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India tried to act as a ‘pharmacy of the world’ during crisis: Shringla

Harsh Vardhan Shringla. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

India believes in pursuing good deeds in global affairs without the expectation of rewards, said Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Monday. Addressing an event at the St. Stephen’s College here, Mr. Shringla said India had been working to that goal during the pandemic season and had prioritised the neighbourhood region despite the volatile nature of the international environment.

“We do not live in a moral vacuum. We are a nation that believes in ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’ and in the principle of ‘nishkama karma’, that good needs to be done for its own sake. This is why we tried to act as a ‘pharmacy of the world’ during the current crisis and provided medications and essential medical supplies to more than 150 countries,” said Mr. Shringla in his speech titled ‘India and the reshaping of the world order’.

Focus on South Asia

He highlighted the vision of India in helping countries facing threats of natural disaster and pandemic and said the country would remain focused on South Asia despite developments and uncertainties of the existing global situation.

“All crises alter geopolitics. Some things will, however, not change. The fundamental spacial orientation of our policy remains Neighbourhood First. Initiatives such as BIMSTEC link Neighbourhood First to another fundamental pillar of our foreign policy, viz, Act East,” said Mr. Shringla, elaborating India’s approach to various regions that include Think West for the Gulf and the West Asian regions and ASEAN countries.

The Foreign Secretary described India as a country with ‘global interests’ covering the Indian diaspora, economy, global value and supply chains. He emphasised the importance of multilateral diplomacy based on rules. “We are committed to an international order based on rules,” said the top diplomat, maintaining that India was focused on serving the diaspora and the “creation of a global system of delivering public services.”

Mr. Shringla noted that the Indian Foreign Service had transitioned from being led by socially privileged persons to a more democratic and representative body of officials, which reflected India’s recent social and economic transformation. The Foreign Secretary argued that India would aim to create an “effective diplomatic establishment” which could take swift decisions to deal with the rapidly changing circumstances of South Asia and the region.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 3:09:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-tried-to-act-as-a-pharmacy-of-the-world-during-crisis-shringla/article32664332.ece

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