Short essay on India’s nuclear doctrine


The nuclear draft doctorine was released by the National Security Advisory Board set up after May 1998 tests, in August 1999. The announcement of doctorine has also confirmed the essence of the draft as official policy. This included –

(i) Building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent.

(ii) A posture of no first use. This says that nuclear weapons will only be used in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian Territory or on Indian forces anywhere.


(iii) Nuclear retaliatory attacks can only be authorized, by the civilian political leadership through the nuclear command authority.

(iv) No use of nuclear weapons against non- nuclear weapon states. However, in the even of major attack against India, by biological or chemical weapons, India will retain the option of retaliating with nuclear weapons.

(v) Continuance of strict controls on export of nuclear and missile related materials, technologies, participation in the fissile material cut off treaty negotiations and continued observance of the moratorium on nuclear tests.

(vi) Continued observance of the moratorium on nuclear free world through global, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament.


(vii) It also emphasized on the setting of the Nuclear Command Authority comprises a political council and an executive council. The political council is chaired by the Prime Minister. It is the sole body which can authorize the use of nuclear weapons. The executive council is chaired by the National Security Adviser. It will provide input for decision making by the nuclear command authority and executes the directives given to it by the political council.

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