India is a rising power and seeks to protect its widening hobbies and improve its influence in worldwide affairs. Can India’s foreign policy supply on its more pursuits? The answer to that query in element relies upon on an assessment of the prevailing strengths and weaknesses of the Indian Foreign Service and Ministry of External Affairs.
Using the coverage potential conceptualization and framework developed by means of Xun Wu, M. Ramesh, and Michael Howlett, the paper examines the analytical, operational, and political competences of India’s foreign carrier at three degrees – the man or woman, organizational, and systemic.
Does India have foreign policy potential commensurate with its rising energy aims?
We note the judgment of former Foreign Secretary and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, based on his reconstruction of five key foreign coverage picks since the early 1990s, that “India has critical potential troubles inside the implementation of overseas coverage and lacks the institutional depth to look coverage through”. Menon argues that India has shown “boldness in coverage conception, caution in implementation”. He strains implementation issues to the centralization of decision-making, lack of “capability” inside the overseas ministry, vulnerable “institutionalization of foreign coverage implementation”, and critical “ability problems”.
Based on our audit of Indian foreign coverage ability, we argue that the IFS and MEA have strengths in terms of the man or woman level competences of its officers but also a number weaknesses in particular on the organizational and systemic levels, the maximum tractable and remediable weaknesses being at the organizational stage.
Assessing the individual level
As the face of India’s remote places international relations, IFS officials are tasked with selling their user’s countrywide pursuits abroad. We check their competencies using 3 key variables: the analytical capacity of officers (their information and techniques); the managerial and leadership capabilities of officials; and the political information and enjoy of choice makers inclusive of their knowledge of the interests, ideas, and ideologies of other political actors.
Analytical capacity of officials
There is proof that the abilties of IFS officials are of a high degree, comparable to counterparts within the diplomatic services of bigger powers and extra superior economies. This is attested to via overseas and Indian diplomats. Their judgment is that IFS officers work extremely long hours and are underneath vast strain in coping with myriad responsibilities however are professionally impressively equipped.
Managerial and management abilities of the officials
Softer managerial and leadership talents are critical for IFS officers, and they are frequently quick received in the alternatively tough work surroundings at home however possibly even greater so in Indian embassies overseas. Given continual understaffing, many remote places missions are led by handiest an envoy and one or two diplomatic-rank officers. This allows officers foreign places a whole lot of extra room for initiative.
Individual political understanding/revel in of coping with political actors
IFS officials carry strong political information and experience to their work which includes an understanding of the pastimes, thoughts, and ideologies of political actors at domestic. Their stints in New Delhi or in the embassies brings them into common contact with Members of Parliament (MPs), Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs), kingdom ministers such as leader ministers, and vital ministers.