Saturday, August 30, 2014

India’s Border Infrastructure: Beyond the BRO

Here's my short essay on the Sino-Indian border infrastructure, published by the Diplomat..It is time that we look beyond the BRO if we need to get somewhere in the next decade... Even as there is a beefing up of capabilities on the border with new combat units, the biggest challenge is going to come from the poor state of border infrastructure. For instance, it takes 20 hours to drive a distance of 500 km (300 miles) from Guwahati to Tawang – a reflection of the severe condition of the road network in the region. the BRO served a useful purpose in the initial decades after India’s independence, but infrastructure delays over the years call for a debate on the utility of this organization. The BRO’s acute staff shortage is a big impediment. It is losing people faster than it is able to recruit, which is a reflection of low morale. There has to be a new commanding authority under the Prime Minister’s Office that will address India’s infrastructure problems. Even as there are different ministries involved in the construction of the road and rail networks, there has to be a single authority to enable the quick completion of these projects...



The new Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag is visiting the Eastern Command after undertaking a trip to the Ladakh area in the western part of the Sino-Indian border, where there have been repeated Chinese incursions. Suhag was also expected to make a trip to the forward bases in Arunachal Pradesh, depending on the weather conditions.

During the visit, Suhag is also expected to take stock of the progress in the establishment of the Army’s recently sanctioned Mountain Strike Corps (17 Corps), which is likely to be ready by 2018-19. Suhag, who was the Eastern Commander for two years prior to shifting to Army headquarters, played a major role in the formation of the new corps. Undertaken at a cost of 64,678 crore[t1] rupees ($10.7 billion), the corps will have 90,274 troops, of which 22 major and minor units were made ready in December 2013. According to an army official, the new corps will have “two high-altitude infantry divisions (59 Division at Panagarh and 72 Division at Pathankot) with their integral units, two independent infantry brigades, two armoured brigades and the like. It will include 30 new infantry battalions and two Para-Special Forces battalions.” While the new corps will be based in Panagarh, West Bengal, the force will be deployed from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, covering all the important trouble spots along the border. During his long tenure, Suhag is also reported to have served in a China-centric unit, the Special Frontier Force, which came up in the wake of the 1962 border war with China. Suhag is reported to have been the inspector general of the SFF before taking over as the Army vice chief.

All this suggests that the new army leadership is more focused on the urgent needs of the border areas. Even as there is a beefing up of capabilities on the border with new combat units, the biggest challenge is going to come from the poor state of border infrastructure. For instance, it reportedly takes 20 hours to drive a distance of 500 km (300 miles) from Guwahati to Tawang – a reflection of the severe condition of the road network in the region. The road density of Arunachal Pradesh is at a significantly low level of 18.65 km per 100 sq km., compared to the national average of 84 km per 100 sq km. Some of the major road projects in the region include making the trans-Arunachal highway from Nechipu to Hoj and Potin to Pangin two lanes, an upgrade of the Stillwell road in Arunachal Pradesh, and four more projects to widen roads including national highway 154 in Assam. The road network in Sikkim, another Indian state on the Sino-Indian border, is no different. The current road density is just 28.45 km per 100 sq km. There is only one road linking the capital Gangtok with the strategically significant Nathu La pass on the border, and one landslide-prone road with a width of 5 meters connecting the state with the rest of India.

While much has been written on the western and eastern sectors of the Sino-Indian border, the middle sector is no different. A recent visit by the author to some of the border areas in the middle sector illustrated the huge gaps in India’s infrastructure plans. It takes three hours to cover a short distance of 30-40 km in Himachal Pradesh, approaching the border areas of Kaurik, Shipkila and Sumdo. Along a stretch of 1200 km in the hills, there were roughly seven or eight places where the Border Roads Organization (BRO) appeared active – the few people working on the road appeared to be unskilled local workers. As long as the BRO has its hands tied by the state government and its local construction associates, including local contractors who have a vested interest in not meeting these deadlines on a timely basis, it is unlikely that the road conditions would improve. However, the net result of this is disastrous from a security perspective.

The railways too have faced a similar fate. The list of pending critical projects is striking. Pending lines in the eastern and northern sectors include the Murkongselek-Pasighat-Tezu-Parasuramkund-Rupai line (256 km), the Misamari-Tawang line (378 km), and the North Lakhimpur-Along-Silapathar line (248 km) in the northeast; and the Pathankot-Leh line (400 km), the Jammu-Akhnoor-Poonch line (223 km), and the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh line (430 km) in the northern sector. These would cover a distance of 3,016 km and cost around $9.2 billion.

