9 years, 1 big footprint: Jaishankar hails PM Modi’s leadership


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday summed up the achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in nine years and said that the country has achieved a “bigger footprint” on the global platform under his leadership.
“A large part of the world sees us as a development partner, not just as a development partner but a development partner who lives up to what PM enunciated…Today, the second image of India is that of an economic collaborator,” said Jaishankar. Noting the changes witnessed in nine years of PM Modi’s government, he said that India has become a self-assured country adding that there is no single achievement but many across multiple fields.
“I think, in a way, a more self-assured country with a lot of changes happening, which is contributing more, which is caring more for its own people, people at home and people abroad, and which is communicating all of this very effectively with the rest of the world. So it isn’t a single account and a single achievement. In a way, I think there’s been really very broad progress across multiple fields,” the EAM said.
EAM Jaishankar was addressing a special media briefing along with Ministers of State V Muraleedharan, Meenakshi Lekhi, Rajkumar Rajan Singh, and Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra.
On nine years of PM Modi’s government, Jaishankar began his remarks by saying that the country has achieved a “bigger footprint.”
“I think most of you would not dispute that among the many areas where there’s been a significant transformation, foreign policy would surely be among them. It’s reflected in the country’s higher standing, greater influence, bigger footprint, new concepts, and stronger delivery. Now, there are many ways by which one can judge how foreign policy has changed, how it has delivered, where has it made its deepest impact,” said Jaishankar.
Referring to former PM Dr Manmohan Singh’s presser on the biggest achievement during his administration, a question was put before the External Affairs Minister asking what PM Modi’s biggest achievement, according to him was.
“Prime Minister Modi has a long way to go in his tenure. So I’m sure as and when that arises, he will say what he has to say,” Jaishankar said, adding, “But I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.”
To evaluate Indian foreign policy over the nine years, Jaishankar picked two broad themes as the metrics.
The first theme, “How does the world see India today?” and the second, “How has foreign policy affected the lives of the common citizen?”
The External Affairs Minister also said, “So what, in a sense, I present to you is an accumulation of our collective experiences. And if I were to pick them, probably the one I would start off with is how much today the world, especially the global south, perceives India as a development partner, as a credible, effective development partner with delivery on the ground.”
EAM Jaishankar then pointed to India’s development partnership in Namibia, Guyana, Mozambique, Kenya, and Mauritius. He even gave an example of how India gave a ferry to Guyana, rails to Mozambique, textile factory to Kenya, metro to Mauritius.
“I came back yesterday morning from Namibia and I inaugurated, formerly a center of Excellence in It, which has been functioning there for about a year and a half and the impact on the technical university of Namibia, by our giving a Param Supercomputer, having trainers out there, working with them, developing cybersecurity skills, developing entrepreneurial skills, promoting research,” Jaishankar said.
Recalling his experience in Guyana, Jaishankar said, “It so happened at that time, India was delivering for the first time ever a ferry. The first time ever. And the ferry had a transformational message for the Guyanese because it suddenly made the islands and even the coastline far more accessible. So actually, you had the entire Guyanese Cabinet, the previous President, everybody, really turn out because it was such a big event for them.”
Regarding India’s ongoing G20 Presidency, Jaishankar said that India made an effort to consult others, and 125 countries responded because they believe in the country’s independent voice.
He talked about PM Modi’s famous statement, “This is no time for war” regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as well as, highlighted India being the first responder to Turkey’s earthquake and as per its “Neighbourhood First” policy helped Sri Lanka during its economic crisis.
Notably, India’s stature at the global platform is visible in its new approaches like Neighbourhood First and SAGAR, mechanisms like Quad and I2U2 and initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance.
India is perceived as a responsible development partner, as a First Responder, helping countries in economic stabilization and as a voice of the Global South.
“India is making a significant economic impact that has been recognised globally. Global South perceives India as a credible partner,” said Jaishankar.
Jaishankar also highlighted the land boundary agreement with Bangladesh, mobility agreements with several countries, the opening up of more Passport Seva Kendra, and technological collaboration with foreign countries. He said that these efforts have benefited the people and created several new opportunities for youths