India has been a key strategic player in the Indian Ocean where it sees itself as a net security provider in the region. However, engagement of other powers in its neighborhood, as well as their partnerships with other South Asian nations towards defense, economics, infrastructure development and technology, has posed a challenge for India's security and foreign policy. The study analyses how the change in South Asia's regional dynamics (especially Pakistan and Bangladesh) have impacted India’s neighborhood policy within its larger Indo-Pacific vision. The study also captures the changes and continuities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in India's bilateral and multilateral relationships in the region. The paper argues that while the bilateral relations between India and its South Asian neighbors have been contentious, New Delhi has constantly sought to balance the same through an engagement based on development partnership and new security arrangements. This has helped India in its balancing act in the changing relations of South Asian neighbors with other global powers like China and the US.


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