By Isha Chauhan from Amity Institute of Forensics Science, Noida


Production of nuclear weapon became the main motive of the armed race soon after the end of World War II. The destruction of mankind was on a high pace and the need to slow down the race had prevailed, so as to stop the future chances of self-destruction. Many treaties including SALT-1, SALT, LTBT were signed by most of the nations. Including the treaties was NPT[1](Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), that basically involved separation of the countries as non-nuclear states and nuclear state, giving them access to rights accordingly.

Nuclear non-proliferation treaty was one of the landmark amongst all, it was the stepping stone towards a ‘nuclear-war free’ world. Being launched in the year 1958 by the ministry of external affairs, Ireland. The treaty aimed to falsify the then prediction of world being full of nuclear-weapon states. NPT divided the world into two groups, the very first one who were the nuclear and the ones who were not the nuclear state.


The basic idea that the treaty had was to have a central bargain plea[2]. The states, now referred to as the ‘non-nuclear NPT states’, were not allowed to have nuclear weapons and the ‘nuclear NPT states’ included the ones possessing nuclear weapons had the pact signed of benefitting the non-nuclear countries by their nuclear technology exchange.

Now the basic question that arises in minds of most of the people is that why had India not signed the NPT? Was there something beneficial in doing so? If yes, then what and if no, why was it not signed?


India is among the four UN states which never joined NPT. The other three includes, Israel, Pakistan and South Sudan. The very first reason for not signing the treaty included the ‘grand-grand-great grand- bargain’ which was more destructive than it seemed.  Just think can a country giving away the access to nuclear energy forever, be considered safe? As per NPT article 2 and article 3, the scenario was the same, the signing country had to waive away any future plans of nuclear energy production.

India hadn’t signed the nuclear non -proliferation pact but still maintains a position to join NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state which stated ‘the norms and standards followed vividly’ but the acceptance cannot be granted as being a non-nuclear state could infringe the country’s sovereignty. Being land of the idea that, if nuclear were so destructive than what is the need of either of the country to have one?

The next reason for not joining as a non-nuclear state was the unfulfilled expectation of the treaty, as the states being the authorized nuclear weapon states have up to 22,000 war-heads, which would not fail to prove them as one of the major destructors, if adverse situations prevailed. As per India, UN further failed in accounting to article VI that stated that disarmament could not be made as the major force in planning of a nation.  

The next rationalization given by INDIA is the security issues related to the border disputes. India shares border with one of the nuclear weapons[3] state China, this disarming itself would lead to the country being voluntarily put in to danger. The idea is also backed by the Indo-China war, 1962, making it logically impossible for the country to sign any treaty that could lead to disarming the country.


The fact that in the fore-coming year nuclear weapons would be the active tools for international diplomacy cannot be denied. The next in the list being the ‘Indo-US Nuclear Deal’ recently signed as a civilian nuclear agreement between both the countries providing the acceptance to the country of being an adobe for advanced nuclear technology.  The deal provided India with status allowing commerce in nuclear technology and articles concerned to the same.

The next flaw in the treaty was the article III that barred the non-nuclear states to trade with the non-nuclear states, risking their safety further. The same was revoked by India as per IAEA which gave access to the country in both civilian as well as military nuclear training program, thus strengthening towards any future nuclear war affairs.

The next reason for understanding India’s stand on not signing NPT,1968 was the 1974 ‘Smiling Buddha’ nuclear explosion, though named as the ‘peaceful nuclear explosion’ whose major aim was to investigate and experiment the civilian use of nuclear explosion for oil exploration and various other tasks. The research still continues on the grounds of being a peaceful-nuclear explosions[4], strengthening the idea behind not signing NPT.

The impact of the demonstration of the nuclear weapon capability of India was further strengthened by Moscow’s[5] extension of ‘friendship’; further reducing any chances of future NPT disagreement. It enabled the policy makers to grasp in an effective means to establish a freedom of cation, along with the minimal chances to reduce unforeseen acts by the nuclear superpowers round the world.


The decision of India of not being in the list of non-nuclear states proved fruitful, further strengthening the degree involving the independent policy making choices of the country. Though the multi capital tour was conducted prior to the NPT being refused that ensured public support for central decision making, the outcome of the same was the favour of the decision to not be included in NPT primarily due to a continuous struggle for freedom on borders, with the countries having nuclear power in their hands. It was primarily due to the asymmetric international system that lead India not to sign NPT carrying forward 1974 smiling Buddha test. The country whereas in near future can proceed in the treaty as maintaining a ‘status duo’ ensuring national as well as global safety.


  1. SARKAR J. India and the NPT After 50 Years [Internet]. 2020 [cited 12 July 2020]. Available from:
  2.  RAMESH M. Not signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has cost India dear [Internet]. @businessline. 2020 [cited 13 July 2020]. Available from:
  3. AZHAR S. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and India [Internet]. 2020 [cited 14 July 2020]. Available from:
  4.  Indian Nuclear Weapons Program | India Outside Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty | NTI [Internet]. 2020 [cited 13 July 2020]. Available from:
  5.  Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) – UNODA [Internet]. 2020 [cited 14 July 2020]. Available from:


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