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MELBOURNE: While economic factors are set to dominate the foreign policy of the new Indian government, it may adopt a "muscular" policy towards Pakistan and bolster defence capabilities against China

Earlier this year more than 60 prominent figures from diplomacy, think tanks, higher education, politics, business and media took part in the 'Australia India Rountable' dialogue held at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney and the Australia India Institute in Melbourne.

"I think that the time has come for a much closer relationship between Australia and India, which for too long was shaped by the fact that both countries were on opposing sides of the Cold War," says Professor Amitabh Mattoo, chief executive of the Australia-India Institute.

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It's been a little over 100 days since Mr Narendra Modi took charge as India’s Prime Minister. The slogan with which the BJP went into the election campaign with was “Abki Baar Modi Sarkar” (This time, Modi Government). While the ousted government created an impression that the power centre is at Congress’ President’s disposal rather than the Prime Minister’s, the new government has shown that Mr Modi is indeed the boss of the new government. Since his outstanding win, Mr Modi has left his critics in the media and elsewhere astonished by his actions. Mr Modi has shown that he acts based on the position he holds and that is why Prime Minister Modi-ji is very different from the campaigner Mr Modi.

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