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IAS Foundation 2023-24, Batch Starts: 27th July

PSIR Optional Paper II Section B by R P Singh

  • Category
  • Test Date
    2022-06-15 07:00:00
  • Evaluated


  • Attempt both questions
  • The test carries 30 marks.
  • Write Each answer in 150 words.
  • Any page left blank in the answer-book must be crossed out clearly.
  • Evaluated Copy will be re-uploaded on the same thread after 2 days of uploading the copy.
  • Discussion of the question and one to one answer improvement session of evaluated copies will be conducted through Google Meet with concerned faculty. You will be informed via mail or SMS for the discussion.

Question #1. India foreign Policy towards neighbourhood is a blend of bilateralism, sub regionalism and multiculturalism. Illustrate your answer with special reference to India’s relations with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan

Question #2. International Disarmament and Non-nuclear proliferation regimes are reflection of ‘global division of power’. Analyse the statement.

(Examiner will pay special attention to the candidate's grasp of his/her material, its relevance to the subject chosen, and to his/ her ability to think constructively and to present his/her ideas concisely, logically and effectively).

Model Answer

Question #1. India foreign Policy towards neighbourhood is a blend of bilateralism, sub regionalism and multiculturalism. Illustrate your answer with special reference to India’s relations with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.


  • India's relations with her neighbours occupy a central place in its foreign policy. India believes in a peaceful periphery which will enable us to focus on the essential task of development. It is also clear that a stable and prosperous South Asia, will contribute to India's own prosperity.
  • Before the emergence of Gujral Doctrine as one of the major directional approaches of Indian foreign policy, India mainly relied on bilateral engagement with its South Asian neighbours. Given the disproportionate size of India in terms of its territory, economy and military power, India was perceived more of as a regional hegemon rather than friend by most of our neighbours. Big brotherly attitude, although not all pervasive by New Delhi did not help the issue. Formation of SAARC also created new hope since most of the agreements and discussions were diplomatically aimed at containing Indian dominance.
  • Sub-regionalism appeared as the next logical choice where groupings of geographically proximate nations for economic and social development were envisaged. In the next few years, the region saw quite a few regional transport and infrastructure projects being launched by India in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar. While most of these projects had major economic gains for each participating member, the experience of working on a sub-regional platform was a major milestone in dispelling the image of hegemon or big brother in the eyes of our neighbours. BBIN-MVIN and BIMSTEC were stellar examples of how India was finally able to free South Asia development objectives from being held hostage to worsening ties between India and Pakistan.
  • India had the unique advantage of enjoying cultural proximity with each of its neighbours and it has used to its maximum advantage. By not only strengthening cultural and tourism ties with Nepal and other neighbours, but also by providing most of the job opportunities to the local communities in the areas where infrastructure projects are being run, it showed that it respects the separate and equal identity of its neighbours, thus further destroying the myth of itself being a hegemon even in the cultural domain. An analysis of initiatives towards Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan will illustrate the Indian approach based on blend of bilateralism, sub regionalism and multiculturalism more in detail:


  • India and Nepal enjoy a special and unique relationship rooted in shared heritage, civilization, culture and extensive people-to-people relations. India attaches the highest priority to our relations with Nepal and the government is fully committed to further enhance and expand this relationship.
  • India continues to be a major trading partner of Nepal. Nearly 60% of Nepal's foreign trade is with India and 48% of its FDI comes from India. Around 40% of Nepal's tourists come from India and more than 5 million Nepalese find employment in India.
  • India-Nepal development cooperation, which covers a broad canvas, including physical infrastructure, water resources, human resource development, health, power, civil aviation, tourism, and agriculture, has now entered a new era. India will construct over 600 Kms of roads in the terai region of Nepal, establish two integrated check-posts and two cross-border railway links over the next three years. In the second phase, India will construct an additional 800 Kms of roads, three cross-border railway links and two integrated check-posts. India believes these will contribute substantially to Nepal's development efforts and facilitate trade, investments and people-to-people contacts between our two countries. The projects will go ahead on the basis of Nepal's felt needs. India is committed to continuing our engagement and cooperation with utmost sensitivity and attention that it deserves.


  • India and Bangladesh share a unique bond and a special relationship. This relationship has been forged by our common aspirations and sacrifices. We wish to carry forward the mission of strengthening the historic bonds between us and impart a vision for the future that is durable and sustainable.
  • Bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh received a major boost through the landmark state visit of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India in January 2010 that laid the road-map for our interactions. The visit of Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to Bangladesh in September 2011 opened a new chapter in the bilateral relationship and further cemented the active cooperation and engagement between the two nations.
  • Last year, India opened its market to all Bangladeshi products, except 25 sensitive tariff lines. Bangladeshi goods now enjoy zero duty access to the Indian market. This is an initiative of strategic significance.
  • The Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development signed between our two Prime Ministers in September 2011 represents a new phase in our relations with Bangladesh and the region. India has committed itself to discussing sub-regional cooperation with Bangladesh in areas such as the power sector, water resources management, physical connectivity, environment and sustainable development.
  • India has welcomed the participation of Bangladesh in power projects in India, including in the North-Eastern states, wherever economic viability for such cooperation exists. At present Bangladesh has reservations about the Tipaimukh project and we have agreed to set up a Joint Working Group under the Joint Rivers Commission for discussions on the issue.