So even as India is implementing some of the pending acquisition issues by clearing them on a priority basis and thus strengthening India’s security along the Sino-Indian border, the infrastructure problems could hinder India’s efforts. The reality may be that India cannot afford to wait for the railways or the BRO to complete these projects. Analyze the military order of battle for the region, and a huge discrepancy in favor of China becomes clear. The contrast between India and China is not only in terms of weapons and equipment, but also and more importantly in the physical infrastructure along the border. Today, the Chinese roads nearly reach the line of actual control (LAC) or in some cases go beyond, while on the other hand most Indian roads stop well before the Indian side of the LAC. China has also ensured connectivity in Aksai Chin by air. Thus, India is at least two decades behind China in terms of infrastructure and connectivity in the border region, putting India at a significant disadvantage. Should there be a scenario that calls for a deployment of forces to the border India could be handicapped, resulting in unfavorable outcomes, at least in the initial stages of conflict.

In conclusion, the driving point is that the BRO served a useful purpose in the initial decades after India’s independence, but infrastructure delays over the years call for a debate on the utility of this organization. The BRO’s acute staff shortage is a big impediment. It is losing people faster than it is able to recruit, which is a reflection of low morale. There has to be a new commanding authority under the Prime Minister’s Office that will address India’s infrastructure problems. Even as there are different ministries involved in the construction of the road and rail networks, there has to be a single authority to enable the quick completion of these projects.

Modi's Japan Visit: Security, the Key Driver

Here's my short essay on Modi's Japan visit... While economic and trade aspects are vital for a relationship to flourish, it should not be forgotten that there are strong security imperatives that are becoming the drivers of this relationship. These include a mutual desire for a stable Asian strategic framework, security of the Sea Lanes of Communications (SLOCs) in the region, and concern about the fickleness of US policy when it comes to balancing China. These core interests along with shared ideals of democracy, rule of law and free and independent media call for a close partnership between New Delhi and Tokyo. Japan has taken the extra step in assigning special importance to India, reflected in its offer of the U-2 amphibious aircraft to India. It is time for India to reciprocate and show that Japan matters to India....



Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on his way to Japan this weekend, making this the second major summit level visit he is undertaking since he took over in May. The visit, which was postponed on account of the budget session of the Indian parliament, is being watched with a lot of eagerness and anxiety, depending on which of the world capitals one is watching it from.

Both in India and Japan, there is wide spread expectation from this visit in terms of economic and trade relations as well as defence and strategic engagement. The personal rapport between Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to be a catalyst in deepening and broadbasing this relationship.

Several commentaries on the Modi visit have focused on the economic aspects of India-Japan relationship or how they may be developed without a China factor. While economic and trade aspects are vital for a relationship to flourish, it should not be forgotten that there are also strong security imperatives that are becoming the drivers of this relationship. These include a mutual desire for a stable Asian strategic framework, security of the Sea Lanes of Communications (SLOCs) in the region, and concern about the fickleness of US policy when it comes to balancing China. These core interests along with shared ideals of democracy, rule of law and free and independent media call for a close partnership between New Delhi and Tokyo.

It is true that the India-Japan relationship should not be based on an external factor such as China and that there should be independent driving factors that take forward this relationship. However, enabling a stable Asian strategic framework to the mutual benefit of both New Delhi and Tokyo should be a compelling factor for both Modi and Abe. The emerging Asian strategic framework is being held hostage by China and its aggressive posturing in the recent years. The long-held regional view that China may come to assume a more accommodating and benign posture has been put to rest by Beijing's own actions in its neighbourhood. Thus, there is a concerted effort by countries in the region - both big and small - to form new friendships and partnerships that may provide them with some cushion and a shield in the face of a belligerent China.

Security, the key driver

Asia is going through an unprecedented churning, characterising in many ways the 19th century European theatre. It is after several centuries that we are witnessing the simultaneous rise of three Asian powers - China, Japan and India. This itself is a perfect recipe for competition, rivalry and conflict. But compounding this is the yet unresolved boundary and territorial issues and the baggage of history that weighs down these Asian great power relations. While the territorial issues have been around for decades, Chinese behaviour in recent years in the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Sino-Indian border have led to fresh anxieties about the Chinese intentions and capabilities.

