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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 22 May 2023

Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 22 May 2023


  1. The Operation : Smiling Buddha
  2. India’s Vast Potential for Exporting Labour

The Operation : Smiling Buddha


As part of the operation known as “Smiling Buddha,” India conducted its first nuclear tests on May 18, 1974, in Pokhran, Rajasthan. With this historic occasion, India joined the select club of countries with nuclear weapons.


GS Paper-1: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Mains Question

Analyse how India’s nuclear tests at Pokhran I in 1974 influenced its nuclear strategy and efforts to gain international recognition as a nuclear power. (250 words).

Background: Nonproliferation Treaty and Indian Nuclear Policy

  • The current international dynamics, such as the Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, underpinned India’s desire to develop nuclear weapons.
  • The adoption of regulations to prevent mass destruction was required as a result of the destructive use of nuclear weapons in World War II and later nuclear testing by major powers.
    • The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), signed in 1968, sought to prevent the spread of nuclear technology and weapons.
  • The discriminatory nature of the pact, which favoured the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, was, nevertheless, a point of contention for India.
    • The fundamental problem was the absence of reciprocity, as governments that already possessed nuclear weapons did not have to fulfil the commitment made by non-nuclear states to stop developing them.

Domestic developments are influencing India’s nuclear ambitions

  • In India, researchers like Homi J. Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai had already built the foundation for the study and development of nuclear energy.
    • India’s scientific skills were boosted by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), which was founded in 1954. o Despite initial scepticism, successive leadership changes and outside events, such as the war with China in 1962, changed India’s stance on nuclear weapons.
  • The first nuclear test, Pokhran-I: Unlike her predecessors, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi did not have an unfavourable opinion of nuclear tests.
  • However, India decided to carry out the tests covertly because it was aware of the NPT’s limitations.In spite of internal disagreements, Indira Gandhi ultimately decided to move forward with the plan, which allowed for the successful detonation of a nuclear weapon with a yield of 12–13 kilotons at Pokhran on May 18, 1974.

NPT (1970): Non-Proliferation Treaty

  • It is a multilateral agreement that tries to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.- 1. Non-proliferation
  • 2. Disarmament
  • 3. Use of nuclear energy peacefully
  • It was ratified in 1970 after being signed in 1968. The Committee on Disarmament debated and discussed the contents of this treaty.
  • It creates nuclear “Haves” and “Have-Nots” throughout the globe.
  • States that produced and detonated nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices prior to January 1, 1967 are known as Nuclear Weapons States (NWS).
  • As a result, the following counties are the solely five NWS:
  • China is first, followed by France, then Russia (the former USSR), the UK, and finally, the United States of America.
  • NNWS are forbidden from acquiring fissile materials and related technology (for the manufacture or transfer of nuclear weapons).
  • The pact does not forbid nations from acquiring the means to use energy for peaceful purposes.

International Reaction and Diplomatic Obstacles:

  • After the tests, India received harsh criticism and consequences from the international community.
  • With the passage of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act in 1978, the United States in particular imposed limitations on nuclear assistance to India; however, India’s position gradually changed over time, culminating in the historic India-US nuclear agreement in 2005, which signalled a change in how the world viewed India’s nuclear capabilities.

India’s Struggle for International Acceptance: The Nuclear Suppliers Group

  • Since 2008, India has sought membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in order to gain recognition as a responsible nuclear state around the world.
  • Despite initial opposition from some nations, India’s track record as a responsible nuclear state and its dedication to nonproliferation have gradually gained support from a number of countries, paving the way for potential NSG membership. The NSG establishes rules for exporting nuclear equipment and seeks to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.


  • The first nuclear tests conducted by India in Pokhran, Rajasthan, in 1974 were a crucial turning point in the country’s nuclear development.
    • India’s ‘Smiling Buddha’ operation was motivated by geopolitical factors and the necessity to develop its strategic deterrence.
  • India has worked to position itself as a responsible nuclear power, which has increased acceptance and recognition on the international stage despite the initial backlash. As India continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions, its participation in global nonproliferation efforts and its pursuit of NSG membership highlight its commitment to upholding peace and stability in the world.

India’s Vast Potential for Exporting Labour


India’s demographic advantage—a sizable, youthful population that speaks English—offers a special chance to meet the rising need for labour on a worldwide scale.


GS Paper-1: Effects of globalization on Indian society

Mains Question

Analyse the possible economic advantages of immigration for India in light of both its sizable population and the demand for both skilled and unskilled labour on a global scale. What steps can be made to maximise this potential and guarantee long-term domestic stability? (250 Words).

Key Points:

  • Germany projects a seven million workforce deficit by 2035, with hundreds of thousands of open positions in that year.
  • Industrialised nations like the US and Japan are becoming more aware of the need for foreign expertise to keep up their economic and technological dominance.
  • India’s enormous population, especially its youthful element, presents it as a possible permanent provider of unskilled, semi-skilled, and high-skilled labour. Industrial economies are aggressively striving to attract talented immigrants.

Are you aware?

  • The majority of Indian migrants are housed in the UAE, the US, and Saudi Arabia.
  • Remittances from India’s 32 million strong global diaspora are anticipated to reach $100 billion.
  • Mexico and Russia both had 11 million diaspora residents, along with China (10 million) and Syria (8 million).
  • Since 2011, over 1.6 million Indians have given up their citizenship, with 1,83,741 doing so in 2022.
  • The biggest incentive for Indians to relocate overseas and obtain citizenship in other nations continues to be the United States.
  • The United States (78,284) received the most citizenship transfers from Indians, followed by Australia (23,533), Canada (21,597), and the United Kingdom (14,637).

Why is the globe currently experiencing a labour shortage?

