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  • Indian Nuclear Policy—1964–98 (A Personal Recollection)

    This is a personal recollection of the author on the evolution of the Indian nuclear policy and developments leading to the Shakti tests. Since it draws solely upon the author’s memory there could be errors and discrepancies in the account. This has been written in an effort to present a coherent and comprehensive account of the Indian nuclear policy, since, in the absence of an authoritative official document, there are considerable dissensions and misperceptions in the country.

    May 2018

    Nuclear Arms Race in South Asia? – An Analysis

    Ever since India and Pakistan conducted their nuclear tests in 1998, it has been the favourite pastime of many analysts writing on nuclear issues to cast the strategic stability in South Asia in dark tones. This urban myth is primarily a Western invention although at times writers in the subcontinent as well have taken some part in it.

    May 2018

    India’s Deterrence and Disarmament: The Impact of Pokhran-II

    After the nuclear weapons tests of May 11, 1998, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee made a matter-of-fact statement:

    “I have an announcement to make: today at 3:45 p.m., India conducted three underground nuclear tests in the Pokhran range…. These were contained explosions like the experiment conducted in May 1974….”

    May 2018

    US–Soviet/Russian Dialogue on the Nuclear Weapons Programme of India

    The history of the US–Soviet and US–Russian dialogues on the nuclear weapons programme of India can be divided into two major periods: First, from Pokhran I up to the end of the 1990s, when Moscow and Washington shared concerns regarding India’s nuclear programme, and even their bilateral disagreements in international affairs did not stop them from reaching a consensus on how to react to the 1974 nuclear test.

    May 2018

    Nuclear Armed for Uncertain Times

    India can look back with more than a fair measure of satisfaction on the past two decades since its nuclear weapon tests of May 1998. Those tests signalled a strategic shift. This article therefore looks at the international situation and tendencies that prevailed in the run up to these tests. It then presents an assessment of the international reaction as a consequence of that bold and courageous action; as well as of the comprehensive endeavour to address the challenges and maximise the opportunities presented.

    May 2018

    Nuclear India and the Global Nuclear Order

    The 1998 nuclear tests conducted by India heralded yet another nuclear age. The instant response of a section of the international community was highly pessimistic. It foresaw regional instability, collapse of the global nuclear order and serious crisis in the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. As a result, overlooking India’s security imperatives, a number of countries reacted with hostility against the Indian nuclear tests. Even international organisations were mobilised against India.

    May 2018

    Post-Pokhran II: Emerging Global Nuclear Order and India’s Nuclear Challenge

    Post-Pokhran II the global nuclear environment has changed both in terms of developing niche technologies as also the nuclear strategies. Apart from the traditional challenges, there are new threats emerging in the form of cyber, space, hypersonic glide vehicles, nuclear terrorism, etc. The development of multiple nuclear dyads and triads further makes the security environment increasingly complex, as nations now have to deal with multiple nuclear problems and adversaries.

    May 2018

    Guest Editor’s Introduction

    May 11, 2018, marks the twentieth anniversary of the Shakti-series of tests. In 1998, India conducted five nuclear tests on May 11 and 13. The government stated that in the five tests, advanced weapon designs had been tested. On May 11, declared as the National Technology Day, the three tested devices were of 45-kilotons thermonuclear, 15-kilotons fission and 0.2 sub-kiloton yields. On May 13, India continued the testing of nuclear devices. Both the tests were of the sub-kiloton yields—0.5 and 0.3. These tests heralded India as a nuclear weapon state.

    May 2018

    Pokhran 20 Years After: Did the World Change?

    Was the 1998 Pokhran test a historical watershed as many contemporary observers believed? This article looks at its impact on the nuclear non-proliferation regime, regional security, India’s position in global institutions, and the ongoing global power shift: the non-proliferation regime continued along the old dispute lines; regional conflict behaviour did not change at all; India grew into global institutions not because of nuclear tests but because of her remarkable economic development; the re-arrangement of global power follows more basic trends as well.

    May 2018

    Walking Back Delusional Nuclear Policies

    India’s ‘dual use’ nuclear policy has been strung out from the beginning between the peaceful atom and military atom as illustrated in Jawaharlal Nehru’s use of the phrase for the country’s nuclear energy programme—‘Janus-faced’. However, the Indian Government has been too influenced by its own rhetoric of peaceful use to equally emphasise the security aspects that the phrase implied.

    May 2018

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