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India’s Silent Pivot: West Asia

The pandemic has caused a lot of distrust against our government in power at the centre. Especially due to the inefficiencies in the handling of the crisis which led to the loss of more than 50 thousand lives, over the past few weeks. 

Although India managed to get a lot of foreign aid and support, the issues of distribution to most needy places persist. The government has started to take steps to face-save itself after repeated rebukes by high courts and finally the supreme court. 

With this as a pretext, it’s easy to miss several desirable machinations being orchestrated by Indian diplomats abroad, especially in West Asia and Pakistan. Given its geographical location ( West Asia ) and plenty of oil, it’s hard to get ignored by world powers too. There are local and international fissure points as well. 

During the reign of Donald Trump, West Asia embraced the policy of Abraham accords. With the active participation of Israel, UAE, and Bahrein for acceptance of the statehood of Israel. This also has elements of nurturing inter-regional socio-economic and technological cooperation. The accords are named to emphasize the shared belief in the Prophet Abraham in Judaism and Islam yet the regional and ideological differences are far from over. 

Oftentimes countries like Turkey and Pakistan have played spoilsport to take a leadership role in the crisis-laden region. Challenges due to both these countries are now getting addressed one at a time. The region being close to India’s strategic interests in terms of security, energy supplies, and expatriates making a living in the region, India always remains invested. PM Modi in the first term has worked overtime to craft a predictable and stable foreign policy especially in Muslim majority West Asia, which seems to be paying off. 

Recently S Jaishankar was on a trip to West Asia and returned in late April. As we know Pakistan is in the middle of a terrible crisis both internally and externally. Pressure is on the Pak govt to sever ties with France by several internal Islamist sections, aggravating its economic isolation & decline. Pakistan is also cornered for its way of handling terrorist groups on its soil. Hence the double-edged sword of FATF is a constant threat. Further, the corona pandemic has led the establishment in Pakistan to take an ever pragmatic stand and come to terms. 

Recently in a statement by Pakistan foreign minister Qureshi, Art 370 is India’s internal matter ( unka andarooni masla ). This admission must not be seen in isolation. UAE had already extended a $ 2 Bn loan to Pakistan. After Qureshi made the statement on the 7th of May, MBS released $ 500 ml from Saudi Development Funds on 8th May. Further relaxations could be forthcoming if Pakistan softens its stance on the state recognition of Israel. Not to forget the oil loan from the Saudis which is due this year. 

It started with the West Asia Peace Plan at the behest of Palestine. It is for Israel to agree to a two-state solution. This as a bargaining chip and US-brokered Abraham accords for regional cooperation, pressure is on peripheral powers like Turkey and Pakistan to react in approval. With the intensifying pandemic all over the globe, crumbling state finances, and calls for support for medical supplies, Pakistan seems to be relenting. So do we see any contribution made by India in changing the geopolitical landscape? 

The reasons for India’s inevitable contributions could be many:-

  • India’s belief in being a development partner in the region. Against the Chinese chequebook and hegemonic designs. 
  • India has cultural and economic relations. With huge diaspora making a living and playing a vital role in regional development
  • India’s successful role in the peaceful & developmental contributions. In the form of Parliament, schools, libraries and cricket playgrounds in Afghanistan. 
  • With the withdrawal of American troops from Afgan, the anticipated surge insurgencies. Also, the active ISIS-Khorasan module places India on the diplomatic high table for security and peace dialogue. This is also a challenge with the Taliban on the table. 
  • Russian and US endorsement of India’s participation in several dialogues involving Afgan. It is a positive sign of status elevation. 
  • India being a pharmaceutical hub for the world and its proximity to Pakistan will only help.
  • Chinese development funds are infamous for their exploitative character even in Pak parliament. 
  • Last but not least, India’s immaculate balancing act with Russia – the US. Also Israel – Saudi – UAE and other middle eastern countries. 

India tried to fulfill its regional and global responsibilities by Mission Vaccine Maitri. But it seems to have lost the moral high ground to help others when we have graveyards in lakhs back home. Our star-studded foreign minister now has the challenge to see-through, all that is in planning over the years. Who knows POK is on the radar sooner than anticipated?

About the author: Sudhanshu Mishra

The Author presently works with Civilsdaily as a Faculty member and has keen interests on social reform & Geopolitics.

Ex- Defence Serviceman, has been part of India’s largest industrial defence complex, the Indian Ordnance Factories Organization.

He can be reached @SudhanshuM on Habitat & @sudhanshu_misR on Twitter.

