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Projection of India as soft power: Parl panel ‘unhappy’ with MEA’s effort

External Affairs Ministry is understood to have cited ‘turf war’ with other ministries and ‘lack of funds’ as hurdles in achieving the desired results during a meeting of a Parliamentary panel, which expressed its dissatisfaction over the ministry ‘doing little’ in projecting India as a soft power.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on MEA had summoned Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to discuss the subject ‘India’s soft power diplomacy including role of Indian Council for Cultural Relations ICCR and Indian diaspora’. However, Jaishankar had excused himself due to a pressing appointment.

The Ministry was represented by Sujata Mehta, Secretary (Development Partnership Administration), Spokesperson Vikas Swarup and other senior ministry officials. Sources said members pointed out that while MEA was spending more on administration, it was not investing much in actual projects. They said MEA was ‘doing little’ on diplomatic front to project the country’s image as a soft power.
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