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While India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have developed a multifaceted partnership in various areas, there are several obstacles that can impede the full realization of their potential collaboration. Examine.

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

5. While India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have developed a multifaceted partnership in various areas, there are several obstacles that can impede the full realization of their potential collaboration. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressThe HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Speaking at the 20th ASEAN-India summit in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (September 7) said ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is the “central pillar” of India’s Act East Policy and the country fully supports the group’s centrality and outlook on the Indo-Pacific

Key Demand of the question:

To understand the role of strategic partnership with ASEAN and its mutual benefits and limitations for both sides.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning the historic engagement of India-ASEAN relationship.

Body:

Bring out the importance of geographical proximity of the ASEAN countries and its strategic, security and economic implications to India. Also mention about the sociocultural dynamics, mobilisation of group level funds and promotion of domestic infrastructure projects based on few examples.

Next, write about the inter-link between India’s Indo-Pacific strategy works in tandem with its Act East Policy.

Next, write about various obstacles in their partnership and its implications of the above on India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that a good relation with ASEAN nations is crucial for India, in order for India to look beyond its neighbours, in its global diplomatic journey.