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NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Political Science Part 2 Chapter 3 India’s External Relations

Class 12 Political Science Part 2 Chapter 3 India’s External Relations Question Answers

India External Relations of Class 12 Political Science Part 2 Chapter 3 gives students a comprehensive knowledge of how India made our foreign policy to maintain our autonomy and avoid entanglement in the power struggles between the United States and the Soviet Union after independence. From this chapter notes, students read about what is India’s foreign policy toward the neighboring countries and the consensus of policy, the Panchseel agreement, and India’s nuclear policy. This chapter is essential for your class’s 12th board exam in the past year exam where many questions came from this chapter. Memorysclub political science team of teachers provides the most suitable exam-oriented solutions for class 12 India’s external relations question answers.

1. Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ against each of these statements.

(a) Ndia’s relationship with her neighbors has been strained from the beginning.
(c) Ton-alignment allowed India to gain assistance both from the USA and USSR.
(b) Inhe cold war has affected the relationship between India and Pakistan.
(d) The Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1971 was the result of India’s closeness to the USA.

Answer:  (a) True; (b) True; (c) True; (d) False.

2. Match the following:


Answer: (a)—(ii), (b)-(iii), (c)-(iv), (d)-(i)

3. Why did Nehru regard conduct of foreign relations as an essential indicator of independence? State any two reasons with examples to support your reading.

Answer – Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, regarded the conduct of foreign relations as an essential indicator of independence for India. Two key reasons for this perspective were:

  1. Nehru sought to establish India as a sovereign and independent nation on the world stage. He was a strong advocate of non-alignment, which meant that India would not align itself with any major power bloc during the Cold War. By pursuing an independent foreign policy, Nehru aimed to maintain India’s autonomy and avoid entanglement in the power struggles between the United States and the Soviet Union.
  2. Nehru viewed India’s foreign relations as a means to contribute to global justice and the decolonization process. He believed in the principle of self-determination for nations that were under colonial rule. Nehru actively supported anti-colonial movements in Asia and Africa, emphasizing the importance of nations shaping their destinies.

4. “The conduct of foreign affairs is an outcome of a two-way interaction between domestic compulsions and prevailing international climate”. Take one example from India’s external relations in the 1960s to substantiate your answer.

Answer – The statement that the conduct of foreign affairs is an outcome of a two-way interaction between domestic compulsions and the prevailing international climate is well illustrated by India’s relations with China in the 1960s, particularly the Sino-Indian border conflict of 1962.

Domestic Compulsions (India):

  1. Domestically, India was dealing with issues related to its territorial integrity and the sentiment of nationalism. The border dispute with China over territories in the Himalayan region, particularly in Aksai Chin, was a matter of deep concern for India. Protecting its territorial sovereignty became a priority, and the government faced internal pressure to address the border issue decisively.
  2. Example: The “Forward Policy” adopted by India in the early 1960s, which involved establishing military outposts in disputed areas along the Sino-Indian border, was driven by domestic imperatives to assert India’s claims and protect its territory.

Prevailing International Climate:

  1. The 1960s was a period of intense Cold War dynamics, with global power struggles between the United States and the Soviet Union. India, under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, pursued a non-aligned foreign policy to maintain autonomy in the midst of this ideological divide. However, the Sino-Soviet split and the warming of Sino-American relations in the early 1970s had implications for India’s foreign affairs.
  2. Example: The Sino-Soviet split created a situation where both China and the Soviet Union were seeking India’s support. The shifting alliances and dynamics in the Cold War influenced India’s foreign policy choices as it sought to navigate the delicate balance between the two major powers.

Example – Sino-Indian Border Conflict (1962):

  1. The Sino-Indian border conflict of 1962 exemplifies the two-way interaction between domestic compulsions and the prevailing international climate. India’s forward policy and efforts to secure its borders were driven by internal concerns about territorial integrity and nationalism. Simultaneously, the global context of Cold War dynamics, including the Sino-Soviet split, influenced how India approached the conflict and its aftermath.
  2. The conflict ended with a defeat for India, leading to a reevaluation of its foreign policy priorities. Subsequent to the conflict, India sought to improve relations with the United States and other Western nations, as the prevailing international climate had shifted with the Sino-Soviet split.

In conclusion, the Sino-Indian border conflict of the 1960s serves as a significant example of how domestic compulsions and the international context interact to shape a nation’s conduct of foreign affairs. The delicate balance between protecting domestic interests and navigating the complexities of global geopolitics underscores the intricate nature of foreign relations.

5. Identify any two aspects of India’s foreign policy that you would like to retain and two that you would like to change, if you were to become a decision maker. Give reasons to support your position.

Two Aspects to be Supported:

  1. India has always maintained its dignity and the image of a peace-loving country by taking initiatives to promote equality and understanding among nations. For instance, India supported efforts to end the Korean War in 1953, French rule in China, and the US role in Vietnam.
  2. India’s initiatives for non-alignment are commendable for maintaining mutual understanding and security. In the post-Cold War era, NAM has been an effective tool to make the Security Council more democratic and efficient.

