February 21, 2024

HPAS Mains 2021/22 Answer Writing Challenge Day 38: 19-11-2021

HPAS Mains GS 2: International Relations

 Question: Discuss the grounds for India’s opposition to NPT. 8 Marks

Solution:

  • India is among the very few countries who have never signed the Nuclear Non- Proliferation pact. India maintains its position that it can join the NPT as a nuclear non-weapon state citing that “externally prescribed norms or standards” cannot be accepted on the issues that are contrary to its national interests or infringe on its sovereignty.

Body

  • India’s stand is based on the argument that the NPT is the last vestige of the apartheid in the international system, granting as it does to five countries the right to be nuclear-weapons states while denying the same right to others. If nuclear weapons are evil — and India agrees that they are — then no one should have them.

 

  • India also remains a strong proponent of universal nuclear disarmament. India’s approach is based on the belief that non-proliferation cannot be an end in itself; rather, it must be linked to nuclear disarmament in a mutually reinforcing process.

 

  • India argues that the UN has failed to comply with Article VI as they could not make disarmament a drilling force in national planning and policy with respect to Nuclear weapons. India believes effective disarmament must enhance the security of all states, not, as the NPT ensures, merely that of a few.
  • India further strengthens its stance by showing serious concerns over its security issues due to border disputes with one of the five nuclear weapon states China and nuclear power Pakistan.
  • India realizes that in the foreseeable future, nuclear weapons will remain active tools of international diplomacy and may well decide the contours of power politics just as the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review underlines the salience of nuclear weapons in the contemporary world.
  • The recent civilian nuclear agreement between India and the USA, also called ‘the Indo-US nuclear deal’, has accepted India as a country with advanced nuclear technology – a tacit acceptance of its weapon capabilities. It has provided India with a special status of being the only country outside the NPT which has been allowed to commerce in sensitive nuclear technology and material.

 

  • Article III of the NPT prohibits nuclear trade with non-NPT states. This exception is further strengthened by the IAEA-India Safeguards agreement. The agreement allows India to have both civilian and military nuclear programmes. Under the NPT only the Nuclear Weapon States – states whose possession of nuclear weapons is accepted under Article I of the NPT- have this privilege.

Conclusion

  • The chances of India joining the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state are bleak. However, no one will want to see the treaty undermined by accommodating India as a nuclear Weapon state. The only viable option which serves the interest of both India and the NPT is to maintain the “status quo.”

 

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