Keywords: nuclear policy, Nuclear Liability Law, political parties, scientific bureaucracy, parliament of India, civil society, Congress Party, BJP, Bharatiya Janata Party, US–India nuclear deal, politics, nuclear law, nuclear energy, nuclear power
Role of the Indian political system in shaping India's nuclear policy
This paper attempts to examine the role played by various actors in the Indian political system in shaping the nuclear policy in India. The focus will be on the role of the parliament, political parties and prominent civil society groups in influencing the 'nuclear debate' and framing policy. The Indo–US civil nuclear deal and the Nuclear Liability Law are taken as case studies. While parliament had no direct say in the ratification of the nuclear deal, the government had to face a no–confidence motion in its aftermath. Similarly, the nuclear liability law was passed only after the government agreed to the demands of the parliament to hike the liability cap and also included 18 amendments suggested by the House. In this paper, we propose to delineate the capacity and influence of the key political actors in India in shaping the country's nuclear policy.