Manipal: The Department of Geopolitics and International Relations of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal, organised a national webinar on the theme “Dynamics of India’s Foreign Policy: Debates on Alliance v/s Friend”. The panelists for the national webinar were Ambassador Gautam Bombawale, Joyeeta Basu, Prof M.D. Nalapat, Seshadri Chari and Cleo Paskal. All of them spoke on the varying degree of challenges India has been confronting arising both from within and elsewhere in the world. There was a consensus on the view that it is high time India has to become more firm and start taking bold decisions mainly in dealing with its neighbourhood and the rest of the world. India has elevated its position in the international system. The perception of the rest of the world on India has been changing. India needs to leverage its soft power and promote its interest across the world.
It was said that India needed to be proactive and signal its intent and fundamental goals with confidence. India must change its reactive posturing. How India can promote its national interest and engage with the world formed a major part of the debate. India will have to emphasise on its economic development. A strong economy only can make India a part of global agenda setting. How India will promote economic development and boost the growth of its neighbourhood also featured in the discussion. An assessment on whether India can afford to tilt towards a particular major power was also discussed at length.