of terrorism, particularly the 
threat posed in the region by cross-border terrorism 
emanating from Pakistan.  
• The three committees are highly significant 
subsidiary bodies of the UNSC and India chairing 
them is a ringing endorsement of the country’s 
leadership to steer the panels.  
• Counter-Terrorism Committee: The committee was 
established after the 9/11 terror attack in the 
United states and it works to bolster the ability of 
UN member states to prevent terrorist acts both 
within their borders and across regions. 
• Taliban Sanctions Committee: also known as the 
1988 Sanctions Committee The committee 
designates individuals and entities for participating 
in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or 
perpetrating of acts; supplying, selling or 
transferring arms; recruiting and supporting acts or 
activities of groups, undertakings and entities 
associated with the Taliban. The listed entities and 
individuals are subject to an assets freeze, travel 
ban and arms embargo.  
• Libya Sanctions Committee: Under the Committee, 
all member states are required to prevent the sale 
or supply of arms and related material to Libya; 
prevent the entry into or transit through their 
territories of all listed individuals; freeze all funds, 
other financial assets and economic resources that 
are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by 
the listed individuals or entities. 
 
16                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• China Factor: Beijing is asserting itself at the global stage much more vigorously than ever. It heads at least six 
UN organisations — and has challenged the global rules. China also continues to brazenly support Pakistan at 
multilateral fora further undermining Indian interests.  
• Post COVID Global Order: Global economy is in shambles with various countries facing recession and health 
emergencies. At the same time, narrow nationalism is sweeping across the world which challenges the 
prospects of global cooperation. To handle all these situations need careful strategy to move the world out of 
this burdening challenge.  
• Global geopolitics: With the situation deteriorating between USA and Russia and increasing tensions 
between USA and Iran, it will be tough situation for India to promote multilateral solutions to global problems.  
Way forward 
• As India enters the United Nations Security Council for the third time since the end of the Cold War, there is a 
very different dynamic than the one it encountered during the earlier tenures in 1991-92 and 2011-12. India, 
too, has changed over the last decade. The range of Indian interests has expanded and so has the circle of 
India’s international partners. 
• India’s new stint at the UNSC should therefore be more purposeful and pragmatic. Purposefulness is about 
integrating its UNSC engagement with India’s broader national goals and Pragmatism is about adapting to the 
changed conditions at the UNSC and avoiding overly ambitious goals. 
• India’s belief in the dictum of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world is a family), must manifest in 
bridging the geopolitical divide and play its part in ensuring global justice in areas of common concern like 
health, climate change, terrorism and reform of global institutions. 
To know more on UNSC, its functioning and India’s stance vis-à-vis UNSC reforms, kindly refer to our Weekly 
Focus document on “India and UNSC Reforms”. 
 
2.2. INDIA’S VACCINE DIPLOMACY  
Why in news?  
Days after India began vaccinating its own population against the novel coronavirus, India has begun dispatching 
millions of doses to its South Asian neighbors and key partner countries.  
What is Vaccine Diplomacy and why is it important in the current global context?  
Vaccine diplomacy can be seen as a branch of global health diplomacy that relies on the use or delivery of vaccines 
and alongside providing ancillary services like distribution assistance and related research. For instance, India has 
been a major supplier of RT-PCR vaccines in the African region since the AIDS outbreak. This can be seen as an 
example of India’s vaccine diplomacy.  
In the current context, when the world is amid a health crisis in the form of COVID-19, vaccine diplomacy has 
assumed an even larger role due to following reasons:  
• Countering emergence of Vaccine Nationalism: With the development of vaccines, it was seen that some rich 
countries started cornering and sometimes hoarding vaccines. This is being termed as vaccine nationalism 
where myopic view of national needs is solely catered to with disregard for collective global needs. For 
instance, rich countries account for just 16 percent of the world’s population, but they have cornered 60 
percent of the vaccines bought globally. 
o In this context, it becomes important to not follow suit and create a counter narrative of vaccine 
internationalism or vaccine diplomacy where supply of vaccines is seen as geopolitical opportunity rather 
than a national liability.  
 
17                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Strengthening the idea of collective global response: Since the start of the pandemic, it has been made clear 
that only a collective response from all countries executed simultaneously would be able to eliminate the 
virus. On those lines, vaccine diplomacy ensures that supply of vaccines reaches all areas in a short span of 
time creating a swift and timely global response.  
 
