India is ranked at the sixth spot, behind China and Japan, in a list of eight great powers for the year 2017 by a leading American foreign policy magazine which is topped by the US. The list is topped by the US, whereas Chin and Japan are at tie for being on the second spot. Russia (fourth) and Germany (fifth) are the other two countries ahead of India. Iran is ranked seventh and Israel is on the eighth spot. “Like Japan, India is often overlooked in lists of the world’s great powers, but it occupies a rare and enviable position on the world stage,” The American Interest magazine said in its latest annual report of eight great powers.
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India is the world’s largest democracy, home to the second-largest English-speaking population in the world and boasting a diversified and rapidly growing economy, it said. On the geopolitical front, India has many suitors: China, Japan and the United States are all seeking to incorporate India into their preferred Asian security architecture, while the EU and Russia court New Delhi for lucrative trade and defence agreements, it noted. “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has deftly steered its way among these competing powers while seeking to unleash its potential with modernising economic reforms,” it said.
According to the magazine, despite internal problems in the aftermath of demonetisation, and the Pakistan scare, India found its footing elsewhere in 2016. “Long hesitant to pick sides, New Delhi took several clear steps this year to deter a rising and aggressive China, announcing that it would fast-track its defence infrastructure projects in the Indian Ocean, amid fears that China was trying to encircle India with a ‘string of pearls’,” it said.
“Likewise, Modi explored new naval cooperation with both the US and Japan, and signed a host of defence deals with Russia, France and Israel to modernise the Indian military,” it observed. “From the Middle East and East Africa to Southeast Asia, India is making its presence felt in both economics and security policy in ways that traditional great powers like Britain and France only wish they could match,” The American interest said.