The EAM Sushma Swaraj led Ministry of External Affairs has come up with a unique way to take the workings of the Indian Foreign Policy across the country.
The EAM Sushma Swaraj led Ministry of External Affairs has come up with a unique way to take the workings of the Indian Foreign Policy across the country. The foreign office is on an outreach mission with a new programme called SAMEEP which stands for Students and MEA Engagement Programme. It plans to make students in smaller towns and cities aware of the Foreign Ministry’s work. And how does it plan to do so? The Ministry of External Affairs has asked its officers on leave to travel to their hometowns and particularly their alma mater and spread the good word. The Ministry has asked all its officers, under-secretary and above, to engage students in the schools and colleges in the jobs that the ministry is engaged in, so as to give them a fair idea of how India engages with the world, what are its foreign policy priorities and how diplomacy is actually conducted. The programme is voluntary and gives officials the option of going back to their alma mater or to any school or college in their hometown.
The ministry would give them a standardized presentation and officials would be free to improvise and add their personal experiences. The idea of the Ministry is not only to get students to take interest in India’s global ambitions and the country’s place in the world but also consider diplomacy as a career option. The MEA programme even crowd-sourced its name from the My Gov portal, out of 550 entries. Apart from SAMEEP, a similar programme already has IAS officers going to back to the place of their first posting to assess its development and make recommendations.
Speaking on this latest move, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the objective “is to familiarise school and college students in India about the functioning of the MEA, as well as introducing them to the key elements of India’s foreign policy and its success stories. We want to engage with the youth at the grassroot level,” Raveesh Kumar said. “MEA had also started an interactive program on social media called “ask the spokesperson” answering questions from anyone on aspects of Indian foreign policy,” Kumar added.