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  • 19 January, 2023

  • 7 Min Read

India and Eurasia

India and Eurasia

  • The importance of the Eurasian region has increased as a result of the current geopolitical situation. India being one of the region's fastest-growing economies, connections between India and Eurasia are important.
  • As 2023 gets underway, the world is embracing a "new normal" in which ancient and new fault lines in Eurasia and the Indo-Pacific are being rearranged.

What is Eurasia?

  • The largest continent on Earth, known as Eurasia, is made up entirely of Europe and Asia. According to certain geographers, Eurasia is one continent physiographically.
  • Despite being regarded as separate continents since antiquity, Europe and Asia's borders are arbitrary and have historically been subject to change.
  • Despite geographical continuity, over the centuries, Europe and Asia developed into distinct political and cultural realms.
  • Eurasia is a tectonic plate that geographically underlies much of Europe and Asia. However, there is no universal agreement on what constitutes the region when it comes to governmental boundaries.

Changing geopolitics in Eurasia:

  • Over the past few years, Eurasia has been one of the most economically active regions of the world, with an average annual per capita income growth rate of about 4-5%.
  • In an effort to create an Asian order that is centered on China, China is making great efforts to construct a new economic system and security measures without the US.
  • The Belt and Road Initiative's advancement across Central Asia, Russia, and the Atlantic Ocean, as well as Europe's growing economic dependency on China, have enhanced Beijing's enormous leverage in Eurasia.
  • While South Korea, which occasionally disagrees with Japan, tries to increase its profile in Europe, Japan is working to forge solid military alliances with the continent.
  • Poland is receiving key armament platforms from South Korea.
  • Equally eager to include Europe in the Indo-Pacific is Australia, which has joined the US and UK in the AUKUS (Australia, the UK, and the US) agreement.
  • Japan, South Korea, and Australia are working together to bridge the gap between Asia and Europe, which have traditionally been considered distinct geopolitical theatres.
  • Days ahead of the Russia-Ukraine War, China and Russia both signed a document pledging an alliance "without boundaries" and with no "forbidden territories."
  • China purposely refrained from taking sides in Europe's disputes with Russia despite its efforts, which have been mainly successful, to cultivate Europe since the 1990s.

India-Eurasia relations:

Historical aspect:

  • Eurasia was home to several ancient civilizations that engaged in trade and cultural exchange, including those in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China.
  • There are many historical and cultural similarities between the people of Siberia and the Indian Himalayas due to common traditions and a shared Buddhist culture.
  • With the arrival of the British and the foundation of the English as a territorial force on the subcontinent, India's influence was extended into Central Asia.
  • Delhi's Indo-Pacific policy has benefited from intensive Indian diplomacy in recent years as it gains institutional and political support. It must now make a "Eurasian" policy with the same level of effort.
  • The recalibration of India’s continental strategy is involved in Eurasia, while the Indo-Pacific is about Delhi’s new marine geopolitics.

India’s Eurasian Policy:

  • International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC): The INSTC is a commendable endeavour that intends to connect Eurasia.
  • It is a multi-modal transportation system that Iran, Russia, and India founded on September 12th, 2000 in St. Petersburg with the intention of encouraging transportation cooperation among the Member States.
  • Eleven new nations have joined the INSTC, including the Republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, the Republic of Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Oman, Syria, and Bulgaria (Observer).

Security Dialogue:

  • As part of creating a Eurasian strategy, the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan was conducted in 2021.

The national security adviser for India invited his colleagues from China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Central Asia, and Pakistan to participate in this meeting.

  • China and Pakistan didn't attend the summit, though. The fact that Pakistan is reluctant to cooperate with India on Afghanistan illustrates Delhi's ongoing difficulty working with Islamabad to develop a new Eurasian strategy.

Eurasia's importance to India:

  • Due to the strategic peninsular location of Eurasia, which connects a number of subregions of Asia and West Asia, it is essential for India's ambition to become an economic hub.
  • Eurasia offers India a huge tourism prospect because of its sizable population and close proximity.
  • The pharmaceutical and medical industries have a lot of room for cooperation.
  • In order to strengthen its relationship with Eurasia, India is willing to build civic hospitals there.
  • India wants to establish a Central Asian e-network that will link the five Central Asian nations and enable access to tele-education and telemedicine.
  • Central Asia, the geographic heart of emerging Eurasia, is part of India's wider vicinity and is crucial from a strategic standpoint.

Other Countries Eurasian Policies:

USA’s Interests in Eurasia:

  • The rise of Eurasia does not appear to be sufficiently taken into account by Washington's Indo-Pacific strategy.
  • The South China Sea and the western Pacific are where the US has the most interests in Asia. These two areas are a long way from the center of the Eurasian theatre.
  • Washington has started to re-evaluate its strategic ties to Eurasia in light of China's increasing difficulties in the Indo-Pacific maritime domain.


  • Russia struggled to integrate into either the European or Asian powers but considered itself as both.
  • Together, Russia and China revealed a Eurasian alliance in the hopes that it would be the long-awaited final blow to Western hegemony.

India-Eurasia Relations' Challenges:

  • India was physically shut off from inner Asia as a result of the subcontinental division and Eurasian geopolitics.
  • Due to its dominance in the industrial supply chain, BRI-scale infrastructure projects, and ever-expanding trade with the EU, Beijing has positioned itself in a very formidable position over the entire Eurasia region.
  • Large-scale transportation initiatives like the INSTC, Ashgabat Agreement, Chabahar Port, and others are postponed for a number of reasons, including a shortage of funding, misgivings about public confidence, and western sanctions against Iran and Russia.
  • The current conflicts in Belarus, Ukraine, the Caucasus, and Kazakhstan are having an effect on the security and stability of the entire area.
  • But the battle between China and Russia and the US, Europe, and Japan is now severe and doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon.

Way Forward

  • India has a great opportunity to strengthen its influence in Eurasia and can act as a counterbalance despite the Indo-Pacific region gaining more attention.
  • Act East Policy, Connect Eurasia Policy, and Indo-Pacific Strategy must all be balanced in India.
  • India must put as much effort into creating a "Eurasian" policy as Japan and South Korea do. The recalibration of India's continental strategy is involved in Eurasia, while the Indo-Pacific is about Delhi's new marine geopolitics.

Source: The Indian Express

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