  • Ageing Population: With a dropping birthrate and rising life expectancy, many nations are dealing with an ageing population. Due to the demographic change, fewer people are now employed, which has created a labour shortage.
  • Skills Mismatch: There is frequently a discrepancy between the skills that the available labour possesses and the talents that industries need. A need for workers with particular talents has arisen as a result of technological improvements and shifting market needs, creating a dearth of competent people in some industries.
  • Economic expansion: In many nations, rapid economic expansion has boosted demand for workers across a range of industries. A lack of competent labour has resulted from the rise of industries including technology, healthcare, and construction.
  • Low Birth Rates: Because of low birth rates in some nations, there is a smaller pool of young people entering the workforce. This demographic trend makes it harder to find workers, especially in industries that need a lot of them.
  • Immigration Regulations: Strict immigration regulations or policies can control the influx of foreign workers into nations that are experiencing a labour shortage. Political factors or worries about the effect of immigration on local jobs may have led to the implementation of these rules.
  • Globalisation: Increasing globalisation has given firms around the world access to new markets and opportunities. The need for workers in various places increases as businesses expand their operations internationally, creating a labour shortage in some sectors.

India’s Issues, Possibilities, and Consequences Increasing Your Supply of Workforce to Ageing Societies:

  • Obstacles: o Brain Drain: The exodus of highly qualified people could reduce India’s talent pool and impede domestic innovation.
    • Socio-economic Impact: Mass emigration may result in labour shortages in specific areas, affecting home businesses and driving up wages.
    • Social Disruption: Emigration may cause family division, a brain drain from rural areas, and migrant cultural dislocation, all of which have an adverse effect on social cohesion.
    • Economic Dependence: A country’s vulnerability to changes in the external economy can increase if it relies too heavily on remittances as a source of foreign cash.
  • Opportunities include: o Remittances: Indian immigrants who send money home can help the nation’s foreign exchange reserves, encourage consumption, and fund development initiatives.
    • Skill Development: Immigrants who return to India after acquiring useful information and experiences overseas can support innovation, entrepreneurship, and knowledge transfer.
    • Economic Growth: Domestic investment, entrepreneurship, and economic growth can all be boosted by remittances and the return of skilled migrants.
    • Social Transformation: Indian immigrants’ absorption into host societies can promote cross-cultural dialogue, improve India’s standing abroad, and fortify inter-ethnic ties.
  • Economic diplomacy: Indian immigrants make a major economic contribution to their host nations, strengthening bilateral economic relations and influencing foreign policy decisions.
  • Diaspora Engagement: The Indian diaspora serves as a conduit for cultural interchange, business alliances, and diplomatic ties between India and their host nations.
  • Political Influence: Indian immigrants having clout and sway in their host nations can influence international affairs to suit India’s objectives.
  • improving soft power
  • Cultural Influence: Indian immigrants promote India’s voluminous cultural history through festivities, gastronomy, music, dance, and the arts, broadening understanding of Indian culture around the world.
  • Education and Research: Immigrants from India support research, innovation, and academic excellence in their home nations, which helps to advance India’s standing in areas like science, technology, and academia.
  • Sports and entertainment: Indian immigrants who succeed in the sports, entertainment, and film industries serve as cultural ambassadors, promoting Indian artists and stories around the world.
    • Spreading India’s Principles:
  • Social Contributions: Immigrants from India take part in charitable endeavours, neighbourhood improvement projects, and social initiatives that are a reflection of India’s compassion, inclusion, and social responsibility.
  • Yoga, Ayurveda, and Spirituality: Indian immigrants support India’s holistic approach to health and wellbeing by boosting the acceptability and popularity of traditional Indian practises like yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation.
  • Support for Global causes: Immigrants from India regularly participate in international forums and speak out in favour of causes like gender equality, climate change, and human rights, demonstrating India’s commitment to tackling global problems.
  • Immigration might be the magic solution India needs to realise its demographic dividend and guarantee long-term domestic stability.
  • India, which has the largest population in the world with 500 million workers, faces the difficult burden of finding suitable jobs for the 12 million new workers who enter the labour force each year.
  • We face the bleak prospect of underemployment for hundreds of millions of Indians because to high levels of learning poverty, a failing educational system, and a high rate of information.

What legislative actions are possible?

  • Skill Development: Focus on programmes that will give the Indian workforce the in-demand skills by coordinating training with industry demands and international labour markets.
  • Simplified Immigration Regulations: Establish transparent and effective immigration regulations to draw in and keep talent from abroad while facilitating skilled workers’ residency, work permits, and admission.
  • Collaboration in education: Encourage alliances between Indian and foreign universities to improve learning opportunities, advance information sharing, and develop a talent pool that can satisfy global demand.
  • Language Instruction: Offer language instruction programmes to improve Indian immigrants’ employability in their new countries and to promote efficient communication and integration.
  • talented Labour Retention: Put policies in place to encourage talented professionals to remain in India by fostering a positive work environment, offering them career possibilities, and offering them competitive pay.
  • Social Security and Welfare: Create systems to guarantee the protection and welfare of Indian migrants overseas, including their access to medical treatment, legal counsel, and social security benefits.
  • Diplomatic Engagement: Ensure the protection of Indian workers’ rights and advance their welfare by stepping up diplomatic efforts to secure advantageous immigration arrangements with host nations.
  • Support for Entrepreneurship: Offer assistance and incentives to returning immigrants so they can start enterprises, promote domestic innovation, and generate employment possibilities.


  • While addressing brain drain, social disruption, and economic dependency, India can leverage remittances, skill enhancement, and global engagement for economic growth and social transformation.
  • Implementing policy measures focused on skilled labour retention, skill development, social security, diplomatic engagement, and entrepreneurship will support economic growth and social transformation.

May 2024