India's Nuclear Doctrine (17 October 2020)
India's Nuclear Doctrine (17 October 2020)
Why in News:
India has said that it is committed to no first use of strategic weapons under its nuclear doctrine.
Speaking at the Conference on Disarmament, at 75th Session of the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, India said that its nuclear weapons are meant to maintain a posture of minimum deterrence. Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said nuclear disarmament can be achieved through an agreed multilateral framework.
It was in late 1940s that Nuclear programme of India was initiated under the guidance of Homi J. Bhabha.Indiaundertaken its first nuclear explosionin May 1974.India made it clear that it was committed to the policy of using nuclear power only for peaceful purposes.
In 1995,India opposed the indefinite extension of the NPT and also refused to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
India conducted a series of nuclear tests in May 1998, demonstrating its capacity to use nuclear energy for military purposes.India enunciated a doctrine of 'No First Use’ (NFU) of nuclear weapons after the 1998 nuclear test.
The doctrine was formally adopted in January, 2003, and says that nuclear weapons will only be used in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere.
Summary of the Debate
- A nuclear doctrine states how a nuclear weapon state would employ its nuclear weapons both during peace and war.
- Through the nuclear doctrine a state can communicate its intention and resolve to the enemy.
- The doctrine also guides the state’s response during war.
Nuclear Doctrine of India:
- India’s nuclear doctrine came out in 2003 and it has been quite consistent and has not changed at all despite a lot of debate that whether the no first use should be changed or not.
- The basic principle of India's nuclear doctrine is "No First Use".
- Under this policy, nuclear weapons will only be used in retaliation against a nuclear attack on the Indian Territory or on Indian forces anywhere.
- India needs to build and maintain a Credible Minimum Deterrent. It means that the number and capabilities of India’s nuclear weapons and delivery systems should merely be sufficient to ensure intolerable retaliation, also keeping in mind first-strike survival of its relatively meagre arsenal.
- If a country invades India by a nuclear missile, India’s response will be massive, to cause unacceptable damage.
- The doctrine clearly state that Nuclear weapons will not be used against non-nuclear states.
- The right to take nuclear action against the enemy will only be taken by the elected representatives of the people.
- India will continue to support the global initiative to create a nuclear-free world.
- The NPT isan international treaty signed in 1968 and entered into force in 1970.
- To prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.
- To promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy
- To further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.
- Under the NPT terms, China became recognised as one of the world’s five ‘weapon states’, and India was excluded from such status.
- India is one of the only five countries that either did not sign the NPT or signed but withdrew, thus becoming part of a list that includes Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, and South Sudan.
- The two adversaries that flank India on the border and that are on two sides of India's main threat perception, they are putting a lot of pressure and they have traditionally also put in the past as well a lot of pressure on global nuclear arms control architecture.
- For India, as a responsible stakeholder in the global nuclear architecture, it has always been the case that it would represent its case with a modicum of sobriety, with a modicum of one that propels stability in South Asia.
- The challenge is very huge that how do you convince other stakeholders that this is the paradigm that can continue.
- The nuclear environment itself is changing very rapidly. At one situation, the Pakistan was only problem to India but what China is doing for example rapidly modernizing and ramping up its nuclear base and the bilateral nuclear arms control between Russia and America are no longer exist and China is not part of that architecture in any case.
- China is looking to America and trying to ramp up its modernization process and at the same time India is trying to counter China along a convention spectrum which is becoming very difficult to sustain.
- The challenge for International community is putting pressure on major powers.
- This is the right time for India to build a discourse on a new multilateralism and there India need to bring new ideas on the table.
- Indian government should talk to the public, the public has a different reading on nuclear issues and global security issues than the government normally have.
- India need to educate the new generation. There is a bit of complacence about the effect of nuclear weapons used. It needs to be borne out by two different generation of people that it is still as horrendous as it was in 1945 when it was used against Hiroshima.
- There is no diminution in the risk and the danger posed by the nuclear weapons and the whole generation should realize this, because from their arrivals, the need to move towards removing and reducing these weapons rather than worshiping them as some kind of a panacea for security which is a complete falling.
- For a country like India which views nuclear weapons not as an instrument for war fighting but as a political instrument for deterrence, it is imperative that the dialogue on nuclear disarmament and that multilateral discussions get on board.
Important points made by the Guests
Arvind Gupta, Director, Vivekananda India Foundation
Sheel Kant Sharma, Former Ambassador
Prof. Harsh V. Pat, Head, Strategic Studies, Observer Research Foundation