Topic– Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
6) In the wake of major changes in its strategic environment there is an urgent need to revise India’s nuclear power doctrine. Analyze.(250 words)
Why this question
There have been calls from various intellectuals, journalists and politicians to revise India’s nuclear power doctrine which is 19 years old now. There have been significant changes globally as well as in our neighbourhood which warrant such a revision.
Analyze-Here we have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts, and present them as a whole in a summary.
Key demand of the question
The question wants us to delve deep into the issue and bring out the need to revise India’s nuclear power doctrine under the conditions of major changes in our strategic environment. We have to discuss the changes and then need for revision and present our answer as a whole in summary .
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few lines about the history of India’s nuclear doctrine- e.g Until the May 1998 nuclear tests, almost nothing was known about India’s nuclear doctrine in the public domain. A draft nuclear doctrine was prepared by the National Security Advisory Board chaired by the late K. Subrahmanyam and handed over to the government on August 17, 1999. The government issued a statement in 2003, spelling out India’s nuclear doctrine.
- Discuss the salient aspects of the doctrine. E.g India will build and maintain a credible minimum deterrence; follow a no-first-use posture; and will use nuclear weapons only “in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere.” etc.
- Discuss the changes in our strategic environment which warrant a revision of the nuclear doctrine. E.g the rapid rise in the employment of dual-use platforms and delivery vehicles by India, China and Pakistan. This elevates the risk of escalation based on a single misperception; increasing relevance of seaborne deterrence in all the three countries. Juxtaposed with the first trend, this introduces new complexities into naval engagements; Pakistan has moved from “credible minimum deterrence” to “full spectrum deterrence”, marked by acquisition of tactical nuclear weapons; China is also witnessing a debate between traditional advocates of a “minimum deterrence” and new arguments for a more flexible “limited deterrence”; India has removed the phrase “minimum” from “credible minimum deterrence” etc.
Conclusion- Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.