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India’s ‘Act East Policy’ UPSC NOTE


India’s ‘Act East Policy’

  • The ‘Act East Policy’ announced in November, 2014 is the upgrade of the “Look East Policy”.

  • It is a diplomatic initiative to promote economic, strategic and cultural relations with the vast Asia-Pacific region at different levels.

  • It involves intensive and continuous engagement with Southeast Asian countries in the field of connectivity, trade, culture, defence and people-to-people-contact at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

  • It also aims to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and developing a strategic relationship with countries in Indo-pacific region with a proactive and pragmatic approach and thereby improving the economic development of the North Eastern Region (NER) which is a gateway to the South East Asia Region.

  • It aims to strengthen India's economic and strategic ties with countries in Southeast Asia and East Asia. 

  • The countries include Japan, South Korea, and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

  • It was initially an economic policy but has evolved to include cultural, political, and strategic components.

  • Institutional mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation were established under this policy.

  • The policy focuses on India-ASEAN cooperation in domestic initiatives. 

    • This includes infrastructure, manufacturing, trade, and smart cities.

  • Major projects under the policy include:

    • India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport 

    • Rhi-Tiddim Road Project

    • Border Haats.

Significance of the Act East Policy

  • The Act East Policy is bolstered due to China's increasing influence in the Southeast Asian and Indian Ocean regions.

  • The policy can help secure freedom of navigation and the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific region.

  • India's engagement with QUAD is an extension of its efforts to enhance security in the Indo-Pacific region.

  • The end of the Cold War and China's growing power have changed the nature of Indo-ASEAN relations.

  • India's Act East Policy aims to achieve its long-term developmental goals for the Northeastern region.

  • It provides an additional path to accelerate economic development, countering China's rising aggression in South Asia.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: India’s ‘Act East Policy’ UPSC NOTE
India’s ‘Act East Policy’ UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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