Q) For any international grouping to succeed, it needs a coherent purpose, a strategic vision and an institutional framework. In this context, critically examine the relevance of Quad for India and the world.
Why this question
Important part of GS paper-II.
Key demand of the question:
Significance of the Quad and the challenges that can undermine its stature.
Critically examine- Look in close detail and establish the key facts and important issues surrounding the topic. Try and offer reasons as to why the facts and issues identified are most important, as well as explain the different ways they could be construed.
Briefly give an overview of the Quad and its purpose.
In the first part, categorically highlight the significance of Quad for India.
In the next part, give a list of challenges that Quad as an international grouping faces.
Conclude with a way forward.
The Quad was formed in 2007 after four countries US, India, Japan and Australia came together. It Is a platform for diplomatic consultation. The objective of Quad remains advancing the security and the economic interests of all the countries having legitimate and vital interests.
Significance of Quad for India
- Countering China- the Quad provides a platform for India to seek cooperation from like minded countries on issues such as ensuring respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty and peaceful resolution for disputes.
- Framing post Covid international order- Quad can help India not only recover from the pandemic two coordinated responses but also secure its place in the new world order.
- Convergence on some important issues- India has converging interests with the other quad members on a variety of important issues such as connectivity and infrastructure development, security including counter terrorism, cyber and maritime security, reform of multilateral organisations, etc.
- Supplementing India’s defence capabilities - cooperation in the field of defence among the quad members through joint patrols, Exchange of strategic information, etc. India can overcome its limitations pertaining to finances, naval capacity, military reconnaissance and technological and surveillance capabilities.
- Fulfilling India’s Indo Pacific vision - all members of court have at some point affirmed their commitment to ensure a free open inclusive Indo Pacific region following a common rules based order where all countries have equal access to common spaces on the sea and in the air.
- Unclear Agenda- the Quad lacks a coherent purpose, strategic objective and an institutional framework.
- China’s influence- China has strong economic ties with the Quad members, especially Australia and it can use it to influence or coerce it in its favour.
- Differential capabilities- The four members of the quad do not have the same levels of financial resources, strategic awareness and military capabilities in the Indian Ocean. This creates an imbalance partnership where the burden falls equally on partners.
- Possibility of antagonising China- China perceives the Quad as an anti China coalition. Thus India faces the risk of further deteriorating its relations with China as it proceeds to increase its engagement with the quad.
- Difference in priorities- within the Indo Pacific Australia’s in Japan's priorities lie in the Pacific while India is primarily focused in the Indian Ocean. Moreover India is the only country that shares a long border with China.
- India has to make sure that its relations with the quad does not turn as a move against China.
- The quad members should further institutionalise the grouping so that it has a coherent purpose.
- Quad members should collaborate and build a positive agenda that is built around collective action.