India has long been an outlier state in the international nuclear order even as its own nuclear policy passed through various phases of ambiguity, reluctance and anti-nuclear activism. India has traditionally been a strong advocate of global nuclear disarmament. Today, despite becoming a nuclear weapons state, India continues to argue for a time-bound plan for global nuclear disarmament. Ever since it’s nuclear tests in 1974, the international community kept India outside the normative and institutional frameworks of the global nuclear order and continued to pressure New Delhi to sign the NPT and later the CTBT. Another round of nuclear tests by the country in 1998 and the nuclear weaponisation thereafter, however, made the international community, led by the United States, engage New Delhi in a meaningful dialogue to mainstream India due to a number of normative and pragmatic reasons. Today, India pursues an active nuclear programme, military as well as civilian, and continues to contribute to the global efforts at non-proliferation, counter-proliferation and disarmament. Will India be accommodated into the various institutions and frameworks governing the international nuclear order? What impact will it have for the Southern Asian region and global order itself? Will the ‘India exception’ weaken or strengthen the global nuclear non-proliferation order?
About the Speaker :
Dr. Happymon Jacob is Assistant Professor of Diplomacy and Disarmament at the Centre for International Politics, Disarmament and Organisation, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi where he teaches courses on ‘India & Disarmament’, ‘National Security & International Relations’ and, ‘Foreign Policy Decision Making’. His current research is focused on South Asian nuclear order and India’s foreign policy. Dr. Jacob writes a weekly column in the Srinagar-based Greater Kashmir daily and contributes to major national newspapers.