The security of nuclear installations and the safeguarding of nuclear materials remain paramount in the international arena, given the potential global consequences of nuclear terrorism. This article explores the imperative for India to bolster its nuclear security measures, focusing on its regulatory framework and its implications for international relations and non-proliferation initiatives.:
Nuclear security is a critical concern in the contemporary world order. While many nations, including India, guard the specifics of their military nuclear installations, civilian nuclear facilities offer insights into the regulatory infrastructure. This article emphasizes the need for stringent nuclear security measures in India, emphasizing the international implications of a robust regulatory framework.
Regulatory Infrastructure and Its Significance:
In evaluating the adequacy of nuclear security measures, one must recognize the pivotal role of regulatory bodies in ensuring the safety and security of nuclear assets. In the case of India, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) holds the responsibility of overseeing safety and security protocols within the country. However, a crucial shortcoming emerges when one assesses the independence of AERB. It operates as a subset of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), raising concerns regarding its autonomy and capacity to enforce international standards rigorously.
International Concerns and India’s Obligations:
India’s robust nuclear program has drawn attention both domestically and internationally. The absence of stringent safety and security measures within its regulatory framework has led to heightened apprehensions. Voices within India, including the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), have raised concerns about the security lapses and the intricate relationship between the AERB and DAE. These concerns assume international significance as nuclear security is not limited by national borders; it has the potential to affect neighboring states and the broader international community.
Regional and Global Implications:
Neighboring states, particularly Pakistan, have voiced their apprehensions about the adequacy of India’s nuclear security measures. Given the transboundary implications of nuclear terrorism, Pakistan’s concerns are well-founded. The possible dispersal of radioactive materials in the event of a security breach can have dire consequences for the entire region. The international community, therefore, has a vested interest in ensuring the robustness of India’s nuclear security infrastructure.
India’s Aspirations and Global Non-Proliferation Initiatives:
India has expressed its desire to integrate into the global non-proliferation architecture, exemplified by its aspiration to gain membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). However, these aspirations should be intrinsically linked to its ability to enhance and streamline its nuclear security measures. The international community expects nations with nuclear capabilities to adhere to rigorous security standards, particularly when seeking greater global integration.
India’s journey towards becoming an integral part of the global non-proliferation framework hinges on its ability to fortify its nuclear security measures. The international community, regional neighbors, and global non-proliferation initiatives all converge in emphasizing the critical importance of stringent safety and security protocols. India’s commitment to nuclear security will not only bolster its national security but also enhance its global standing as a responsible nuclear power.
Muhammad Wasama Khalid is a Correspondent and Researcher at Global Affairs. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at National Defense University. His interests include history, politics, and current affairs. He has been published in the London Institute of Peace and Research, South Asian Journal, Diplomatic Insight, International Policy Digest, Sri Lanka Guardian, Global Village Space, Global Defense Insight, Global Affairs, And Modern Diplomacy. He tweets at @Wasama Khalid and can be reached at Wasamakhalid@gmail.com