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MAINS Q/A 01-06-2018

Q1. What is cold start doctrine?

The ‘Cold Start’ doctrine of the Indian Armed Forces envisages swift deployment of troops on the western border within days if a situation of a full-blown war arises.

  • This doctrine aims to allow Indian forces to conduct sustained attacks while preventing a nuclear retaliation from Pakistan. The operation would be carried out by a unified battle group involving various branches of India’s military.
  • It was after the conclusion of OperationParakram in the year 2002, a military standoff between India and Pakistan, that the ‘Cold Start’ doctrine began to find a place in the Indian military setup.
  • In the 2002 standoff, which was a result of the attack on Parliament by Pakistan-backed Kashmiri militants, the Indian Army took almost two months to be able to mobilise and deploy troops on the Pakistan border.
  • Defence strategists began talking about the new doctrine of the Indian Army that would enable it to deploy a full strength invasion force within a few days notice, unlike several weeks of preparation that were required earlier.
  • This doctrine moved away from the defensive strategies employed by the Indian military since the country’s independence in 1947.
  • It aimed at reducing the time required to mobilise troops and develop a network-centric warfare, one enabled by information technology to ensure well-planned geographical distribution of forces.

Also, the combat strategy was to involve limited armoured thrusts with infantry and necessary air support.

The Cold Start doctrine sought to prepare the army in such a manner that offensive operations could be undertaken within 48 hours of the orders being issued, enabling the Indian troops to take their Pakistani counterparts by surprise.


Q2.What was Operation Parakaram?

The 2001–2002 India–Pakistan standoff was a military standoff between India and Pakistan that resulted in the massing of troops on either side of the border and along the Line of Control (LoC) in the region of Kashmir.

This was the second major military standoff between India and Pakistan following the successful detonation of nuclear devices by both countries in 1998 and the most recent standoff between the nuclear rivals. The other had been the Kargil War in 1999.

The military buildup was initiated by India responding to a terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament on 13 December 2001 (during which twelve people, including the five men who attacked the building, were killed) and the legislative Assembly on 1 October 2001.

India claimed that the attacks were carried out by two Pakistan-based terror groups fighting Indian administered Kashmir, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, both of whom India has said are backed by Pakistan’s ISI – a charge that Pakistan denied.[7][8][9]

In the Western media, coverage of the standoff focused on the possibility of a nuclear war between the two countries and the implications of the potential conflict on the American-led “Global War on Terrorism” in nearby Afghanistan.

Tensions de-escalated following international diplomatic mediation which resulted in the October 2002 withdrawal of Indian and Pakistani troops  from the international border.


Q3. What is India’s nuclear doctrine?

India’s nuclear doctrine was first enunciated following a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting in January 2003.Some of the main features of India’s nuclear doctrine are –

  1. Building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent
  2. No First Use posture i.e nuclear weapons to be used only in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere,
  3. Nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be “massive” and designed to inflict “unacceptable damage”.
  • The concept of “credible minimum deterrence” is used in conjunction with the concepts of “No First Use” and “Non Use” against nuclear weapon states.
  • It clearly indicates that India envisages its nuclear weapons as only a deterrent merely for defensive purposes and not as a means to threaten others.

Q4. What is the difference between NSG and NPT?

NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group): NSG is a group of nuclear supplier countries that prevent Nuclear proliferation by controlling the export, equipment and technology of materials that can be used to produce Nuclear weapons

NSG looks after critical issue relating to Nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export Nuclear Technology.

The NSG Guidelines contain the so-called “Non-Proliferation Principle,” adopted in 1994, whereby a supplier, notwithstanding other provisions in the NSG Guidelines, authorizes a transfer only when satisfied that the transfer would not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) : Non-Proliferation Treaty is an International treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

Objectives of NPT :

  1. Non Proliferation : Nuclear weapon states are not to transfer any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons and not to assist, encourage, or induce any Non-Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS) to manufacture or otherwise acquire them. Non-nuclear weapons states are not to receive nuclear weapons from any transferor, and are not to manufacture or acquire them. NNWS must accept the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards on all nuclear materials on their territories or under their control.
  2. Disarmament : All Parties must pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
  3. Peaceful use of Nuclear Energy : The Treaty does not affect the right of state parties to develop, produce, and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, provided such activities are in conformity with Articles I and II. All state parties undertake to facilitate, and have a right to participate, in the exchange of equipment, materials, and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

These Pillars constitute a “grand bargain” between the nuclear weapon states and the non-nuclear weapon states.

  1. States without nuclear weapons will not acquire them.
  2. States with nuclear weapons will pursue disarmament.
  3. All states can access nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, under safeguards.


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