Non Aligned Movement, Panchsheel, Look East Policy, Gujral Doctrine

The Non-Aligned Movement

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a group of states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc(USA OR Soviet Union). As of 2012, the movement has 120 members.

The founding fathers of the Non-Aligned Movement were 

  • Josip Broz Tito of Socialist Yugoslavia, 
  • Jawaharlal Nehruof India, 
  • Sukarno of Indonesia,
  • Gamal Abdul Nasserof Egypt and 
  • Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.

Their actions were known as ‘The Initiative of Five’.

The purpose of the organization has been enumerated as to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries” in their “struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics.

The Panchsheel

The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, known in India as the Panchsheel Treaty are a set of principles to govern relations between states.

The principles were emphasized by the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Their first formal codification in treaty form was in an agreement between China and India in 1954. They were enunciated in the preamble to the “Agreement (with exchange of notes) on trade and intercourse between Tibet Region of China and India”, which was signed at Peking on 29 April 1954.

 This agreement stated the five principles as:

  1. Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
  2. Mutual non-aggression.
  3. Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
  4. Equality and cooperation for mutual benefit.
  5. Peaceful co-existence.

Look East Policy to Act East Policy+


India’s Look East policy is an effort to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations with the nations of Southeast Asia in order to bolster its standing as a regional power and a counterweight to the strategic influence of the People’s Republic of China.

It was developed and enacted during the government of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao (1991–1996) and rigorously pursued by the successive administrations of Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1998–2004) and Manmohan Singh (2004–2014)

Objective of look East policy-

  • Regional economic integration and ties with ASEAN countries- BIMSTEC, Mekong Ganga etc
  • reform and liberalisation – free trade agreement
  • sustained economic growth
  • development of northeastern states- connectivity with south eastern countries via roads , railways etc and infrastructure development
  • to balance China’s influence in this region
  • diplomatic engagement with southeast to border security and defence ties.

Act East policy-

Act East Policy adopted by PM Narendra Damodardas modi in 2014 .

It focus on ASIA PACIFIC region.

This is not just a rebranding rather it carried a significant message with it that India is willing to play a more active and prominent strategic role, exemplified by enhanced defence diplomacy in east and south east Asia.

Objectives of Act East policy:

  • To promote economic cooperation
  • To promote cultural ties
  • To develop strategic relationship with countries in the Asia Pacific region

 India has made its relations with East Asian neighbours a foreign policy priority at a time when the United States has engaged in a “pivot to Asia”. 

The Gujral Doctrine

Former Prime Minister, Late Mr. I.K. Gujral propounded the Gujral Doctrine when he was the Union Minister of External Affairs in 1996-1997 in the H.D. Deve Gowda Government.
The Gujral doctrine was a five-point roadmap which sought to build trust between India and neighbours, of solution to bilateral issues through bilateral talks and to remove immediate quid pro quos in diplomatic relationship between India and her neighbours.

The ‘Doctrine’ emphasized on the importance of unilateral accommodation for friendly and warm relations with India’s neighbours.

The five principles are:

1.With neighbours like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, India does not ask for reciprocity, but gives and accommodates what it can in good faith and trust.

2.No South Asian country should allow its territory to be used against the interest of another country of the region.

3.No country should interfere in the internal affairs of another.

4.All South Asian countries must respect each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

5.They should settle all their disputes through peaceful bilateral negotiations.

The essence of Gujral Doctrine has been that being the largest country in South Asia, India can extend unilateral concessions to neighbours in the sub-continent.