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Will India Find Its Place in the Sun With Solar Power?

Aug 22, 2018 | 18:35 GMT
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands at the first conference of the International Solar Alliance, a cooperative effort their countries launched in 2015.

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands at the first conference of the International Solar Alliance, a cooperative effort their countries launched in 2015. India hopes to use its role in the organization to enhance its soft power in developing countries.

(LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Since gaining independence in 1947, India has aspired to be a leader in the developing world. Its strategy for achieving that goal has traditionally relied on what political scientist Joseph Nye calls "soft power": exerting influence through attraction rather than coercion. India used the legacy of its nonviolent freedom movement to increase its influence abroad -- particularly among newly independent colonies in Africa and Asia -- during the first decades following its independence. And after shifting its focus to trade liberalization and integration with advanced economies over the past quarter-century, India today is once again trying to make inroads with developing countries, this time using solar power....

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