Day 22 – Q 1. How did the Indo-China war of 1962 shape India’s defense and foreign policy in the coming years? Explain. (10 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • February 21, 2022
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GS 1, Indian History & Post-Independence, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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1. How did the Indo-China war of 1962 shape Indias defense and foreign policy in the coming years? Explain. (10 Marks)

1962 के भारतचीन युद्ध ने आने वाले वर्षों में भारत की रक्षा और विदेश नीति को कैसे आकार दिया? समझाएं।


Candidates need to write about the background of Indo china war. Then simply highlight the defence and foreign policy due to impact  


Recent face-off between India and China in Galwan valley has awaken the memory of 1962 war. China attacked India over multiple points across the border in 1962, leading to a month-long standoff between 10,000 to 20,000 Indian soldiers and 80,000 Chinese troops. Unprepared for the offensive, India lost nearly 4,000 soldiers in the war and suffered its most humiliating defeat. 


  • The aftermath of the war saw sweeping changes in the Indian military to prepare it for similar conflicts in the future, and placed pressure on Nehru, who was seen as responsible for failing to anticipate the Chinese attack on India. 
  • Indians reacted with a surge in patriotism and memorials were erected for many of the Indian troops who died in the war. 
  • The war also put an end to Nehru’s earlier hopes that India and China would form a strong Asian Axis to counteract the increasing influence of the Cold War bloc superpowers. 
  • According to James Calvin, India gained many benefits from the 1962 conflict. This war united the country as never before. India got 32,000 square miles (8.3 million hectares, 83,000 km2) of disputed territory even if it felt that NEFA was hers all along.  
  • It would more than double its military manpower in the next two years and it would work hard to resolve the military’s training and logistic problems to later become the second-largest army in the world. India’s efforts to improve its military posture significantly enhanced its army’s capabilities and preparedness. 
  • However, since 1962 here have also been many instances when China had to face setbacks after initiating aggression against India. 
  • The Nathu La conflict is better known as the India-China war of 1967. In a strong message to China that the mistakes of 1962 won’t be repeated, India landed a stern blow on the PLA’s pride at the Nathu La post in Sikkim. 
  • In 1993 and 1996, the two sides signed the Sino-Indian Bilateral Peace and Tranquility Accords, agreements to maintain peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control.  
  • During the 1962 war, India was left isolated. Barring Western countries like USA and UK, none came to India’s aid, though India considered herself as the leader of the Non-aligned Movement. 
  • Seeking to balance the other side, each country has forged relationships that act as a counterpoint to the other; most notably, Beijing’s “all weather friendship” with Islamabad and Delhi’s partnership with Moscow. 
  • The rivalry has also led both sides to compete for influence in their peripheries, especially in Burma and Nepal, and to resent the spread of the other’s influence close to their borders. 


India and China are two growing Asian powers and hence a clash of interests is inevitable.  The key is to keep it manageable and not allow it to flare up into another border war. It will be tough test for our diplomacy in the prevailing situation. 

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