India is in transition in changing world: PM

Observing that India is in transition in a changing world, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the country was engaging with the world with an objective of creating environment for its development and ensuring security.

He said foreign policy and diplomacy would be key factors in India's progress and security with the "centre of gravity of global challenges and opportunities" shifting to this region and growing engagement of the country with the world.

"India is in transition in a changing world. The external and internal environment that our nation faces has changed beyond recognition since the Indian Foreign Service was set up.

"Yet, our engagement with the world continues to be driven by the enduring objectives of creating an enabling environment for our national development goals, ensuring the security of the nation and fulfilling our international responsibilities," Singh said while outlining the objectives of Indian diplomacy.

He was speaking here after giving away the 2nd S K Singh Award for outstanding foreign service to senior IFS officer Tanmaya Lal. The jury for the award, instituted in the name of the late Foreign Secretary and eminent diplomat, is headed by Vice President Hamid Ansari and includes Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

Recommending S K Singh as a role model for future generations of foreign service officers, the Prime Minister said, "The mettle of civil servants is often tested in difficult circumstances and challenging environments."

He said Indian diplomats must lead efforts for fostering a climate for peace, stability and security for the country and in safeguarding the national interests in international negotiations of far-reaching consequence.

The Prime Minister noted that South Asia, West Asia, Central Asia, Southeast and East Asia as well as Africa are becoming increasingly important for India's future security and prosperity even though these "may not be the easiest places to work in".

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