Chapter 18. International Relations Notes for UPSC Mains

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Central Asia


  • Defence
    • Indian Base in Tajikistan
  • Access
    • to Europe and Russia
  • Terrorism
  • China Factor
    • Ambivalence of Mongolia
  • Energy Diplomacy
    • TAPI
      • Indian Government joined the TAPI project in the year 2012 and recently signed the ‘Gas Sales and Purchase agreement’ along with other participating countries
      • 1800 km
      • Will be completed in 2020
      • Contract for 30 years
      • India to receive 30mmscd out of 90
      • That is a quarter of India’s current requirement ( 150 mmscd)
      • From Gasklynsh fields in Turkmenistan
        • 2nd largest gas reservoir in the world
      • India will pay Pak a transit fees. Similarly, Pak will pay Afghanistan a transit fees
      • Finally, it reaches Fazilka in Punjab
      • Issue
        • Security
          • Passes through Afghan and Balochistan (Quetta) of Pak
        • International consortium not willing
  • Pipeline from Russia Proposed
  • ONGC stake in Khazakastan
  • Nuclear
    • Khazakastan
  • Space
    • Baikanour
  • Can be a market of IT products, manufacturing, etc
  • Normal issues – UNSC, NSG, Trade talks, Climate,


  • Chinese OBOR
  • Land Locked
  • Limited Trade


  • SCO
  • Ashbagat
  • Chabahar

Shanghai cooperation organisation (sco)

  • India was an observer from 2005 the multilateral grouping.
  • Total 8 members now – India, China Russia Pakistan Kazakhstan Uzbekistan Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan
  • focus areas- MILLITARY COLLABORATION connectivity, counter terrorism, energy sector, increasing trade, drug trafficking
  • Other details
    • Founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. These countries, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organisation.
    • The SCO is seen as a counter to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
    • its affiliates account for about half of the world’s population.
    • The SCO has established relations with the United Nations, where it is an observer in the General Assembly, the European Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
    • It also has Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia as observers, and Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey as dialogue partners.
  • Benefits to India
    • Allows India greater access to central Asia- minerals, oil, expert market
    • Solidifies plans to build trade routes to Russia via Chahbar port in Iran – INSTC, Ashbagat
    • Politically, a balance against the pro -US tilt
    • With SAARC, RCEP and now SCO , India can have economic treaties with almost the entire Asia
    • Forum to check against spread of terrorism
    • All the benefits of Central Asia
    • Plus, a platform for India Pak to engage with – as seen in UFA talks
    • May counter the Chinese influence in the region
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  • 25 years of independence
  • 60 years of diplomatic ties with India
    • India 1st country, outside Soviet Bloc to establish diplomatic ties
  • In the recent visit of Modi
    • India extended 1 billion $ credit
    • Agreement on 13 fronts
    • Modi calling for up gradation of ties to strategic partnership
  • Mongolia important because
    • People are unhappy with capitalist oriented China
    • India closer spiritually
    • Access to central Asian reserves
    • Particularly radioactive minerals
    • Better access to Chinese OROB



  • Part of SCO
  • India- Kyrgyz treaty to hold annual joint military exercise
  • Cooperation in the field of standards, this will improve trade and economic relations