This section on India, authored by Fellow Dhruva Jaishankar, originally appeared in the India chapter of The Asian Research Network: Survey on America’s role in the Indo-Pacific. The views are of the author(s).
India stands at an important juncture today. Its central government has probably its strongest political mandate since the 1980s, and arguably since the 1970s. The country’s economic growth is going well by global standards, but with considerable room for improvement. It has also become more diplomatically active with unprecedented cooperation with the United States and Japan, continuing defence relations with Russia, complex security and economic ties with China, and new forms of outreach and engagements in its immediate neighbourhood, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Today, the rest of the world matters more for India than ever before. India’s trade-to-GDP ratio is higher than China’s or the United States’, it is the world’s largest defence importer, it has a large diaspora that is a major source of investment and remittances, and it is among the most dependent major economies on energy imports.
Despite these developments the understanding of how the Indian public perceives international developments is poor, with few large-scale, face-to-face or telephone surveys conducted outside major metropolitan areas.
Many surveys also display a lack of awareness or opinions about international issues. The latest survey helps to fill the gap in understanding of public Indian attitudes concerning the United States, China, and the international system; India’s role and relations with Pakistan; Indian identity and democracy; and perspectives on trade, investment and immigration.
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