International Relations

April 14, 2018
9 months

Critically examine the opportunities and challenges for India as a member country to the Commonwealth of Nations. (200 words)

Refer – Business Line

Enrich the answer from other sources, if the question demands.

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IAS Parliament 9 months



·        The Common wealth Heads of Government summit is set to focus on opportunities to increase cooperation on a number of specific areas including

a)     sustainability and climate change

b)     democracy, human rights and sustainable development

c)      security and terrorism

d)     trade and investment

·        From the Indian perspective, the Commonwealth offers a number of specific opportunities:

·        It offers a forum for India to reach out to smaller island nation states.

·        It also offers yet another counterpoint to China, particularly as it attempts to build its ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative.

·        It also comes at a time when appetite for free trade globally is threatened, particularly as a result of posturing by the United States.

·        It will be an opportunity for member-states to emphasise their support for the existing multi-lateral trading arrangements, including implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.


·        Leadership role – India highlighted its particular interest in adopting a leadership role in the organisation going forward.

·        While Britain has welcomed a big deal of India’s active engagement with the community, it has done little to publicly acknowledge and accept India’s ambitions for an active leadership role and greater devolution within the organisation.

·        Immigration – A toughening immigration regime in Britain has had a huge impact on migrants from Commonwealth nations.

·        India’s high commissioner to London and others have repeatedly made clear the importance of mobility when it comes to growing trade.

·        Yet, immigration appears to have been given little role in either CHOGM or the preceding Business Forum, despite the clear priority accorded to it by India and other nations. 

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