Given this backdrop, there are uncomfortable questions as to what kind of power China would become as it grows stronger in both economic and military terms. Thus, much of the Asian uncertainty that one witnesses today is a direct result of China's rise. Many argue that this is nothing different or unique about China and that China's rise needs to be understood within the larger processes of power transitions and changing balance of power equations. While there is merit to such arguments, the reality is that Asian countries in particular are faced with a tough and unsettling neighbourhood. This will set in motion both diplomatic maneuvering and acquisition of hard power, which are inherently destabilizing but have become inevitable.

A strengthened India-Japan relationship needs to be placed in this context if we have to understand and appreciate the changing dynamics in their bilateral ties. It is a fact that India-Japan relations have enjoyed a strong economic relationship, with Japanese ODA (Overseas Development Assistance) forming an important component of that. Japanese share in India's infrastructure story is also phenomenal and set to grow. Even as this is the case, the growing partnership between the two is the outcome of new regional security dynamics. Commitment to the annual summits and periodic dialogue between the foreign and defence ministries is a reflection of the increasingly synergetic approach towards Asian security in general.

Therefore, while there are several outstanding issues between the two countries including on trade and FDI and on a bilateral nuclear deal that needs to be improved or fixed, it will be unfortunate if New Delhi let these become the determining factor in the bilateral relationship. Some Indian analysts have argued that India should bargain hard with Tokyo and conclude the nuclear deal at the earliest. But India should learn to do hard bargaining with those that are hostile to India, not potential partners such as Japan. Early conclusion of the nuclear deal is important but India should not lose sight of the bigger strategic picture that drives this relationship. Japan has taken the extra step in assigning special importance to India, reflected in its offer of the U-2 amphibious aircraft to India. It is time for India to reciprocate and show that Japan matters to India.

India: Diversifying Arms Purchases

Here's an essay that I co-authored with Siddharth Sivaraman on India's exercise at diversifying arms purchases and how India might maximize its strategic gains and opportunities by making the right choices... The essay published in the Diplomat on August 13, 2014, additionally makes an argument on India should increase its military imports from the U.S., particularly drones.



India needs to diversify its arms imports. Although it is one of the world’s largest arms importers, most of India’s weapons come from Russia. Over the last five years, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Russia accounted for about $15 billion of the $20 billion in arms that India imported, or about three-quarters. That level of dependence is unhealthy: One of the reasons why India bought the Jaguar Bomber from a European consortium in the 1970s was the concern that India was becoming dependent on Soviet weapons.

India began diversifying when it awarded a contract for advanced air force fighters to France, though negotiations for the Rafale have dragged on interminably and have yet to be completed. India also buys some significant quantities of Israeli weapons.

But New Delhi has not sufficiently tapped the U.S., without question the country with the most advanced military technology in the world. Although the U.S. is India’s second largest source of weapons, it accounted for less than seven percent of India’s arms imports in value terms over the last five years. It is time that India diversified its arms sources by getting more of its weapons from the U.S., especially when cutting-edge technology is involved, as in advanced drones.

There are multiple advantages for India in making better use of U.S. weapons options. First, New Delhi could negotiate the development of state-of-the-art drone technologies, in which the U.S. has the most experience, with drones – or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – such as the MQ-8 Fire Scout and/or long-range drones such as the MQ-9 Reaper or even the older Predator B. This would add a new dimension to UAVs with persistent capabilities for India, and it would also help kick start investments in this sector.

A U.S. senator recently proposed the joint manufacturing of weapons system, including drones. As the Indian military moves towards network-centric warfare, the importance of UAV technology will increase as it forms an important nodal center for intelligence gathering and dissemination. Currently the fleet of Searcher and long-range Heron drones is a good one, but there are operational limitations because of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) guidelines, which restrict the sale of unmanned systems that fly more than 300 km and can carry payloads more than or equal to 500 kg.

The drone’s sensor intelligence gathering also requires capabilities in analysis and advanced software for interpreting data. The addition of this capability will also be important for the overall drone and imagery analysis architecture. Indeed, full-fledged UAV systems would give a tremendous boost to India’s surveillance capabilities. This will require bold thinking by policymakers to launch India into the select group of countries that can field long-range UAVs at short notice. However, such cutting edge technologies are shared, they are not given away.

