Nuclear Command Authority
The Nuclear Command Authority (NCA), based on the U.S. model, is directly responsible for deciding on the deployment of nuclear weapons. The agency was created on January 4, 2003 as a step to instill an organized and effective nuclear weapons command structure. The agency is headed by two sections called the Political Council and the Executive Council.
The Political Council is headed by the Prime Minister and is the only council that has the power to order the use of nuclear weapons. The make up of the Political Council is not officially known at this time. Estimates suggest the council is comprised of the top 5 or 6 government posts including the Prime Minister and Defence Minister.
The National Security Advisor heads the Executive Council and provides assistance and information to the Political Council in order to facilitate their decision making.
The Indian military enterprise is ultimatley controlled by civilians and therefore any decision to use a nuclear weapon is made by a civilian. In case of the Political Council's destruction due to a aggressive actor's first strike, there are alternate, pre-decided councils that will replace the Political Council and fulfill the NCA's mission.
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