West Bengal as a lever in India’s Act East policy

By Paras Ratna, Research Associate – Strategic & Foreign Relations Practice at Rashtram

This article was published in the TheDailogue

The source of the image is Vision India Foundation

Act East Policy launched by PM Modi at ASEAN summit at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar is a logical extension of look East policy launched by PV Narshima Rao in 1992. Look East policy was aimed to strengthen ties between India and the ASEAN countries. Changed geopolitical realities necessitated India to reach out to its ASEAN neighbors with whom they shared historical, cultural and civilizational linkages. Post-1990’s tremendous strides in Indo-ASEAN relation were made. From India becoming a sectoral partner of ASEAN in 1992 to entering summit partnership in 2002. However, in decades after that, the momentum somewhat fizzled out. Thus, the NDA government in 2014 outlined its Act East policy to reinvigorate the momentum and build upon the foundations of “Look East” policy.

Given the scheme of things, regions like West Bengal and North Eastern India by default occupies an important position in the successful realization of India’s Act East policy. While NE states have issues of connectivity and governance and would require some time for India to reap its full potential. W.B. is ideally poised to act as a catalyst for India’s Act East policy.

Read the full article on TheDailogue

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