The head of India’s prominent Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), VK Saraswat, has announced that India’s nuclear deterrence capabilities are “at par with whatever adversaries we are looking at.” “In terms of deterrence, India has the capability, which it needs to have… we are totally self-sufficient” and our “capabilities are fully safe and all the infrastructure required is also in place.”

[Editor’s note: The keepers of India’s nuclear stockpile were put on their heels by former DRDO scientist K Santhanam when he admitted in October that India’s nuclear test in 1998 had not met “design expectations.” He went on to say that “there is a wealth of seismic and other data which reveal that the thermonuclear device underperformed.” Santhanam’s claim was swiftly rebuked by the government but, amidst an international push for India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, it has stirred an intense debate within the country about the status of its nuclear arsenal and the potential need for further testing. (Beijing Xinjua, December 15, 2009; Asian Defence, October 2, 2009)

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