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Foreign Policy Brief: Update on Bharat’s Soft Power

July-September 2018

At times when the global affairs are scrutinized through important but not sufficient criteria of geopolitics; India’s path of panchamrit or the five principles of foreign policy – Samman (respect), Samvaad (dialogue), Samriddhi (prosperity), Sanskriti evam Sabhyata (culture) and Suraksha (security) stands apart. This foreign policy brief by Vision India Foundation highlights the manifestation of these principles especially the first four, broadly categorized as soft power in India’s conduct of diplomacy.


World Hindu Congress in Chicago commemorates the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic speech

Courtesy: ANI Twitter

The World Hindu Congress of 2018, commemorated 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s speech he delivered at the World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893. The three-day conference, held in Chicago,  witnessed participation of more than 2500 delegates and 250 speakers from approximately 60 countries. It concluded with a call for Hindu resurgence and unity. Vice-President of India, Venkaiah Naidu focused on tenets of Hinduism, enshrined in the motto of “Sarva Dharma Sama Bhava” i.e. respect and tolerance for all religion. India’s peace-loving, nonaggressive and pluralistic ethos could be attributed to the above motto. Furthering this belief, the State of Illinois declared September 11th as Swami Vivekananda day.
For more information: WHC 2018


India Cambodia signs MoU to restore “Shiva temple”

Courtesy: Bigstock

Indian foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj during her visit to Cambodia signed MoU with her counterpart Prak Sokhonn to restore the eleventh century Shiva temple.  The temple in Preah Vihar is a world heritage site and is regarded as one of the finest examples of Khmer architecture. Both India and Cambodia share strong historical and cultural ties with the pervasive influence of Hinduism and Buddhism. There was also wide-ranging consultation on boosting bilateral trade, investment, maritime and defense cooperation.

For more information: NDTV


Sushma Swaraj inaugurates ‘Jaipur Foot’ camp in Hanoi, Vietnam

Courtesy: Twitter, MEA India

As a part of her ASEAN visit, Sushma Swaraj visited Vietnam where she inaugurated a ‘Jaipur Foot’ camp in Hanoi and met 500 Vietnamese beneficiaries on the occasion. This artificial limb fitment camp,  set up by MEA in partnership with the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), is a part of India’s humanitarian aid. The visit coincided with the third Indian Ocean Conference organized by India Foundation in Vietnam. Speaking at the conference, EAM Sushma Swaraj emphasized the need for peace, stability, cooperation and collective action in the Indian Ocean region.  The role of Indian Diaspora in strengthening civilizational connect between both the countries was emphasized on the occasion.

For more information: The Hindu


PM Modi’s visit to boost Indo-African ties

Courtesy: PIB

Indian PM Narendra Modi embarked on a three-nation tour to Rawanda, Uganda and South Africa. In Rwanda, India committed to supporting the flagship  “Girinika” scheme, by donating 200 cows.Girnika, aimed at curbing poverty and malnutrition, symbolizes the ancient practice of gifting cows as a sign of gratitude and respect. The visit to Rwanda, was followed by Uganda where PM Modi announced Line of Credits worth US$64 million for agriculture and dairy production and US$141 million for power distribution. PM Modi’s address at the Ugandan Parliament, was a first-ever by a serving Indian Prime Minister, wherein he highlighted strong people-to-people relations, marked by the presence of Indian diaspora of over thirty thousand in Uganda. The visit culminated with South Africa hosting the 10th BRICS Summit themed on  “Collaboration for Inclusive Growth in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, “. In a major boost to diplomacy, India has announced setting up 18 new embassies in African countries.

For more information: The QuintVentures Africa


3rd BRICS film festival held  in Johannesburg

Courtesy:  The Indian Express

The 2018 BRICS film summit was held in Johannesburg. “Newton”, a movie depicting the state of the election in Naxal bastion in India was selected as the best movie. Besides, Reema Das’s “Village Rockstar” was awarded special Jury award. The release of second BRICS co-production film “Half the Sky” was premiered on the occasion. Female directors belonging to each BRICS nation have directed all the five short films of Half the Sky signifying growing importance of women empowerment. The Indian story “Taken for Granted” was directed by Ashwini Aiyer Tiwari and created by the cast of Bollywood film Dangal. Indian cinema, since the very beginning has played an instrumental role in India’s socio-cultural outreach.
For more information:PIB , CGTN


Opinion by Change Agents

The following opinion pieces by Change agents at VIF deliberates upon distinct pillars of Indian foreign policy ranging from security (suraksha) to culture (sanskriti).


Global Young Achiever’s Network

Our programme, Global Young Achievers Network, is designed to strengthen India’s foreign policy interests through citizen awareness and participation in understanding India’s international engagement and strategic interests. We believe this is the foremost step in building a promising leadership that unites to global communities for sustained development and shared prosperity.

With this motivation, Shobhit Mathur, Executive Director, VIF addressed World Hindu Congress 2018. He deliberated upon the limitations of the capitalist and socialist economy and emphasized on the merits of Indic economic model in the form of traditional Hindu household business.

Courtesy: Shobhit Mathur/FB

For more information: Facebook, Indo-American news

At VIF we continue to maintain our focus on preparing the next-generation leaders of our country. GYAN aims at connecting the future leaders across the world to India and build on a leadership committed to achieving the aspirations of a sustainable and prosperous humanity.