For advanced technologies such as the MQ-9 Reaper, India will have to give ground, as such technologies cannot be readily obtained, even with a 100 percent FDI policy in the defense manufacturing sector.

Low observable technologies, under which the most modern UAVs fall, are heavily restricted for export by the U.S. government. Long-range drone operations in international waters require interoperability and information sharing, which can be a complicated endeavor involving a Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) with the U.S., but the advantages of learning long-range drone operations could be enormous. International search and rescue operations have increasingly involved the use of drones. Drones, along with air assets such as maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), would be help fill the large surveillance gaps in India’s vast ocean territories, which it must safeguard. Surveillance and around-the-clock monitoring of activities in the Indian Ocean, where traffic has seen a manifold increase, is significant. This fits well with the 2006 U.S.-India Framework for Maritime Security Cooperation that emphasizes cooperation in areas including piracy, smuggling, and WMD proliferation through maritime routes. The procurement of drones on a strategic level is paramount, so why should India not do all it can to acquire this surveillance capability?

Could the sale of such systems mean that the two countries can finally bury antique agreements such as the CISMOA and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA)? Much remains to be said about how the U.S. government would view such an interest by India. U.S. aircraft have already given an edge to the strategic airlift capability; can they do the same with respect to India’s strategic surveillance capability?

Technology is important, but who you get it from is even more important. U.S. drones in the Indian inventory would have a huge value in terms of messaging, to friends and foes alike. Strategic partnerships are among the best force multiplier options in an uncertain Asia, and India should leave no stone unturned.

India-US Strategic Dialogue: Focus on the Big Picture

Here's an essay of mine on the US-India Strategic Dialogue... I argue that while there have been any number of suggestions on how bilateral relations between India and the US can be re-energized, both countries need to focus on the big picture. Both India and the US need to place these relations in the larger context of the Asian strategic framework...



There were expectations that the new Modi Government will set out new policies on many fronts, including foreign policy and security arena. But starting from his swearing-in ceremony to the recently released budget, we have only had glimpses of the priorities of this new government. We are yet to see significant pronouncements on India's relations with major powers. One such opportunity was at the BRICS Summit in Brazil, where Modi had meetings with Russian and Chinese leaders on the sidelines. About relations with the US, Modi has already accepted President Obama's invitation to visit Washington DC -- an indication that the Prime Minister is willing to put behind him the visa ban issue and take India-US relations forward. Most recently, during US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns' visit, Modi is reported to have said, "Reenergising the partnership between India and the US would send an important message to the region and beyond." The upcoming US-India strategic dialogue presents another opportunity for the new government to set out its strategic vision.

While there have been a number of suggestions in how bilateral relations between India and the US can be re-energized, both countries need to place these relations in the larger context of the Asian strategic framework. China's rise as an economic and military power house has created its own dynamics, undermining the US influence in Asia, particularly given Beijing's economic engagement in the region. Though China's engagement with Asia has an economic angle, this engagement has been pursued with another more important but unstated objective of reducing US role and influence in the region. It is a fact that trade is a compelling factor for India, the US and much of the rest of the world. This does not mean that the political and strategic difficulties have vanished or that these can be put on the back burner in the drive to boost trade.

India should engage China in the trade and commercial spheres, which may go to create prosperity on both sides. But neither side should be under the misplaced hope that these will diminish the salience of other tricky and more difficult issues including the border and territorial issues. While India and China are plagued with any number of issues, these are only symptoms of the larger problem that exists between the two: is China willing to see India emerging as a major power in Asia and beyond? The competition for the same strategic sphere is at the root of the problem between India and China. If India is interested in creating an Asian strategic framework that is not hijacked by one single power, it needs to strengthen several of its other bilateral relationships in Asia, especially India-US relations, to a point where it will become difficult for China to impose its hegemonistic tendencies.

China's muscular foreign and security policy evidenced over the last few years has also changed the situation. The US, which was uncertain about its commitment to Asia after a decade-long engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq, is back in Asia to stay. The US rebalancing strategy is a direct consequence of China's aggressive posturing in East China and South China Seas in the last five years. The wariness and uncertainty around the Chinese power and how this may play out in the territorial disputes with Japan and the ASEAN countries gave the US a fresh incentive to remain in Asia.