Vaccines that constitute majority of vaccines used and supplied by India  
• Covisheild Vaccine: It is developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and manufactured by the Serum Institute 
of India (SII).  
• Covaxin: Locally developed and manufactured vaccine by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.  
How can vaccine diplomacy aid India’s foreign policy? 
• Generating goodwill in the neighborhood: In keeping with its “Neighborhood First” initiative, the first 
consignments of the Covishield vaccine and Covaxin have gone to its immediate neighbors i.e., Bangladesh, 
Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, and Nepal, and to key Indian Ocean partners, Mauritius and Seychelles. 
o Vaccine diplomacy may help provide a fresh start to troubled relationships in the neighborhood. For 
example, Nepal which has been sparring with India in recent months, has expressed gratitude for India’s 
gesture.  
o Also, such gestures will help counter the “big brother” or “bully” perception of India among the smaller 
neighbors like Bangladesh.   
• Vaccine pacts with other developing nations: India envisages to distribute vaccines to Latin America, Africa, 
and the former Soviet Republics. Many of the recipient countries have signed vaccine pacts with India on a 
government-to-government basis. This will strengthen India’s soft power in the region by decreasing the 
“vaccine inequality” in the developing world.  
o India has also offered to help friendly nations in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the 
delivery of Vaccines. 
• India’s Vaccine Maitri (Vaccine Friendship) has evoked a positive response globally. The leadership shown by 
India during this crisis may increase its global standing. India’s gesture of sharing its vaccine supplies with other 
countries stands in sharp contrast to the idea of Vaccine Nationalism.  
• India’s comparative advantage in vaccine diplomacy: There are several advantages that makes India a more 
suitable candidate for vaccine diplomacy from other countries including China-  
o India is one of the largest manufacturers of vaccines in the world; it supplies around 60 percent of the 
global requirement of DPT, BCG, and measles vaccines. 
o Indian vaccines have shown less side-effects and are low cost and easier to store and transport. 
o Extension of already prevalent supply of medicines and generic drugs like hydroxychloroquine (once 
thought to help treat COVID-19) and paracetamol (a painkiller). 
• Aiding overall medical diplomacy and pharmaceutical sector: Global demand for its COVID-19 vaccines is 
soaring. Its commercial supply will benefit Indian pharmaceutical businesses now and in the long run. 
What are the challenges that India faces in executing the idea of vaccine diplomacy?  
• Balancing Vaccine Diplomacy with domestic needs: India will need more than a billion doses to protect its 
own population. To ensure that supply is not constrained in India and simultaneously fulfilling international 
commitments on the ‘vaccine pacts’ will be a manufacturing as well as a logistical challenge.  
• Competition from China: Although India has a comparative advantage with regard to China due to its medical 
Industry. But China has by and large recovered from the pandemic and it will be able to inject more diplomatic 
resources towards vaccine diplomacy, thus challenging India’s leadership in the domain.  
Way forward  
India’s potential and the current context provides it with a twin opportunity to serve humanity and simultaneously 
strengthen its geopolitical position, efforts should be made to capitalize on this opportunity as far as possible. The 
immediate gains which may generated, like opening of communication channels, creation of goodwill etc. should 
be capitalized with more concrete engagements through geopolitical partnerships, economic agreements and 
resolution of bilateral issues.  
 
 
18                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
2.3. ROLE OF INDIAN DIASPORA IN MAKING INDIA SELF-RELIANT 
Why in news? 
Recently, the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention was held virtually in New Delhi with the theme 
"Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat". 
About Indian Diaspora 
• The term ‘diaspora’ is commonly understood to include Non-
Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and 
Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), of which PIO and OCI card 
holders were merged under one category — OCI — in 2015.  
• Broadly speaking, for the Indian government, the diaspora 
encompasses a group of people who can either trace their 
origins to India or who are Indian citizens living abroad, either 
temporarily or permanently. 
• Status of Indian Diaspora: As per the World Migration Report 
2020, India was the leading country of origin of international 
migrants in 2019 with a 17.5 million strong diaspora. 
o In 2018, remittance inflows to India amounted to USD 79 
billion, the largest in the world. 
What role can be played by the Indian Diaspora in Making India 
Self-Reliant? 
• Strengthening the identity of Brand India: The use of made in 
India products by overseas Indians will increase confidence in 
Indian products globally. Conduct of the overseas Indians also 
creates an interest in Indian way and values. This can spur 
demand of ‘made in India’ products across the globe. 
• Assistance through sharing of expertise and knowledge: 
Rapidly growing population of Indian Diaspora have created a mark in various walks of life such as academics, 
social service, medicine, business, IT etc. Thus, through dialogues and discussions, the eminent diaspora can 
help support the country’s endeavor to enhance its capacities in fields such as Healthcare, Research and 
development, Education etc. 
o Also, due to familiarity with consumer markets abroad, Indian diaspora can provide unique insights into 
consumer behaviour and can help Indian firms to manufacture customised products for foreign markets. 
o During the COVID pandemic, Indian diaspora was actively engaged in the healthcare system in many 
foreign countries. These healthcare specialists can help India to strengthen its strategies to tackle 
healthcare emergencies in the future. 
• Remittances aid in socio-economic development: Remittances have played a role in poverty reduction while 
changing consumption behaviour in rural areas. They enable innumerable families in India to invest in 
education and skill development and hence generate capable human resource. 
• Facilitating entrepreneurship: Diaspora can help build 
transnational entrepreneurship, by supporting 
entrepreneurs and small businesses in India in the form of 
technical knowledge transfers and finances. 
• Secure Investment flows: Indian diaspora are better 
informed of India’s market conditions, the domestic labour 
and economic policies and consequently have more realistic 
expectations of time frames for project completions and 
investment returns. Capital inflows in Greenfield and 
brownfield firms can help expand manufacturing in India. 
• Diaspora diplomacy: As the Indian Diaspora gains financial 
and political affluence abroad, they can potentially lobby 
About Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 
• PBD is celebrated once in every two 
years to strengthen the engagement of 
the overseas Indian community with 
the Government of India and reconnect 
them with their roots. 
o PBD is held on January 9 as it was 
on this day in 1915, Mahatma 
Gandhi returned to India from 
South Africa and led the country’s 
freedom struggle. 
o During the PBD convention, select 
eminent Indian diaspora members 
are awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya 
Samman Awards.  
• Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards: It 
is the highest honour conferred on a 
Non-Resident Indian (NRI), Person of 
Indian Origin (POI); or an organisation 
or institution established and run by 
NRI or POI, who have made significant 
contribution in better understanding of 
India abroad, support India's causes 
and concerns in a tangible way, 
community work abroad, welfare of 
local Indian community, etc. 
Concerns 
• Regulatory hurdles, such as complex norms 
for establishing new firms, FDI limits etc 
restrict ease of doing business and deter 
investment. 
• Limited scope of interactions: Most of the 
outreaches are focused on Indian diaspora 
in developed countries like USA, UK etc., 
while new opportunities with growing 
diaspora in emerging nations like South 
Africa, South East Asian nations etc. are not 
given appropriate attention. 
Read More
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