International relations and the IAS interview

A UN Security Council meeting in progress.

Global issues and concerns are favourite topics of interview panels. So prepare well on these counts.

The arena of international politics occupies a significant place in the landscape of civil services exam personal interview. The board tends to ask questions on international issues and trends as part of general studies, current affairs or as academic pursuit of the candidates. Whenever the interviewees prefer Indian Foreign Service as a career choice the interview panel is predisposed to ask questions elaborately on global issues and concerns.
There are five broad areas of focus here: Indian foreign policy, international institutions (WTO, UNO, IMF and World Bank), international problems, international regional organisations (SAARC, ASEAN, EU, NAFTA) and the foreign policy of major powers (United States of America, Peoples Republic of China, Russia, etc).
The interview board seeks to identify the candidates’ understanding of the elements, components and objectives of Indian foreign policy. The candidates must make a SWOT analysis of Indian foreign policy in the landscape of international diplomacy in the contemporary world, especially if students have indicated Indian Foreign Service as the first service option in the main application form. The interview panel is bound to engage more on the diverse issues, concerns, innovations, strategies and problems of Indian foreign policy including Look East Policy, Gujral Doctrine of Non-Reciprocity, Pancha Sheel Principles or Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, Look East and Link West Policy, FDI (First Develop India) and modifications in foreign policy under the new government.
India stands at the threshold of a new era of economic growth, military might, science and technology achievements and a largely successful democratic model of governance. Students must analyse the major advantages of India, especially the vital components of its expanding soft power resources. Past panels have asked the candidates to display the array of arguments that can be advocated to demand a place for India in the permanent membership of the Security Council of the United Nations Organization. Candidates can concentrate on preparing arguments such as the expanding economy, second largest population, seventh largest geography, function democracy, impressive military capabilities and equally admirable self-restrained military behaviour, constructive and peace-loving diplomacy and steadfast adherence to the basic charter and objectives of United Nations Organization, greater participation in the numerous peace-keeping operations of UNO in many continents and countries so as to bolster India’s case for a permanent membership of the Security Council.

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