Millennium Post

India’s sea-based nuclear deterrent soon: Shyam Saran

India’s nuclear deterrent is based on a credible nuclear doctrine and is sustained by a ‘systematic drive to operationalize’ its various delivery components, including a sea-based one by 2015-16, Shyam Saran, chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, said here on Wednesday.

Countering critics of India’s nuclear weapons programme that it was driven by notions of prestige rather than considerations of national security, Saran, also a former foreign secetary who was closely connected with the negotiation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, said India’s nuclear doctrine is based on the current geopolitical environment, especially with Pakistan actively building up its nuclear arsenal and keeping its aggressive actions and strategies against India in mind.

Giving a talk on ‘Is India’s nuclear deterrent credible?’, at the India Habitat Centre, Saran said: ‘India does have a credible theory of how its nuclear weapons may be used and that is spelt out in its nuclear doctrine.’

He said India’s nuclear doctrine, which was formally adopted at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in Jan 4, 2003, and the regular checks that are held have strengthened the level of confidence in India’s nuclear deterrent.

While further reforms would be required ‘to make our deterrent more robust, it is unhelpful to peddle the impression that it is dysfunctional or worse that it is non-existent’, he said at the lecture, held in collaboration with the Subbu Forum and the Society for Policy Studies (SPS).
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