India viewed favourably in most G20 members, Modi’s image divided – survey

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – People in most nations of the G20 have a favourable view of India, according to a Pew survey published on Tuesday, but the number of residents in European countries who view India positively has come down in the last 15 years.

The survey of over 30,000 people across 24 countries, conducted between February and May this year by the Pew Research Centre, shows that India is viewed favourably with a 46% median, while 34% look at India unfavourably.

The survey also asked people in 12 of these countries about their view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and 40% said they lacked confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs, while 37% were confident that he would.

Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, all members of the G20, were not among the 24 nations where people were polled, which included India.

The survey comes less than two weeks before Modi is set to host leaders of the G20 nations in New Delhi for a summit.

U.S. President Joe Biden has confirmed his attendance at the summit, but Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be present.

Just over half the respondents from the U.S. viewed India favourably at 51%, with 44% holding the opposite view, the survey said. For Modi personally, only 21% Americans held a positive view, compared to 37% saying they did not have confidence in him.

While India’s image is more positive than negative, the survey found that this popularity is waning in most European countries. In five European nations where past data is available – France, Spain, Germany, Poland and the UK – India’s favourable rating dropped 10 percentage points since 2008.

The largest drop was seen in France, where only 39% respondents held a favourable image of India in 2023 compared to 70% 15 years ago.

(Reporting by Krishn Kaushik; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)