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May 29 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


The global landscape is witnessing a resurgence of nuclear anxieties, driven by geopolitical tensions, technological advancements, and regional conflicts. In this context, India faces multifaceted challenges and opportunities in its nuclear program and energy sector.  

Evolution of the Global Nuclear Landscape: 

  • Russia-Ukraine War: Russia’s veiled nuclear threats during the Ukraine conflict have rattled Europe’s security, prompting discussions within NATO about bolstering nuclear forces. 
  • China’s Nuclear Expansion: China’s aggressive nuclear buildup and assertive territorial claims in Asia have raised concerns among neighbouring countries, prompting re-evaluation of their reliance on the US nuclear umbrella. 
  • Iran’s Nuclear Program: Iran’s persistent nuclear ambitions have fuelled fears of a regional arms race in the Middle East, with Arab nations exploring nuclear capabilities to counterbalance Iran. 
  • North Korea’s Nuclear Activity: North Korea’s ongoing missile and nuclear tests pose a significant security threat in East Asia, escalating tensions with South Korea and neighbouring countries. 
  • Modernization of Nuclear Arsenals: Established nuclear powers like the US and Russia are modernizing their arsenals, potentially lowering the threshold for nuclear use and raising concerns about arms race. 
  • Erosion of Arms Control Treaties: The breakdown of key arms control treaties has weakened international frameworks for managing nuclear stockpiles and fostering disarmament efforts. 

India’s Historic Stance on Nuclear Energy and Weapons: 

  • Establishment of Atomic Energy Commission: India’s nuclear journey began with the establishment of the Atomic Energy Commission in 1948, under the leadership of Homi J. Bhabha. 
  • Nuclear Tests and Non-Proliferation Treaties: India’s refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968 and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1995 reflects its commitment to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent. 
  • No First Use Policy: India’s adherence to a ‘No First Use’ policy underscores its commitment to use nuclear weapons only in retaliation to a nuclear attack. 
  • Civil Nuclear Cooperation: India’s civil nuclear agreements with the US and entry into organizations like the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) demonstrate its growing international nuclear engagement. 

Current Nuclear Threats Faced by India: 

  • Neighbourhood Nuclear Threats: Pakistan’s substantial nuclear arsenal and long-standing tensions pose a significant threat to India’s security, exacerbated by cross-border terrorism. 
  • China’s Nuclear Expansion: China’s nuclear buildup and advanced missile capabilities present a growing security challenge for India, necessitating vigilance and strategic preparedness. 
  • Command and Control Vulnerabilities: Ensuring the safety and security of nuclear command and control systems is imperative to prevent unauthorized access or cyber threats. 
  • Environmental and Health Risks: Nuclear accidents, radioactive contamination, and long-term health impacts pose challenges for India’s nuclear energy program and necessitate stringent safety measures. 
  • Emerging Technologies and Arms Race: The rapid development of hypersonic missiles and AI-driven weapons systems raises new challenges for nuclear deterrence strategies and regional stability. 

Measures to Strengthen India’s Nuclear Program: 

  • Responsible Nuclear Modernization: India should focus on modernizing its nuclear arsenal while maintaining a credible minimum deterrence posture. 
  • Nuclear Risk Reduction Measures: Enhancing crisis communication mechanisms and confidence-building measures with neighbouring nuclear-armed states can help prevent inadvertent escalation. 
  • Investment in Advanced Technologies: Investing in thorium-based reactors, small modular reactors, and next-generation nuclear technologies can address India’s energy needs while minimizing environmental risks. 
  • Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Expanding cooperation with like-minded countries in nuclear research, technology sharing, and peaceful applications of nuclear energy can enhance India’s nuclear capabilities. 
  • Global Nuclear Governance Initiatives: Active participation in global nuclear governance initiatives will demonstrate India’s commitment to non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear technology. 

Mains question: 

  1. “Discuss the evolving global nuclear landscape and its implications for India’s nuclear program and strategic priorities.” (150 WORDS)


May 29
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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