Speaking to a massive, triumphal audience on the day his electoral victory was confirmed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his vision for the nation clear. “I want to make the 21st century India’s century.”

In just under four months, Modi has already met with the prime minister of Japan, and the presidents of China and the United States. Those are, in reverse order, the world’s biggest economies by Gross Domestic Product. Modi got through all three meetings without major hiccups – except for the now customary Chinese incursion that accompanied Xi Jinping’s visit to New Delhi – and also managed to position India as an important destination for investment from their nations.

Individually, the report cards may not be great: the US made no investment commitment, although there were encouraging noises from the business executives that the PM met. The much-touted Indo-Japan civil nuclear deal was not agreed upon during Modi’s visit to Tokyo. And the Eastern Ladakh incident left a bad taste in the mouth, despite the numerous cash incentives handed out by Jinping.

Yet looked at collectively, Modi has managed to establish direct relationships with the two most influential Asian leaders, both of whose countries will play a key role in Indian affairs, while reigniting the interest of American corporations in India.

Much was made of his proactive approach to foreign policy in South Asia, after Modi invited all the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation leaders to his inauguration. But his approach with the contemporary world’s “great powers” has not exactly been lackadaisical either.

Coupled with the Make in India pitch, it’s clear that Modi has made progress on his plan to rehabilitate the country’s image, after the dismal headlines and economic numbers of the last few years.

Below you’ll find Modi’s Great Power Report Card, based on statements released by the PMO.

United States

Relationship status:
 “Vital partner”
Common interests: “Education, skills, research, technology and innovation - and, above all, a shared commitment to human values.”
Deliverables: Joint Op-Ed in the Washington Post, 10-year renewal of the Defence Cooperation Agreement, “joint and concerted effort” to dismantle terror networks, effort to increase trade from $100 billion to $500 billion annually.
It’s complicated: India’s stance on the World Trade Organisation’s Bali Package, India’s nuclear liability law, American immigration laws.
Modi tagline: Chalein saath saath, together we go forward.


Relationship status: “Largest neighbour”
Common interests: “Peace and stability in our relations and along our borders” and giving “new direction and energy to the global economy.”
Deliverables: $20 billion investment commitment, building of Chinese industrial parks, civil nuclear cooperation.
It’s complicated: The border dispute, maritime security rivalry, skewed trade deficit.
Modi tagline: INCH to MILES.


Relationship status:
 “Closest and most reliable partner”
Common interests: “Civil nuclear cooperation, health, roads, clean energy and women’s development.”
Deliverables from visit: $35 billion investment commitment, cooperation on smart cities and bullet trains, defence cooperation.
It’s complicated: Specifics of civil nuclear agreement, caps on defence investment.
Modi tagline: 3Ds – Democracy, demography and demand.