The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has devised a ‘Relevance for India’ (RX) index that categorises countries on the basis of their political and strategic importance and their economic and commercial value to India over the next decade. The index forms the basis of its ambitious expansion plans.
While it comes as no surprise that the US and UK top the index as the two most important countries in New Delhi’s view, officials are puzzled why China, that is far more crucial to India in proximity and strategic importance, is ranked after Japan.
“The RX index 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,” a classified document says.
The US and UK have got percentile scores of 92 and 86; France, Japan and Russia 79. China is sixth (77); above Pakistan.
Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka all have got the same points, and come in at places 7, 8, 9 and 10. Papua New Guinea is the least important country from India’s perspective: number 114 in the list of 114.
Officials argued that there were some discrepancies in the way Bhutan, Belgium, Australia, Afghanistan and Thailand were all tied at 67 points.