  • India and Bhutan share uniquely warm and special relations founded on mutual trust and understanding. Regular high-level exchange of visits, close consultations and mutually beneficial cooperation underpin relations with Bhutan. India was honoured to welcome Their Majesties Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, the King and Queen of Bhutan in India.
  • India and Bhutan share a common perception of their strategic interests and cooperate closely on security issues and border management. We appreciate Bhutan's commitment and its strong efforts to ensure that its territory cannot be used by forces inimical to India's interest.
  • India is Bhutan's largest trade and development partner, and source of supplies of most of the essential commodities required by Bhutan
  •  Development of hydropower in Bhutan has been the centre-piece of our bilateral cooperation. It is an exemplary win-win partnership: surplus power generated from the hydroelectric projects (HEPs) is exported to India providing Bhutan a steady stream of revenue and providing Indian an assured supply of clean power. There is vast potential to be realised as out of Bhutan's estimated potential of 30,000 MW (20,000 MW is technically and economically feasible), only about 1400 MW has been harnessed. Both governments have set the target of 10,000 MW of hydropower capacity by 2020; and have identified 10 hydropower projects to meet this target.

Question #2. International Disarmament and Non-nuclear proliferation regimes are reflection of ‘global division of power’. Analyse the statement.


  • After the end of World War II, the world got involved into an arms race of producing nuclear weapons. To slow down this malicious race, many arm control treaties such as SALT-1, SALT-2, LTBT, START-1 and START-2 were proposed and signed by several nations across the globe. Among such treaties was Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) - arguably most pivotal, global, and influential among all the mechanisms for international disarmament and nuclear non – proliferation.
  • The NPT was launched in 1958 by Frank Aiken, the then External affairs minister of Ireland. At the time when the NPT was proposed there was a prediction that within the next two decades the world would have 25-30 nuclear weapon states. The NPT is based on a central bargain: “The NPT non-nuclear states (states that did not possess nuclear weapons before 1968) agree never to acquire nuclear weapons and NPT nuclear states (states that possessed nuclear weapons before 1968) in exchange agrees to share the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology. The NPT consists of a Preamble and eleven articles.
  • The NPT was opened for signature in 1968 and enforced in 1970. So far 190 countries have joined the treaty; Finland was the first country to sign. The NPT recognises five Nuclear Weapon states: USA, UK, USSR (Russia after the breakdown of the Soviet Union), France and China. Four UN member states never joined NPT: India, Pakistan, Israel, and South Sudan. North Korea accepted the treaty in 1985 but withdrew later in 2003.
  • Over the years the NPT has come to be seen by many Third World states as “a conspiracy of the nuclear ‘haves’ to keep the nuclear ‘have-nots’ in their place”. This argument has roots in Article VI of the treaty which “obligates the nuclear weapons states to liquidate their nuclear stockpiles and pursue complete disarmament”. The non-nuclear states see no signs of this happening. Some argue that the NWS have not fully complied with their disarmament obligations under Article VI of the NPT.
  • Some countries such as India have criticized the NPT, because it “discriminated against states not possessing nuclear weapons on January 1, 1967,” while Iran and numerous Arab states have criticized Israel for not signing the NPT. There has been disappointment with the limited progress on nuclear disarmament, where the five authorized nuclear weapons states still have 22,000 warheads between them and have shown a reluctance to disarm further.
  • India’s stand is based on the argument that the NPT is the last vestige of the apartheid in the international system and a clear manifestation of the global division of power, granting as it does to five countries the right to be nuclear-weapons states while denying the same right to others. If nuclear weapons are evil — and India agrees that they are — then no one should have them. There is no moral, ethical, or legal basis for suggesting that some can and others cannot have nuclear weapons.
  • The basic arguments which justify that International Disarmament and Non-nuclear proliferation regimes are reflection of ‘global division of power’, mainly given by India are as follows:
    1. It was a discriminatory treaty which tried to perpetuate the superior power position of nuclear weapon states vies-a-vies the non-nuclear nations.
    2. It unduly tried to legitimize the power gap between nuclear and non-clear nations.
    3. It did not provide for either disarmament or arms control in international relations.
    4. It failed to check the N-programmes of France and China which, in violation of the Moscow Partial Test Ban Treaty, continued the policy of conducting nuclear tests.
    5. NPT was really a political instrument of nuclear weapon states. It divided the states into nuclear haves and have-nots.
    6. NPT was a discriminatory and inadequate Treaty
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