India and the Nuclear Weapon

India and the Nuclear Weapon

Background: This article is based on How a nuclear ‘chain reaction’ and neighbourhood challenges led to India
acquiring its n-weapons that was covered recently in The Indian Express.

How did India evolve its Nuclear power?

1947 – 1948                       India gains independence and Atomic Energy Act was passed in 1948.
1950Nehru’s dual intent strategy on nuclear power.
1964China conducts its First nuclear test prompting India to think about its own nuclear capabilities.
1974India conducts its own Nuclear Test (Smiling Buddha) under Indira Gandhi’s leadership
1985US President R Reagan tells Rajiv Gandhi about Pakistan’s bomb. Rajiv Gandhi considers developing India’s own bomb.
1998Prime Minister Vajpayee oversaw nuclear tests in 1998 in Pokhran (Operation Shakti)
1999Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan.
2005Indo-US nuclear deal negotiations begin.
2008Indo-US nuclear deal ratified by Nuclear Suppliers Group.

What is India’s Nuclear Doctrine Policy? (At present)
• India’s nuclear doctrine policy is that of a credible minimum deterrence (CMD) and a no-first-use (NFU) policy, while concurrently supporting non-proliferation and universal disarmament.
• For example, in the 2019 Balakot surgical strike, even though India had nuclear capabilities, it opted for conventional warfare, ensuring peace.

How has Nuclear power empowered India?
• It gives opportunity to think and maintain independent stance in decision making as far as National security matters are concerned.
• It elevates India’s status as a responsible nuclear power on the global stage and enhances India’s leverage in international diplomatic negotiations.
• It contributes to clean energy generation and reduces dependence on fossil fuels.
• It provides credible deterrence against our adversaries.
• It facilitates collaboration with other nations in nuclear research and trade.

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