New Delhi | President Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday said the international community is looking towards India for solutions to complex global challenges such as climate change, cyber security, and combating extremism and terrorism.
Addressing a group of probationers of the Indian Foreign Service (2022 batch), she said India's role and influence in the international arena is expanding rapidly, both as a driver of global growth and as a strong voice in global governance.
"India's growing profile means that you will not only have to fulfil your traditional duties, but will also have to shoulder new responsibilities for serving our political, economic and cultural interests," the president said.
It could be seeking out new technology partnerships, securing markets for Indian goods and services, delivering humanitarian aid, or providing support to the Indian diaspora, Murmu said.
She said officers must be versatile and adaptable, stay well-informed, and learn to play multiple roles.
"Today, the international community is looking towards India for solutions to complex global challenges: be it sustainable growth, climate change, cyber security, dealing with disasters or combating extremism and terrorism. For young diplomats like you, this presents unprecedented opportunities along with new challenges," the president said.
Murmu suggested that the ultimate aim of all their efforts and activities abroad should be fostering "growth and development in our own country".
"You should never lose sight of this aim as you seek out new technology, new markets, new resource suppliers and new strategic partners around the world. Your role and contribution to India's progress and prosperity are as important as that of your colleagues in other branches of the civil service, and you have to work with them hand-in-hand to attain this larger goal," she said.
Murmu said that they must also carefully cultivate and promote the important role played by the 33 million strong Indian diaspora around the world.
Officers should always remember that for Indian nationals abroad, the Indian Missions are their home away from home, she said.
"Consular services and community outreach must be delivered with sensitivity and a humane touch. I would urge you to regularly meet our community members, and look after their welfare. They have no one but you to reach out to in times of distress," the president said.
Vande Bharat Mission, Operation Ganga and Operation Kaveri, in which the country's diplomats worked hard to repatriate thousands of Indian nationals, were exemplary efforts, she said.
Murmu said she was happy to see that the group of young Indian diplomats, who had called on her at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here, represents India's diversity, and also reflects the improving gender balance in the foreign service. "This bodes well for the service and our nation," the president said.
Murmu also asked them to keep up the role being played by India now as a first responder in humanitarian assistance and in disaster and pandemic relief. "All these efforts contribute to the immense goodwill and respect enjoyed today by India in the global arena," she said.