India too is uncertain of China. While there have been repeated rhetoric from the Chinese side on how important this bilateral relationship is, its actions raise questions, be it the Chinese map displaying the whole of Arunachal Pradesh as Chinese territory or the stapled visa issue. However, unlike other Asian countries that have supported the US rebalancing, India is still shy of openly embracing the US. Thus, New Delhi is finding its own ways of sending the message that US-India relations are important, particularly in the context of Asian stability. India's new formulations and platforms such as acceptance of the US-Japan-India trilateral is a case in point. Expansion of this network to include Australia or Singapore and emergence of a new quadrilateral cannot be ruled out. Similarly, the track II engagements among the US, Australia and India could gain traction and become a more formal initiative in the coming years.

India's engagement with Southeast Asia is also likely to get more substantive in the coming years. Two decades after launching the Look East Policy, India's interactions with the region are slowly beginning to gain some strategic traction, mainly in the context of China's behaviour and Asian stability. However, ASEAN has not remained a cohesive unit in the face of an increasingly muscular China. On the other hand, a more fractured ASEAN is on display now after being a model for other regional groupings for a couple of decades. The dilemma facing ASEAN countries - economic benefits vs strategic balancing as they engage China - is nothing unique.

This provides the context for India and the US to channel their efforts in establishing a firm partnership for enabling a stable Asian order. India and the US share a common perception of an Asia that is not dominated by one single power. India, the US and Japan to a great extent have an inclusive approach towards the Asian strategic framework, willing to take along other rising powers in shaping the new order. On the other hand, China has adopted an exclusive approach to the emerging Asian order thus leading to repeated conflict of interests among the major Asian powers. India and the US are also concerned about China's growing military might and how that might create new dynamics in Asia. Both New Delhi and Washington should also encourage greater respect for international law and norms, especially freedom of the seas and open navigation.

If the leadership in both India and the US can get this larger strategic scene right, the rest will follow. One needs to obviously build meat into this strategic idea eventually. India also has to get realistic about playing power politics to its advantage. Despite the perception of a relative decline of and uncertainty about the US power, Washington will continue to be the dominant power centre for the foreseeable future. If India has to be able to rise and sit at the high-table, it has to recognise that the US can do a great deal in getting New Delhi there. The India-US nuclear deal and the NSG waiver for India are cases in point. India must acknowledge here that despite the desire on the part of France and Russia to engage in nuclear commerce with India, they did not have the political capital or influence to alter the global rules of the game to accommodate India. China for all the rhetoric of Chindia, among other formulations, has used every opportunity to pull India down in the last decade.

Against such a backdrop, India has to be able to appreciate who its friends and partners are in ensuring a conducive environment for it to rise. India has to learn the art of managing multiple great power relationships. So whether India looks east or west, its aim has to be to consolidate and maximise its power quotient.

Seeking Nuclear Legitimacy, my article on India's nuclear security policy...

Here's my short essay on India's nuclear security policy, particularly in the backdrop of India's NSG membership talks... I make two points here: one, even as India has instituted rigorous measures to secure its nuclear installations, it had done poorly in advertising what it has done. two, for many of the NSG members, it is India not signing the NPT, which is at the heart of their lack of support for India's NSG membership, for instance. The sanctity of "NPT-signatory" is laughable because that is a crude way of assessing a country's nuclear non-proliferation record. China has signed the NPT but has flouted every single idea behind the treaty. On the other hand, while India is not a signatory to the NPT, it has upheld all the principles that are enshrined in the global non-proliferation regime.



The annual meeting of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was recently concluded in Buenos Aires, where India's membership issue was discussed with no clear answer. Several countries, including the US, UK, France have remained supportive of India's membership although countries such as China, among a few others, have remained opposed to the Indian membership issue. It is in the interests of India to be part of the NSG if it has to be able to shape the new non-proliferation architecture and exercise a greater say in how the global rules are played. For the international community as well, it is beneficial to have India inside the tent than outside.

Nuclear security has become an important concern for the global community. The threat of nuclear terrorism, including the so-called 'dirty bomb', has continued to increase over the last decade. The need for strengthening the current international mechanisms and establishing new rules if necessary is growing. Recognising the importance of the problem, the global community has held three 'nuclear security summits' which focused just on this problem. India has a lot to contribute to this effort, but we are being stymied by misperception about our own efforts in the nuclear security arena.

