The new ministry in the center with ambitious regional plans, India is looking to bring its neighboring countries closer to New Delhi. It is quite obvious from Narendra Modi driven modified approach of Indian foreign policy. The external Affairsâ€™ ministry is working day and night to deliver the PMâ€™s vision towards this goal. Shushma Swaraj is busy these days with appointments with the leaders of the neighboring countries and she has successfully paved way for the first two visits of the PM to Bhutan and Nepal where the PM announced huge sops to woo the countries for better relations so as to keep the Indian position secure from Chinese influencers. The PM has been hugely successful in his efforts to strike the emotional and cultural chord plus his repeated assurances on non-interference in the internal matters proved to be very effective. Announcements of $1 billion soft credit to Nepal and similar sops to Bhutan in the form of Investment in Hydro Power and Social Sector drawn huge applauses in these countries. These sops even attracted criticisms at home as India is reeling under economic instability, inflation, poverty and other socio-political issues to afford such sops to other countries. The next phase is definitely to be Myanmar, Srilanka, Maldives and Bangladesh as the Chinese are omnipresent everywhere. Myanmar is the country to be focused on immediate basis and Iâ€™m sure that the PM has put his vision right, Myanmar is going to be the next big thing for India as it is the gateway to ASEAN. Chinese have made deep inroads into Myanmar because of its political isolation for decades from rest of the world and China utilized this opportunity to the fullest. But for the past several years Myanmar is facing protests from its own people against the undue advantages given to the Chinese resulting in opening up of the market to the rest of the world in a phased manner even the US responded positively by sending Hillary Clinton to take the stock. India too increased its engagement with Myanmar and today we are also active in several projects in that country but these are of miniscule as compared to that of China. Recently Myanmar has cancelled a $20b railway project initiated by china due to protests from the Burmese people. It is high time for India to utilize the situation and bridge the confidence gap. Sushma Swaraj is again is in action with her upcoming visit to Myanmar next week. It is going to be rain of grants, soft credits and FDI from India to Myanmar. India can even push hard for an FTA. India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway project is another thrust area to be taken up immediately. India can demand greater access to Myanmar and also convince that country to cooperate more on flushing out Indian insurgent groups holed up there. So all will come at a price and the Price the PM will reveal in his upcoming visit to Myanmar in Novemberâ€™14. Srilanka is attracting considerable Indian Investments these days but in security scenario, Srilanka is closer to China than India. So again the same story of sops will be repeated to have more engagement with Lanka. Bangladesh is going to be little different here as Mr. Modi has to play differently with it. Socio-political and illegal migrant issues have become more of a headache for India in recent times and this has to be taken up diplomatically with Bangladesh. India can offer more water, partner in Education and healthcare sector, Infra projects and energy exploration and production from the recently resolved disputed area in the Bay of Bengal. India may grant greater market access to Bangladeshi products at the same time migrant issues to be given priority to ensure socio-political stability in Eastern India. Indian Governmentâ€™s pledge to develop Maldives will continue as it is and thus the PM needs to have a big pocket while going to these countries. Whether these sops are necessary? Unfortunately the answer is a big YES. These sops are absolutely necessary considering the National Security aspects due to overwhelming Chinese ambitions in these countries. We have lost our bargaining power in most of these countries due to the ineffective approach followed by the previous government which lacked decisiveness. UPA coalition kept the government occupied with issues like scams and corruption, coalition membersâ€™ demands and lack of vision. So India is paying the price. But it is always better late than never. Hope the New leadership will be able to secure Indian interests with the neighbors and usher in a new era of regional cooperation and keeping the Chinese at bay at the same time. India will not be able to achieve Economic stability without engaging the neighbors that the PM understood very well. It is time to wait and watch how China moves with it, but is worthwhile mentioning that ultimately these countries are benefitting the most from the India-China rivalry. It may even fuel a new race between India and China; letâ€™s call it as â€œBig Pocket Diplomacy.â€ PS: This is purely my view on the subject and debates are welcome.