Ministry of External Affairs : Important Updates

Ministry of External Affairs : Important Updates

What is the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), NATO

Mains level : Relevance of NAM

Non-alignment is an old concept today, and India has adopted an approach of “issue-based alignment”, according to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

Try this question for mains:

Q.“The gradual exit of the US from institutional geopolitics has created an ocean of opportunity for small nations”. Discuss.

What is the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)?

  • The NAM is a forum of 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.
  • The group was started in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1961.
  • After the UN, it is the largest grouping of states worldwide.

Its formation

  • NAM emerged in the context of the wave of decolonization that followed World War II.
  • It was created by Yugoslavia’s President, Josip Broz Tito, India’s first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru, Egypt’s second President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah, and Indonesia’s first President, Sukarno.
  • All five leaders believed that developing countries should not help either the Western or Eastern blocs in the Cold War.
  • As a condition for membership, the states of the NAM cannot be part of a multilateral military alliance (such as the NATO) or have signed a bilateral military agreement with one of the “big powers” involved in Great Power conflicts.
  • However, its idea does not signify that a state ought to remain passive or even neutral in international politics.

Its relevance today

  • One of the challenges of the NAM in the 21st century has been to reassess its identity and purpose in the post-Cold War era.
  • The movement has continued to advocate for international cooperation, multilateralism, and national self-determination, but it has also been increasingly vocal against the inequities of the world economic order.
  • On the contrary, from the founding of the NAM, its stated aim has been to give a voice to developing countries and to encourage their concerted action in world affairs.

The geopolitics of opportunity

  • Non-alignment was a term of a particular era and geopolitical landscape. One aspect was independence, which remains a factor of continuity for India.
  • The consequences of global shifts, including the US and the assertiveness of China, are opening spaces for middle powers like India, Japan, the EU and others.

US repositioning has impacted everyone

  • The consequence of repositioning of the US, that the big umbrella is now smaller than it used to be, has allowed many other countries to play more autonomous roles.
  • India needs to take more “risks”, as the world expected it to take a more proactive stance on various issues including connectivity, maritime security, terrorism, climate change and terrorism.

Ministry of External Affairs : Important Updates

Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Virtual Summit

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

Mains level : NAM, it's aims and objective, current role of NAM; India's past, present and future link to NAM

PM Modi has for the first addressed the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit since assuming office in 2014.

Possible mains question-

Q. Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has lost its relevance in the new era of multipolar world. Comment.

Highlights of the online summit

  • The online NAM Contact Group Summit on “United against COVID-19” was hosted by current NAM Chairman and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.
  • The NAM leaders announced the creation of a task force to identify requirements of member countries through a common database reflecting their basic medical, social and humanitarian needs in the fight against COVID-19.

What is the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)?

  • The NAM is a forum of 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.
  • The group was started in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1961.
  • After the UN, it is the largest grouping of states worldwide.

Its formation

  • NAM emerged in the context of the wave of decolonization that followed World War II.
  • It was created by Yugoslavia’s President, Josip Broz Tito, India’s first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru, Egypt’s second President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah, and Indonesia’s first President, Sukarno.
  • All five leaders believed that developing countries should not help either the Western or Eastern blocs in the Cold War.
  • As a condition for membership, the states of the NAM cannot be part of a multilateral military alliance (such as the NATO) or have signed a bilateral military agreement with one of the “big powers” involved in Great Power conflicts.
  • However, its idea does not signify that a state ought to remain passive or even neutral in international politics.

Terms of summits

  • Unlike the UN or the Organization of American States, the NAM has no formal constitution or permanent secretariat.
  • All members of the NAM have equal weight within its organization.
  • The movement’s positions are reached by consensus in the Summit Conference of Heads of State or Government, which usually convenes every three years.
  • The administration of the organization is the responsibility of the country holding the chair, a position that rotates at every summit.
  • The ministers of foreign affairs of the member states meet more regularly in order to discuss common challenges, notably at the opening of each regular session of the UN General Assembly.