For India too, this is an important issue. The fact that the Indian Prime Minister participated in the first two nuclear security summits indicates the importance of this issue to India. New Delhi worries that one of the various terrorists groups in the region, especially those in Pakistan, might acquire some type of nuclear capacity.

While acquisition of nuclear materials and capabilities is not easy given the tight security around facilities and installations, the potential for such should not be ruled out. Accordingly, India has instituted strong measures around nuclear safety and security, which is at par with some of the other major nuclear powers. Analysts have been critical of India's policies and practices, but the reality is that India put in place both its institutional and legal architecture way back in the 1960s and 1970s. Obviously, there have been structural changes as well as amendments brought to these instruments in recognition of new threats and risks. In the backdrop of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks, the potential to carry out commando style attack or a sabotage by Pakistan-based terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba is very real and India has to gear up its response mechanisms in a focused manner. Therefore, while terrorism is not a new phenomenon to India given its geographical proximity to global terrorism, it has to plan its response and contingency measures well. The ability to respond quickly and effectively, bringing together all the different agencies involved, will be a major challenge. While various agencies do periodic scenario building and exercises to test their response capabilities, mock drills involving all agencies are done very rarely.

International cooperation is particularly important given the nature of new challenges facing India in this regard. Even as India has instituted rigorous measures to secure its nuclear installations, it had done poorly in advertising what it has done. To a great extent, the consensus has been that we need not be so open in the area of nuclear safety and security. This may have served India's interests to a limited extent so far.

However, as India's interests grow and it makes efforts to integrate with the international nuclear community, its ability to shape the new non-proliferation architecture will depend to a large extent how open it is about its policies and postures. No one is arguing for total transparency wherein our security may be put to risk, but a more pro-active engagement and outlining of our broad approach might do India some good. Having said that, it should also be acknowledged that there has been some effort recently to outline India's nuclear security approach and what different measures India has taken to secure its nuclear facilities and installations. For instance, a report authored by the Ministry of External Affairs lays out in detail the structures and practices that India has adopted in the area of nuclear security.

Despite India having an elaborate system in place, the Nuclear Threat Initiative's (NTI) Nuclear Security Index 2014 has clubbed India along with countries that have extremely poor track record in nuclear security. How seriously should this be taken up? Should an attempt by a think tank to quantify this issue be accorded any importance? This question pops up in the backdrop of India trying to garner support for membership into major technology export control regimes including the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). It should be important that other countries know what we do, in terms of our internal practices but also what we do in the international realm, particularly with bodies such the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

There is little that one could do if groups such as the NTI come with a pre-judged position on India's nuclear security policies and practices. To counter such perceptions, not only must India put in place a lot of institutions and practices but also advertise to the world what it is doing. This is important when we are seeking membership of various nuclear clubs and because we need others' cooperation on a number of nuclear-related issues. Having said that, for many, it is India not signing the NPT, which is at the heart of their lack of support for India's NSG membership, for instance. The sanctity of "NPT-signatory" is laughable because that is a crude way of assessing a country's nuclear non-proliferation record. China has signed the NPT but has flouted every single idea behind the treaty. On the other hand, while India is not a signatory to the NPT, it has upheld all the principles that are enshrined in the global non-proliferation regime.

India can consider a few steps that might strengthen its image on this issue among the larger nuclear community. One, India's nuclear doctrine could be elucidated further and updated as a means of bringing about more clarity. This may be something that the Modi government could contemplate upon. Such measures could also be used as important tools of international messaging. Two, India could issue detailed position papers and statement at important forums like the Nuclear Security Summit and such other platforms. Three, India should communicate to the international community by using different platforms to share its perspectives and concerns. For instance, participation in international conferences, which are many a time effectively Track 1.5 platforms, are a way to garner greater support while pro-actively shaping the global discourse. India on many occasions does not appreciate the significance of such platforms and whether intended or not, it has lost out on several opportunities to effect impact. India must take corrective steps in this regard sooner than later. India's establishment of the GCNEP has gone a long way to strengthen its credibility in the area of nuclear security. India could consider additional steps, including possibly establishing a CTBT Monitoring Station, which would be seen as a positive contribution to monitoring non-proliferation challenges in the region and beyond. All this could go a long way in correcting international misperception of India in the nuclear non-proliferation and security arena.