What it means to be posted to the Indian mission in Papua New Guinea

A dekko at the Relevance to India Index

It’s classified. But the Hindustan Times tells us a little bit about an index that the external affairs ministry has compiled. It turns out the Relevance for India index (RX) “serves as an indicator of the importance of a particular country to India from the political, economic, commercial and cultural perspective on a 1-100 scale”. It is to serve as a basis for the ministry’s ‘ambitious expansion plans’.

Apart from the fact that it reveals that Papua New Guinea (at number 114) is the least relevant to India among the countries indexed, there are no major insights to be had. The United States is the most relevant, followed by Britain, France, Japan, Russia, China, Pakistan and the rest of the subcontinent.

According to the report some officials are shocked that Japan should rank above China. Well, why not? Others are arguing over ‘discrepencies in the way Bhutan, Belgium, Australia, Afghanistan and Thailand were all tied at 67 points’. If it’s only about relevance to India, the rankings seem reasonable enough. But this is also, or indeed really about, the ministry’s ‘expansion plans’. Hence the bureaucratic battle.

5 thoughts on “What it means to be posted to the Indian mission in Papua New Guinea”

  1. Any guesses on where India figures on the American “relevance” scale?
    My guess, seriously – in the top 5.

  2. I am glad to see Japan ahead of Russia and China. Pak may be less relevant but MEA spends lot time and resources on it.

    I think you are right about expansion plans – hence 2 and 3 for largely irrelevant Britain and France!

  3. The foreign ministry is kidding itself if it puts Afghanistan’s relevance to India at 67, tied with Bhutan and Belguim. And the reality of the matter, and the extensive ties between the two countries since the fall of the Taliban (that has got Pakistan so panicked) says otherwise too.

  4. Hamesha,

    Afghanistan’s strategic relevance to India is much higher that what its RX rank would indicate. There is no doubt at all that who controls and what happens in Afghanistan is of great relevance to India.

    The RX, I think, appears to measure the “bureaucratic” (for the want of a better word) relevance to India. But that the ministry should think that the bureaucratic relevance need not be consistent with the strategic relevance is interesting…

Comments are closed.