India hires more diplomats to push interests

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Yusuf, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    India is taking a prominent role in global forums, through its inclusion in the annual meeting of Brics nations. Shown, BRICS 2013 Summit in Durban, South Africa, March 27.
    India plans to double the strength of its diplomatic corps over the next decade in a bid to boost its power abroad.

    The country’s Ministry of External Affairs currently employs approximately 2,000 diplomats in its 162 missions abroad and at its offices in New Delhi.

    That’s a tiny staff for a country of 1.2 billion people. China has three times the number of diplomatic officials, while the U.S. has 20,000 foreign service officers, according to Dipankar Banerjee, director of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, an independent think tank in New Delhi.

    Traditionally, India has been an inward-looking nation, preferring “non-alignment” during the Cold War to siding with a great power. Even in its own backyard of South Asia, the country has played a cautious role. As a post-colonial nation it has been guarded in its relations with other nations, rarely pressing neighbors such as Myanmar and Nepal to embrace democracy.

    But times are changing, and some observers say democratic India, faced with a resurgent and authoritarian China, should take a more active foreign role. The country’s decision to back a United Nations resolution condemning Sri Lanka’s human rights record is perhaps a step in a more activist direction for the country.

    India also is taking a more prominent role in global forums, through its membership of the G-20 group and its inclusion in the annual meeting of Brics nations, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

    So, it needs to increase its cadre of diplomats, which currently is not much larger than Singapore’s, a nation of 5.3 million people.

    The current staff “doesn’t meet our needs,” Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman at India’s foreign ministry, told India Real Time. “There’s an acute need to enhance diplomatic strength since our global engagements have increased tremendously,” he said.

    The expansion was initiated by the foreign ministry in 2007. Since then, “the intake has increased by almost 50%; from 15-20 persons annually before 2007 to 30 persons in recent years,” Mr. Akbaruddin said. “We plan to ramp up the diplomatic workforce over the next 10 years.”

    Mr. Banerjee said a senior joint secretary in New Delhi will deal with a number of countries, preparing briefs and writing reports on each of them. “The end-result is none of them gets the particular attention each deserves.”

    But with India’s diplomatic ranks set to swell, “more diplomats will represent India in the international community,” he said. “That will help in implementing foreign policy measures.”

    Rajiv Nayan, a senior research associate at New Delhi-based Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, offers a contrasting view. He said India needs to reform its recruitment system to get “high-class” diplomats to help promote its soft power.

    India’s diplomats are currently employed through a common test conducted by the Union Public Service Commission that selects candidates for the country’s administrative, foreign and police services. This general test doesn’t adequately pinpoint candidates who possess diplomatic skills, which include persuasion and social skills, Mr. Nayan said.

    Instead, he added, diplomats should be recruited from the private sector, universities and independent think tanks. “A separate test should be conducted for foreign services and only those with a thorough grip on world affairs and penchant for foreign languages should be chosen to better represent the nation’s interests,” he said.

    Shashi Tharoor, a Congress party lawmaker and a former senior United Nations official, argued in this piece last year that applicants who score highest on the common test today are more likely to head into India’s domestic bureaucratic service rather than to go abroad, a reversal of the situation a generation ago.

    India is hoping to change this state of affairs with its recruitment drive, which also plans to hire more officials from other government departments and experts from outside, Mr. Akbaruddin said.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2013/04/09/india-hires-more-diplomats-to-push-interests/
     
    Defenceindia2010 and arnabmit like this.
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  3. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    What abt offering more scholarships for foreign students, who in turn may be nurtured as better "diplomats" back home?
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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  5. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    But most non-Indians became even more unfriendly (if not hostile) towards India after getting on DFI, I mean Lankans, Pakistanis, and Naplese , and so on:rolleyes:
     
  6. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Truth hurts.. cant help it buddy..
     
  7. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thank u for acknowledging the truth I pointed out :lol:
     
  8. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    You mean nurturing "spies", in your language "diplomat" with vested interest for own home land.

    :tsk:
    We dont function that way.
     
  9. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    A better understanding of language will help you understand my angle.
    But anyway..im nor surprised by that curve ball
     
  10. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thats a good humor if u think it's a "language" or "understanding" issue
     
  11. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    I will stick to the language part and the lack of understanding on your part.

    Nice improvement.
     
  12. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  13. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    out of 200 diplomats IFS officers are only 500 odd.rest are politicians and other personal effectively decreasing the number of real diplomats

    this is because of chronic neglect of Indian government towards diplomatic missions and its inability to identify its importance.recently i came across a news stating that a Russian translator was appointed as a diplomat leaving beside many eligible IFS officers causing agony to them.
    how come a translator by profession does understand the daily activities and requirements of a diplomatic mission.he does not even know ABC of them:tsk:
     

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