Here is an essay on the ‘Challenges to External Security of India’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on the ‘Challenges to External Security of India’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay # 1. Challenges from Neighbourhood:
India is a vast geographical nation-state sharing borders, both land and maritime, with several countries. These neighbours are not consistently disposed to maintaining friendly relations with India. Policy and utility directs the nature of interactions with these countries.
The Achilles heel of India’s foreign policy has always been the country’s troubled relationship with its neighbours—ranging from an adversarial relationship with its two biggest neighbours, China and Pakistan, to non- adversarial but complicated ties with Sri Lanka (and increasingly the Maldives) or to the nuanced relationships with Bangladesh, Myanmar or Nepal and the delicate equation with Bhutan.
Since bifurcation of territory which demarcated India and Pakistan in 1947, the two nations have had strained relations due to disagreements over a number of key issues, control of Kashmir, terrorism and infiltration through the porous border. China carries on with its policy of provocatively aggressive expansion.
From both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, India has faced, from time to time, the problem of the spillover to its territory of refugees fleeing scenes of ethnic violence, often due to the oppression of minorities in these countries. For example, India has harboured Chakma and Tamil refugees fleeing Bangladesh and Sri Lanka respectively.
Myanmar is important to India as it looks to counter Chinese presence in South East Asia by creating its own sphere of economic zone.
India and Nepal share a unique relationship of friendship and cooperation characterized by open borders and deep-rooted people-to-people contacts of kinship and culture. But recently Nepal’s second Constituent Assembly promulgated a Constitution on 20th September 2015 amid protests by Madhesi-based parties and other groups. The Government of India has expressed grave concern regarding the ongoing protests and has urged the Government of Nepal to make efforts to resolve all issues through a credible political dialogue.
Bilateral relations between India and Maldives have been friendly and close in strategic, economic and military cooperation. But presently the diplomatic and commercial relations between India and Maldives have hit an all-time low since the row over the GMR built airport erupted after a coup deposed former President Nashid and brought Waheed Hassan to power.
It’s worth noting that Maldives despite being a 100% Sunni nation was not much affected by the rise of Islamic Radicalism until the recent past. In last few years, Maldivians in increasing numbers have been drawn towards the Pakistan-based madrasas and jihadist groups.
Essay # 2. Development in the Middle East:
Cultural, diplomatic, and economic exchange has proliferated between India and the Middle East since ancient times. This engagement has continued into the modern era. India has maintained a strong relationship with Egypt, particularly since both countries became the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War. India also maintains bilateral relations with Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the Gulf states, dating back to when the Arab spice trade dominated the region.
Presently the security and political scenario of Middle East is highly volatile.
With that as caveat, one can visualize five short-to-medium term challenges:
a. Even after five years, it is too early to write-off the Arab Spring and the Arab yearning for change that has not run its course. While lacking an overarching roadmap, individual Arab countries will have to evolve a model that reflects and suits their social and demographic specificity. No country can influence or determine an appropriate model for another.
b. The declining American influence in the region will continue with no other country or group of countries being in a position to provide an alternate leadership. Some external powers will try to carve out spheres of influence without dominating the entire region.
c. ISIS, religious extremism and sectarian tensions are here to stay and political violence would continue to undermine the stability, territorial integrity and in some cases even viability of the state.
d. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is important but an immediate resolution is unlikely because both sides lack wisdom, foresight and political will. Moreover, it is not the core problem facing the region, and Arab and non-Arab countries have many more serious problems to worry about apart from the statelessness of the Palestinians.
e. Oil prices will continue to be low and this will affect both the big and smaller energy players. The entry of Iran post-sanctions will further exert pressure on prices. The low oil price will also affect the search for non-hydrocarbon energy alternatives like solar energy.
Essay # 3. Maritime Security Challenges:
India is a maritime nation, not just by historical tradition but also because it’s geophysical configuration and geo-political circumstances make it as dependent on the seas as any island nation. With 11 maritime states and island territories, India probably has more seafaring people than the population of most European countries.
India’s maritime security challenges cover the entire range from low intensity conflict and piracy, all the way to major power strategic contests. Given its distinctive geography and the shift of global maritime focus from the Atlantic-Pacific combine to the Indo-Pacific continuum, the importance of the Indian Ocean Region in India’s national security calculus has greatly increased in the post-Cold War era and the more recent post 9/11 era.
Increased activity throughout the Indian Ocean region due to expanding regional and global trade in goods, ideas, people, and resources has raised a new set of maritime security challenges. Among these are growing risks from non-state actors including piracy, terrorism, and trafficking; the impacts of environmental degradation, resource depletion, climate change, and natural disasters; and weak states and failing institutions. These diverse challenges confront an equally diverse set of nations bordering this region.
The energy-deficient nations such as China, India and other developing countries have no choice but to import large quantities of energy resources from around the world especially, West Asia. The dependence on the seas to get energy products to sustain their economies is growing progressively. This also brings in the threat of these vessels and products being targeted by both pirates and non-state actors.
Essay # 4. Militarization of Space:
During Cold War era, space became an essential adjunct for war-fighting on the ground, without becoming another theatre of combat. While militarization of space proceeded rapidly, the weaponisation of space was avoided.
Because the weaponisation of space was avoided during the Cold War, it does not necessarily follow that weaponisation will continue to be avoided in a new era of asymmetric warfare. We can improve protection of satellites against some threats, but satellites will remain easy targets for space weapons designed to kill on impact.
India’s space program has very strong civil roots – it began as a means to assist India in its development and has mainly focused on improving the everyday lives of its citizens. More recently, India has made a dramatic shift in the tone of its space efforts.
Lately, the country has adopted a more militarized attitude, as exemplified by increased efforts by India to create an indigenous ballistic missile defence program. India’s space efforts could very well affect the long-term sustainability of space and merits further attention.
Essay # 5. Intensification of Competition for Scarce Resources:
In 2003, the EU’s European security strategy identified “competition for natural resources” as a global challenge. According to, the 2004 report of the high level panel on threats, challenges and change, appointed by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, “shortage of natural resources can contribute to unrest and civil violence”.
The UNEP expert advisory group on Environment, conflict and peace building noted in 2009 that “as the global population continues to rise and demands for resources continues to grow, there is significant potential for conflict over natural resources to intensify in the coming decades.” Resource scarcity is increasingly perceived as one of the greatest security risk in the 21st century.
In the Indian perspective the external manifestations of links between India’s resource woes and security are discernible in ties with Pakistan and China. Some security analysts have depicted the Bay of Bengal and its significant deposits of natural gas as a future source of Sino-India conflict. China has secured a major natural gas deal with Burma and may conclude one with Sri Lanka soon.
Water, meanwhile, is a key factor in border tensions between India and China. These tensions centre around one of the region’s rare water-rich areas, particularly Arunachal Pradesh state. The strategic significance of Arunachal Pradesh, therefore, goes beyond the issue of territory. Finally, India is deeply alarmed by Chinese dam building on Tibetan Plateau rivers, including the Brahmaputra, which flow downstream into lower-riparian India.