The NPT is beginning to look shaky
(GS-II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings involving India and affecting India’s interest, the impact of nuclear treaties etc)
The Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concluded last week in New York.
What is the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)?
The NPT is a multilateral treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons including three elements:
The treaty was signed in 1968 and entered into force in 1970.
The Treaty does not affect the right of state parties to develop, produce, and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
India is one of the only five countries that either did not sign the NPT or signed but withdrew.
NPT’s success and weakness:
Consensus document: Since 1970, when the NPT entered into force, only four of the 10 review conferences have concluded with a consensus document.
Differences among members: the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia were earlier always on the same page, but now Russia has adopted a different point of view.
The difference in 2022 was that it pitched Russia against the West.
No discussions: No meaningful discussions or negotiations on nuclear disarmament have ever taken place in the NPT framework.
Withdrawal from ABM treaty: S withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002 on the grounds that it unduly constrained its missile defence activities.
US withdrawal from INF: In 2019, the U.S. decided to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
It had obliged both the US and Russia to get rid of all ground-launched missiles with a range of 500-5,500 km.
Talks between the US and Russia: Arms control talks between the U.S. and Russia did take place and succeeded in bringing collective arsenals from about 65,000 in the early 1980s to less than 12,000
Four countries have tested and developed nuclear arsenals: In the last 50 years, only four more countries have gone on to test and develop nuclear arsenals — India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan, despite apprehensions that by the 1980s, there would be close to 25 nuclear powers.
Reagan-Gorbachev declaration: All that the five nuclear-weapon-states parties to the NPT reiterated at the conference, the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev declaration that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’.
S.’s 30-year nuclear modernisation programme: Intended to provide ‘credible deterrence against regional aggression.
Russia and China: They are developing hypersonic delivery systems that evade missile defences as well as larger missiles that do not need to travel over the Arctic.
Also developing nuclear torpedoes and new cruise missiles.
Developments in space and cyber domains: They are blurring the line between conventional and nuclear weapons, leading to nuclear entanglement and rendering command and control systems vulnerable.
INS Vikrant Commissioned
(GS-III: Internal Security)
India’s 1st indigenous aircraft carrier commissioned.
About INS Vikrant:
Name: Vikrant (which means courageous) is named after India’s first aircraft carrier, bought from the UK and commissioned in 1961.
Weightage: At 43,000 tonnes, Vikrant is the largest naval ship to be designed and built in India.
India joins the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Russia, Italy, and China, which have similar capabilities.
Technologies used: STOBAR (short take-off but assisted recovery)
76% indigenous material was used.
Made at: Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi
First indigenous warship: INS Ajay (1960)
First indigenous frigate: INS Nilgiri (1968)
What is the Significance of INS Vikrant?
Help in the Indian Navy’s push to establish itself as a blue water force, one with the ability to project its power on distant seas.
Help in India’s bid to be a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region
China has already inducted two vessels.
Bolster the maritime security of the nation: Now India has two operational aircraft carriers ( the other one is INS Vikramaditya)
Other Aircraft Carriers Across the World: USA(USS Gerald R Ford Class); China(Fujian); United Kingdom( Queen Elizabeth Class); Russia(Admiral Kuznetsov); Italy( Cavour) and France( Charles De Gaulle)
Import dependence: Warship has three components
Cost and Time Overruns: e.g. INS Vikrant was to be inducted by 2017. INS Vikramaditya was inducted into service more than 10 years after it was purchased.
Old technology: Currently, the Navy employs 15 conventional submarines, each of which requires breaking surfaces to charge its batteries (it doesn’t have an air-independent propulsion system, see yesterday’s CA to know more)
Parliamentary committee on Defence and other experts have cited the need for a third Aircraft carrier for India.
Development cum Production Partner Initiative (by DRDO, it ensures involvement of industries from the beginning of the development cycle and leads to a reduction in the time frame of the development-to-induction cycle)
Defence India Startup Challenge
SRIJAN Portal (monitor the status of progress of indigenisation)
FDI limit increased from 49% to 74%
Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX)
Positive Indigenisation List( under new Defence Procurement Policy)
India should look to invest in a longer-term indigenization plan and making of a critical subsystem on its own. It should look to enhance Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) by the use of Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning, and include more private sector for design, production and maintenance.
Journalists, and activists continue to be targeted in J&K: Amnesty
Amnesty International said it had recorded at least 60 instances of crackdowns on journalists and human rights defenders in Jammu and Kashmir since the revocation of the special status of the erstwhile State in August 2019.
Use of UAPA: In a continuing pattern, they have been arrested under one law, granted bail by the court, and then re-arrested almost immediately under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
It is a London-based Non-Governmental Organisation for human rights, founded in 1961.
The organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for its “Defence of human dignity against torture” and the United Nations Prize in the field of Human Rights in 1978.
UAPA amendment Act 2019:
The Act empowers the Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval for seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.
The Act empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.
It also included the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist.
Ministry of S&T recently organized Jigyasa 2.0 for the renewable fuel program
Jigyasa, a student-scientist connect programme by CSIR in collaboration with Kendriya Vidyalaya and is aimed at connecting school students and scientists so as to extend students’ classroom learning with that of a very well-planned research laboratory-based learning.
It would inculcate the culture of inquisitiveness on one hand and scientific temper on the other, amongst the school students and their teachers.
The program will also enable the students and teachers to visit CSIR laboratories and participate in mini-science projects.