Answer: Prime Minister of India heads the political wing of NCAI.
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Nuclear Command Authority (NCA)
- The Nuclear Command Authority(NCA) of India is the authority which is responsible for command, control and operational decisions regarding India’s nuclear weapons programme.
- On January 4, 2003, the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS) constituted the Political Council and the Executive Council of the NCA.
- The Executive Council gives its opinion to the Political Council, which authorises a nuclear attack when thought to be necessary. While the Executive Council is chaired by the National Security Advisor(NSA), the Political Council is chaired by the Prime Minister.
- This mechanism was implemented to ensure that Indian nukesremain firmly in civilian control and that there exists a sophisticated Command and Control (C2) mechanism to prevent nuclear weapons accidental or unauthorised use.
- The directives of the NCA are operationalised by the Strategic Forces Commandunder the control of a Commander-in-Chief of the rank of Air Marshal or its equivalent in charge of the management and administration of the tactical and strategic nuclear forces.
- The NCA may be seen as the first stage in the development of an effective and robust Command and Control(C2) and Indications-and-Warning (I&W) systems and infrastructure for its strategic nuclear forces.
- India’s first Nuclear test was conducted on 18 May 1974 with the code name Smiling Buddha.
- India has conducted another series of tests at the Pokhrantest range in the state of Rajasthan in 1998, which included a thermonuclear test, code named Operation Shakti.