In the past India used to be a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth and Non-aligned Movement. But now, one has lost count of the number of organizations or groups in which India is a member or with which India is associated with. Of course, some other countries also have become members of many regional groups, but in the case of India, some of the groups do not seem to be natural. In some cases, there is more to give than to take.
India spends a lot of time and energy of not only the officers but also of Ministers and Prime Minister and President in preparing for and attending the numerous meetings and summits. When more important and urgent work is awaiting VIPs and VVIPs in India, they are made to travel to foreign countries to attend to these meetings. India already has its Embassies and High Commissions and has good bilateral relations with the members of the groups. India can deal with the individual countries without additional efforts through its Missions.
It is time to review the usefulness of India’s membership in or association with some of the following groups in terms of additional trade, investment, political support etc.
- Bay of Bengal Initaitve for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)
- Member countries: Bangladesh, India, Myammar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, Nepal
- Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC)
- Member countries: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iran, South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, Tanzania
- India, Brazil and South Africa Diaglogue Forum (IBSA)
- Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC)
- Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
- Member countries: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan (India has observer status)