GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Parliament and State legislature-structure, functioning and conduct of business etc, weapons of mass destruction.
- Parliament passed a bill (The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022)which seeks to ban funding of weapons of mass destruction and also empowers the Centre to freeze, seize or attach financial assets and economic resources of people engaged in such activities.
- The previous act, the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, passed in 2005, only banned the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction.
- Section 12A: The amendment bill seeks to insert a new Section 12A in the existing law which states that “no person shall finance any activity which is prohibited under this Act, or under the United Nations (Security Council) Act, 1947 or any other relevant Act for the time being in force, or by an order issued under any such Act, in relation to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.”
- Prevent financing of such activities: To prevent persons from financing such activities, the central government may freeze, seize or attach funds, financial assets, or economic resources (whether owned, held, or controlled directly or indirectly).
- Prevent finances or related services available: It may also prohibit persons from making finances or related services available for the benefit of other persons in relation to any activity which is prohibited.
What are Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)?
- These are weapons with the capacity to inflict death and destruction on such a massive scale and so indiscriminately that its very presence in the hands of a hostile power can be considered a grievous threat.
- Modern weapons of mass destruction are either nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons—frequently referred to collectively as NBC weapons.
- The term weapons of mass destruction has been in currency since at least 1937, when it was used to describe massed formations of bomber aircraft.
- For example, Nuclear bombs used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki attack in Japan.
Efforts to control the spread of WMD are enshrined in international agreements such as:
Q. In what ways would the ongoing U.S-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy affect the national interest of India? How should India respond to this situation? (UPSC 2019)