1) Meddling in others affair without long term strategy or vision.
India has meddled in neighboring countries since a long time. Unfortunately, the policies lack a sense of direction and continuity. India needs to create policies that are consistent and long term in nature. Right now we have knee jerk policy towards everything. For years when the Maoists were fighting the Nepal government, India did not provide any strong diplomatic or military support to the Nepal government. Once the Maoists came to power India woke up and started the machinations to remove Prachanda from power and succeeded. While this worked in short term, it has immensely hurt India's image in Nepal as it was construed as a clear meddling in internal affairs of Nepal.
Au contraire, I would posit that India has an extremely consistent vision which has guided its dealings in its immediate neighbourhood. These are based on (1) a long term intent of promoting democracy, (2) being conscious of its overwhelming presence and hence tolerant of the jabs which come its way.
Let's use Nepal as an example, as you have done.
Way back in 1950s, Nehru hosted HH Maharaj Tribhuvan and got his throne back from the Rana dynasty on the condition that he introduce multi-party democracy. HH Tribhuvan got the throne back, and then basically he and his son HH Maharaj Birendra danced around, including conducting some "partyless" democracy or whatever it was called.
Rajiv's imposition of the trade blockade (in the late 80s) was precipitated by the dismissal of even that government, and was lifted on the condition conducting multi-party elections. So Koirala and his ilk came to power.
Even in the recent past, India's policy towards Nepal was aimed at bringing the Maoists into the democratic mainstream, and also ensuring adequate representations of the Madhesis. One can argue with the way/ efficiency MMS conducted the affair but at least the guiding principle was constant. So if Prachanda came to power, so be it- the truth about democracy (also proven many times in India, and which guides our approach to even internal insurgency) is that Prachanda either had to become a part of the establishment legitimately, or be cast aside........ as it happens, it turned out to be latter in this particular case.
Same approach guided us in Bangladesh. As it happens, democracy also does throw up elements hostile to India (and as the overwhelming big brother in the region, that is inevitable) as in the case of Gen Ershad and Begum Zia. Had India tried to subvert that, the feeling would have gained strength and hence worsened, so India "lived" with it till things got better. They will also get worse, that is an unavoidable cycle
Certainly we can do this better, and one clear area in my mind is to articulate the red lines a bit better to the younger siblings in the neighbourhood. The BSF incident was clearly one such for me at least
One red line we HAVE made clear is the lack of tolerance of letting in other parties. That of course doesn't work with Pakistan, nothing does, but that is because China, KSA and Unkil are much more powerful than us..........
But these are our neighbours, and we cannot run away from them nor wish them away. Ongoing friction is inevitable, but it would be wonderful if the ruling elites in these countries learn to work with us, and we also work with more sensitivity at times
Sorry for the long post, the pot shots just got to me