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Finding the balance between work and UPSC IAS preparation | Samanvaya for working aspirants

Click here to fill the Samanvaya form for 1-1 mentorship. We will call you within 24 hours. (Also provided at the bottom of the article)


Working junta is mature. To lecture them about working hard and smart is a duplication of effort because they already are active and smart. There is no dearth of samanvaya between them and their dream and it is evident from the fight Aishwarya Sheoran had put up by clearing upsc 2019 and obtaining 93rd rank. She didn’t only break the stereotypes but also became an example for all those who are in pursuit of their samanvaya.

Samanvaya is not about correcting the mismatch or spending money around bogus conversation. But it’s the touch of balance that keeps the necessary spark on for the goal to be realised.

Working aspirants have known the world up close and have faced many socio-economic-political issues firsthand. For them, the need to clear an exam that brings social prestige and recognition becomes even more important. But guys, to begin with, this exam has many components and it’s the last one which many are willing to cherish.

What about the ones before the final phase of appreciation and glory? How to manage the months of mental stress and work-life imbalance that keeps many out of the much-needed samanvaya. Best minds are always organized and that happens when you hit the right balance. Working aspirants may take advantage of both worlds provided they are given the right guidance or else they may even end up getting sandwiched and lose efficiency.

Many aspirants I have spoken to, fall in the second category and find life a lot harder ever since they have started to nurture “to be an IAS” dream. Then what’s wrong, to keep high ambition is not right? Or managing the ambition went wrong. Definitely, it’s always admirable to aim high and remain ambitious. So as a corollary, the problem is with “ambition management”.

This is where Samanvaya comes in. Its “not panacea” but the “right path”. As UPSC IAS is never about making leaders but about awakening leaders. There is a leader in everyone of you / us. We need to be tinkered the right way. Like Jamwant in Ramayana, we want to help you awaken that balance to keep your study-work organized. The true potential is obtained only when you are pulled towards study not when you are pushed to think of study.

So finally, what do we do in our Samanvaya program?

We truly believe that there is no substitute for hard work and pain. Samanvaya is all about finding the direction in which you must do your hard work. Everyone, whether working or not, is a human being in making for years. So that makes for unique case study with every single aspirant. Samanvaya is as much a discovery for you as it is for us. We help you discover and uncover the best you, not for anything else but for this exam only. But yes there are externalities, good ones indeed!

What after Samanvaya?

Proceed > Plan > Prosecute

You get a Team of mentors. One who is in constant touch with you (aspirant ) and many who are indirectly keeping a watch on the individual’s progress and relay necessary feeds for course correction.

Now, who are Mentors and what’s a mentorship program?

  1. Mentors – Who are they? Other than being the best and most experienced in the UPSC ecosystem, they work with you on your strengths and weaknesses. That’s when you get a solution specific to you. It’s never a copy-paste. In this process, you always leave a gainer.
  2. Again mentors  – You not only make professional relations but also hew a rapport and is like a guide. And mind you, there are always mechanisms in the backend to top-up any situation which appears to be going out of your control. Thanks to constant feedback, we have our house in order.

And about the mentorship program, it is best understood when we talk about it and see what best can we do for you?

Let’s get on this journey with a short questionnaire. 

Samanvaya for UPSC IAS Working aspirants

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Preparing for UPSC IAS 2022 | Fill Samanvaya for free 1-1 mentorship

Click here to fill Samanvaya and schedule a free 1-1 mentorship call. We’ll call you within 24 hours.

Hello students,

At Civilsdaily we always strive to find out the optimum for each candidate with respect to result and effort. In fact, our Samanvaya mentorship calls are themselves modeled as the most important session for any aspirant to begin with the UPSC journey at Civilsdaily.

Briefly put, Samanvaya calls are FREE 1 to 1 sessions between the mentor and aspirant where the aspirant tries to open up with respect to his or her unique challenges and the mentor comes out with unique solutions specific to the strengths and weaknesses of the aspirant concern. Infact, Samanvaya sessions are our first effort towards the optimum discovery for each and every aspirant.

Hence it is suggested to take benefit of the free Samanvaya calls and get counseled by a Civilsdaily’s mentor.

One more problem that is encountered by our aspirations is about the concept building in subjects like polity, economy, social science. I will tell you a story and leave it for your evaluation. And this story would be weaving around the relevant sections in the syllabus in a small, meaningful, and relatable format for you to better understand it. Let’s listen to the story.

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