India, till 2014, had bilateral trade and infrastructure agreement treaties with its Asian neighbours. India, through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), has been investing in trilateral and multilateral infrastructure projects since 2014, with its littoral (coastal) and inland neighbours in Asia. While it demonstrates the growing potential of infrastructure diplomacy, it also puts India in direct competition with China, which through its own infrastructure initiative, has been involved in building physical infrastructure in India’s neighbours.
This paper argues that taking into account environmental security as a parameter for developing cross border sustainable infrastructure, during signing of MoUs in these treaties, will provide a unique opportunity for India to develop norms for environmental and social security framework/policy, training assistance, and capacity building in its funded projects in other countries.
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Jyotsna Bapat, has over 34 years of experience in environment and social science sector, with specialization in infrastructure projects.
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