Two Aspects to be Changed:

  1. In the decade of 1962-72, India faced three wars and its peaceful image played a very limited role.
  2. Conflict with neighboring countries like China and Pakistan derailed India’s concept of regional cooperation under SAARC.

Hence, India must adopt diplomatic and defensive postures in its foreign policy to maintain its independent entity.

6. Write short notes on the following:

(a) India’s nuclear policy
(b) Consensus in foreign policy matters

Answer –  (a) India’s Nuclear Policy:

India’s nuclear policy is characterized by a doctrine of credible minimum deterrence, emphasizing a restrained and defensive posture. Key points about India’s nuclear policy include:

  • No First Use (NFU): India has declared a No First Use policy, stating that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict. However, it retains the option of a retaliatory nuclear strike in response to a nuclear attack.
  • Credible Minimum Deterrence: India’s nuclear doctrine focuses on maintaining a credible minimum deterrence, which means possessing a nuclear arsenal sufficient to deter potential adversaries from initiating a nuclear strike.
  • Civil-Military Separation: India maintains a clear separation between its civilian and military nuclear facilities. The civilian facilities are subject to international inspections, while military facilities are not open for inspection.
  • Global Disarmament Advocacy: India actively advocates for global nuclear disarmament and strives to promote a world without nuclear weapons. It calls for a comprehensive and non-discriminatory approach to disarmament.
  • No Signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): India is not a signatory to the NPT, arguing that the treaty is discriminatory as it recognizes only five nuclear-armed states (P5) and restricts other nations from acquiring nuclear weapons.

(b) Consensus in Foreign Policy Matters:

Consensus in foreign policy matters refers to the process of achieving agreement and harmony among various stakeholders, including political leaders, government institutions, and other relevant entities, on key foreign policy decisions. In the context of India, achieving consensus in foreign policy involves the following:

  • Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS): The CCS, consisting of key ministers, plays a crucial role in formulating and deciding on major foreign policy matters. The committee ensures that decisions are made collectively, considering the perspectives of various ministries.
  • Parliamentary Oversight: Important foreign policy decisions are often subject to parliamentary scrutiny and approval. This ensures that a broad consensus is sought among elected representatives, reflecting the diverse views within the political spectrum.
  • Interagency Coordination: Various government agencies, including the Ministry of External Affairs, intelligence agencies, and defense establishments, work together to formulate and implement foreign policy. Coordination among these agencies is essential for achieving a unified and coherent approach.
  • Political Consultations: Political leaders engage in consultations and discussions to build consensus on critical foreign policy issues. These consultations may involve representatives from different political parties, fostering a more inclusive decision-making process.
  • Public Diplomacy: Building consensus also involves communicating foreign policy decisions to the public and garnering support. Public opinion can influence the direction of foreign policy, and efforts are made to ensure that decisions align with the broader interests and values of the nation.

In summary, achieving consensus in foreign policy matters is a complex process that involves coordination among various government entities, political leaders, and public engagement. It ensures that decisions are well-informed, widely accepted, and reflective of the nation’s collective interests.

7.India’s foreign policy was built around the principles of peace and cooperation. But India fought three wars in a space of ten years between 1962 and 1971. Would you say that this was a failure of the foreign policy? Or Would you say that this was a result of the international situation? Give reasons to support your answer.

Answer – The occurrence of three wars in a span of ten years between 1962 and 1971, despite India’s foreign policy being built around the principles of peace and cooperation, cannot be solely attributed to a failure of foreign policy. Instead, it was influenced by a complex set of factors, including regional and international dynamics. Here are key reasons to support this perspective:

    1. Border Disputes and Regional Tensions: – The Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the Indo-Pakistani conflicts, particularly the 1965 and 1971 wars, were driven by longstanding border disputes and regional tensions. The Sino-Indian conflict stemmed from territorial disagreements, while the Indo-Pakistani conflicts were rooted in historical and territorial issues, including the Kashmir dispute.
    2. Global Cold War Context: – The period between 1962 and 1971 was marked by the global Cold War, where India pursued a non-aligned foreign policy. The geopolitical rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had implications for regional conflicts. The Indo-Pakistani wars, for instance, saw Cold War dynamics influencing the behavior of key players, with the U.S. and China supporting Pakistan, and the Soviet Union supporting India.
  • Security Concerns and National Interest: – India’s engagement in conflicts during this period was driven by security concerns and the imperative to protect national interests. The wars were, in part, responses to perceived threats to India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The 1971 war, for example, resulted in the creation of Bangladesh and the end of the conflict with Pakistan.
  • Evolving Nature of Alliances:- The alliances and alignments in international relations were fluid during this period. India’s non-aligned stance did not insulate it from regional conflicts, as global power dynamics and the changing nature of alliances influenced the behavior of nations. The varying degrees of support from different global powers contributed to the dynamics of the conflicts.
  • Diplomatic Efforts for Conflict Resolution:- While armed conflicts occurred, India also engaged in diplomatic efforts to resolve disputes. After the 1962 Sino-Indian War, diplomatic channels were used to ease tensions. The 1971 war, which led to the creation of Bangladesh, involved diplomatic efforts to address humanitarian concerns and the political situation.

