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Essay from the year 2008 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Region: South Asia, grade: 80%= good, University of Kerala (Department of Political Science), course: India's Foreign Policy, language: English, abstract: This essay presents an outline of the evolution of India's Nuclear Policy with a special reference to the India- US Nuclear Deal. However, more recent developments such as the passing of the Deal, withdrawal of Left support and the vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha are not included. On April 8th 2008 The Hindu published an article titled 'Potential consequences of a regional nuclear conflict' in which the author convincingly illustrates the dangers a nuclear- armed South Asia presents.1 The fact that both India and Pakistan, but of course also China, possess nuclear weapons has been an alarming reality since 1998. The relative progress that has been achieved in India- Pakistan relations should not lead one to forget that two conflicts in 1999 and 2001 could easily have escalated into a nuclear confrontation. India had embarked upon a civilian nuclear program right after her independence but the 'weapon option' has always been present. India's nuclear policy has been an evolutionary, sometimes painful process equally shaped by domestic and international factors. This paper attempts to analyse some of these factors and argues that the development of nuclear weapons was a logical, albeit not planned, consequence of them. It is interesting that even those in India fiercely opposed to nuclear weapons subconsciously seemed to have realised that India's nuclear program could not be limited to civilian application forever. A constant in India's nuclear policy is the strong wish to become and remain as independent as possible. For this independent nuclear policy India had to pay a high price. Isolated from international nuclear cooperation, confronted with sharp criticism and even sanctions, India had to rely on herself. While India's success has been a great source of national pride India's isolation in nuclear issues also contributed to a lack of strategic planning regarding India's place in both the region and the world, and the role the nuclear weapons should or should not play in this. The (possible) India- US nuclear deal has provoked an intense debate among Indian actors that creates the chance that India will finally come to terms with its nuclear potential as she prepares for assuming the status of a world power.