Since the very inception of an independent democratic India, the country has always aimed to be a voice to be heard in international affairs. Over the years it has had consistent policies in response to international issues and challenges of the time. Domestic constraints imposed by the socio-economic imperatives faced by an emerging and developing nation, lack of economic or military superiority, and the preoccupation of the developed world with the Cold War has, till recently, restricted our country's ability to be an influential global player. Within these limitations, however, it is creditable that some deft policy initiatives have ensured that we have been able to uphold our national interests without making any compromise.

Today, the situation is vastly different. Since the opening up of its economy, India has progressed by leaps and bounds, and the international community today recognises not only its economic potential, but also its ability to influence international issues. In the post Cold War world, apart from the burgeoning economy, India's known conventional military strength, as well as its acknowledged nuclear capability has significantly aided this change in perspective. Increasingly, India's action will have widespread implications for global security arrangements and economic interactions. Indeed, there has never been a greater opportunity for India to realise its aspirations of becoming a world power , and to play a dominant role in regional and global affairs.

As a result, international relations have acquired a new meaning , and the world community at large would closely monitor India's response. Under the circumstances , it is imperative that our efforts towards these ends are appropriately channelised and a multi pronged strategy with a calibrated approach be adopted by the leadership, academic and policy community and the citizenry. Opportunities press India to seize the initiative and move forward with conviction and determination to the challenge of globalisation and derive maximum benefit for home.

It is widely acknowledged that this process would necessarily need a multi dimensional approach, and Track II initiatives would complement those taken by official and government channels. The process would require the institution of an organisation that serves as a think tank for policy formulation. Such an institution would need to draw on the experience of specialists from diverse fields so as to provide tangible outputs as and when required. Part of the outputs would be based on long term perspective planning and research, while some outputs would be required on a more dynamic basis, necessitating the establishment of permanent staff and premises.

Consistent with the foregoing, GLOBAL INDIA FOUNDATION is instituted.