In conclusion, the wars between 1962 and 1971 were not necessarily indicative of a failure of India’s foreign policy but rather a reflection of complex regional and global circumstances. India’s foreign policy, rooted in the principles of peace and cooperation, faced challenges due to unresolved regional disputes, Cold War dynamics, and evolving geopolitical alignments. The conflicts were responses to specific geopolitical situations rather than a failure of the broader foreign policy framework.

8. Does India’s foreign policy reflect her desire to be an important regional power? Argue your case with the Bangladesh war of 1971 as an example.

Answer –  

  1. In 1970, Pakistan faced its biggest political crisis when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s party won in West Pakistan and Sheikh Mujibur-Rehman’s Awami League won in East Pakistan, leading to a split verdict.
  2. The Bengali population of East Pakistan voted to protest the discriminatory attitude of West Pakistan, which was unacceptable to its rulers.
  3.  In 1971, the Pakistani army arrested Sheikh Mujib and unleashed a reign of terror on East Pakistan. This started people’s struggle to liberate Bangladesh from Pakistan.
  4. India had to bear 80 lakh refugees who fled from East Pakistan to take shelter. Hence, India had to extend moral and material support to the freedom struggle in Bangladesh.
  5. In December 1971, a full-scale war erupted between India and Pakistan. The conflict began when Pakistan attacked Punjab and Rajasthan, which was met with retaliation from India. Within ten days, the Indian army had surrounded Dhaka, and Pakistan was forced to surrender, resulting in the formation of Bangladesh as a free country. India declared a unilateral ceasefire, and in 1972, the Shimla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan.
  6. Most people in India saw this moment as a glory of India and a dear sign of India’s growing military powers.

Based on the reference mentioned above, we can conclude that India’s foreign policy aims to establish itself as a significant regional power. This was demonstrated during the Bangladesh war of 1971. Therefore, it can be said that India’s foreign policy reflects its desire to play a crucial role in the region.

9. How does the political leadership of a nation affect its foreign policy? Explain this with the help of examples from India’s foreign policy.

Answer – The political leadership of a nation plays a pivotal role in shaping its foreign policy. The perspectives, priorities, and diplomatic approach of leaders influence how a country engages with the international community. Examples from India’s foreign policy provide insights into the impact of political leadership on foreign relations:

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru (1947-1964):
  • Non-Alignment and Panchsheel: Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, significantly influenced the foundational principles of India’s foreign policy. He championed non-alignment, advocating for staying neutral in the Cold War and maintaining independence from power blocs. Nehru also promoted the Panchsheel principles, emphasizing peaceful coexistence and mutual respect in international relations.
  • Example: The Bandung Conference in 1955, attended by Nehru, was a key moment where non-aligned nations gathered to assert their independence and challenge the dominance of the Cold War powers. This showcased Nehru’s commitment to non-alignment on the global stage.
  1. Indira Gandhi (1966-1977, 1980-1984):
  • Bangladesh Liberation War: Indira Gandhi, during her tenure, demonstrated decisive leadership in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. India’s military intervention led to the creation of Bangladesh, showcasing the interplay of regional security concerns, humanitarian considerations, and a strong leadership stance.
  • Example: Indira Gandhi’s leadership during the Bangladesh War highlighted the use of military force for strategic and humanitarian objectives, influencing the regional balance of power and reshaping India’s foreign relations.
  1. Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1998-2004):
  • Nuclear Tests and Outreach: Vajpayee’s leadership saw India conducting nuclear tests in 1998, signaling a shift in India’s nuclear posture. Despite international criticism, Vajpayee pursued diplomatic outreach, emphasizing India’s responsible nuclear behavior and advocating for a seat at the global nuclear table.
  • Example: Vajpayee’s diplomatic efforts, including the Lahore Declaration with Pakistan in 1999, demonstrated a balance between assertiveness in national security matters and a willingness to engage in diplomatic initiatives, influencing India’s standing in the global arena.
  1. Narendra Modi (2014-Present):
  • Act East Policy: Modi’s tenure has seen a renewed focus on the “Act East” policy, aiming to strengthen India’s ties with Southeast Asian nations. His leadership has emphasized economic diplomacy, connectivity, and cultural exchanges to deepen regional engagement.
  • Example: The expansion of India’s diplomatic footprint in Southeast Asia and the strengthening of ties with countries like Vietnam and Myanmar under Modi’s leadership exemplify a strategic shift in India’s foreign policy priorities.

In summary, the political leadership of a nation, through its vision, values, and decision-making, significantly influences foreign policy. India’s examples underscore how leaders’ approaches, from non-alignment to decisive military action, nuclear policy shifts, and regional outreach, shape the nation’s diplomatic engagements and global standing. Each leader brings a unique perspective that contributes to the evolution of India’s foreign policy landscape.