Critically examine India's potential role as a "Net Security Provider" in the South Asia / Indian Ocean region while highlighting the significant structural and institutional impediments that inhibit India's capacity to fulfill the said role.
A net provider of security is the nation which can address the security concerns of not only itself but also other countries in the vicinity or beyond. Generally a security provider is of a capable power that can deploy their surplus national assets for the safety and stability of other neighbouring countries.
India’s potential role as net security provider:
Net security provider encompasses four different activities-Capacity building, military diplomacy, military assistance and direct deployment of military forces. Out of these, India has been a net security provider in terms of capacity building and military diplomacy. India has been quite reserved in terms of military assistance and direct deployment.
Structural and institutional impediments:
Some of the structural and institutional impediments that inhabit India’s capacity as Net security provider include import dependency, India’s own image as a peaceful country, not very good experience in deploying troops abroad; disputes with neighbours which keep army mostly focussed on borders. Further, India’s weak defence industry and import dependence for arms are other structural impediments.