Its relevance today

  • One of the challenges of the NAM in the 21st century has been to reassess its identity and purpose in the post-Cold War era.
  • The movement has continued to advocate for international cooperation, multilateralism, and national self-determination, but it has also been increasingly vocal against the inequities of the world economic order.
  • On the contrary, from the founding of the NAM, its stated aim has been to give a voice to developing countries and to encourage their concerted action in world affairs.

Ministry of External Affairs : Important Updates

Indian nationals living abroad

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Data on Indian's living abroad

Mains level : Indian diaspora in Gulf region

There are over 1.36 crore Indian nationals living abroad, according to data tabled by the Ministry of External Affairs in Lok Sabha.

Indians abroad

  • The highest number of Indians abroad are living in the United Arab Emirates, where the 34,20,000 Indians comprise about one-fourth of all Indians abroad.
  • The UAE is followed by Saudi Arabia (25,94,947), the US (12,80,000), Kuwait (10,29,861), Oman (7,79,351), Qatar (7,56,062), Nepal (5,00,000), UK (3,51,000), Singapore (3,50,000) and Bahrain (3,23,292).
  • The CPV (Consular, Passport and Visa) division of the ministry is the nodal division that coordinates with all missions / posts abroad regarding transportation of the mortal remains of Indians from abroad to their hometowns in India.

Total remittances recieved

  • Citing RBI data, the ministry said that during 2018-2019, $76.4 billion was received as remittances from Indians abroad.
  • During 2019-2020 (April-September), $41.9 billion was received.

Ministry of External Affairs : Important Updates

Raisina Dialogue 2020

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Raisina Dialogue

Mains level : Raisina Dialogue and its impact on India's global profile

 

India`s annual global conference on geopolitics and geo-economics, Raisina Dialogue 2020 has began with the participation of over 100 countries.

Raisina Dialogue

  • The Raisina Dialogue is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.
  • It is jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation.
  • Every year, global leaders in policy, business, media and civil society are hosted in New Delhi to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters.
  • The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials, as well as major private sector executives, members of the media and academics.

This years’ agenda

  • The fifth edition of the Dialogue 2020 has been India`s contribution to global efforts to discover solutions, identify opportunities and provide stability to a century that has witnessed an eventful two decades.
  • This year`s Dialogue titled `Navigating the Alpha Century` is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of states, cabinet ministers and local government officials as well as major private sector executives, members of the media and academics.

Significance of the dialogue

  • The Raisina Dialogue has acquired an enviable global profile uniting the best strategic thinkers of the world.
  • The synergies and collaborations in the Raisina Dialogue represent India`s deliberative ethos, as well as its international credibility and convening power.
  • The Dialogue has grown along with India`s diplomatic profile and will set the tone for its intensive diplomatic engagement this year.

Ministry of External Affairs : Important Updates

Study in India’ programme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Study India

CONTEXT

To facilitate Internationalization of Higher Education in India, a Programme viz. ‘Study in India’ is under implementation.

 Objectives

  • To make India a preferred education destination/hub for foreign students;
  • Improve the soft power of India with focus on the neighbouring countries
  • Use it as a tool in diplomacy;
  • To rapidly increase the inflow of inbound International Students in India through systematic brand-building,
  • Marketing, social media and digital marketing campaigns;
  • To increase India’s market share of global education exports;
  • Improvement in overall quality of higher education;
  • To reduce the export-import imbalance in the number of international students;
  • Growth in India’s global market share of International students;
  • Increase in global ranking of India etc.

Special Focus

  • The programme focuses on attracting International students from select 30 plus countries across South-East Asia, Middle East and Africa.
  • The programme envisages participation of select reputed Indian institutes/universities by way of offering seats for the International students at affordable rates, along with fee waivers to meritorious foreign students ranging from 100% to 25%.
  • A centralised admission web-portal (https://studyinindia.gov.in) acts as a single window for the admission of foreign students.

Conclusion

  • With the increase in number of foreign students, the global ranking of the Indian Higher Educational institutions will improve.
  • The domestic students shall be exposed to a more diverse peer group and also get greater International exposure culminating in enhanced interest of Indian students to study in the country.
  • This information was given by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.
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