INDIA’S NEIGHBOURHOOD FIRST POLICY (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     20th March 2024        
Samadhaan

Context: Recently, despite vast differences in size and population between Bhutan and its neighbor India, the two nations have fostered a close partnership and friendship spanning over 50 years, showcasing India's steadfast commitment to its neighborhood first policy.


India’s Neighbourhood First Policy

  • About: India actively engages in developmental projects within its neighboring countries, bolstering mutual growth.
  • People-Oriented Regional Frameworks: It emphasizes creating regional frameworks focused on mutual benefit and people's welfare.
  • Consultative and Outcome: India's approach to engagement prioritizes consultation, non-reciprocity, and tangible outcomes, fostering connectivity and development.
  • Connectivity: India fosters connectivity through agreements within SAARC, facilitating the free flow of resources, energy, goods, labor, and information.
  • Improving Relations with Neighbors: Peace and stability in South Asia are paramount, prompting India to prioritize enhancing relations with immediate neighbors.
  • Economic Cooperation and Trade Enhancement: The policy emphasizes enhancing trade ties with neighbors, participating in regional groupings like SAARC and BBIN for economic development.
  • Disaster Management Cooperation: India collaborates with neighbors on disaster response, resource management, and weather forecasting, enhancing disaster management capabilities in the region.
  • Military and Defence Collaboration: India deepens security cooperation through military exercises and defense partnerships with neighboring countries, ensuring regional stability.

Indo-Bhutan Relation

  • Indo-Bhutan Treaty of Peace: Perpetual peace and friendship, free trade, commerce, and equal justice are ensured.

oThe 2007 renegotiation bolstered Bhutan's sovereignty, removing India's guidance on foreign policy.

  • Hydropower Cooperation: Established under the 2006 Agreement on Cooperation in Hydropower.

oIndia committed to assisting Bhutan in developing 10,000 MW of hydropower by 2020.

  • Economic Assistance: Since Bhutan's First Five Year Plan in 1961, India has consistently supported its development efforts, allocating Rs 4500 crore to Bhutan's 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23).
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