New Delhi: In consideration of India becoming a part of nuclear supplier group (NSG) on October 30, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj discussed the matter with visiting NSG chairman Rafael Grossi, who indicated that he would take it up with the groupings 48 members right away.
India has been interested in the NSG ever since the 123 Agreement signed between the United States of America and India, known as the U.S.–India Civil Nuclear Agreement or Indo-US nuclear deal.
NSG is a regulatory body that determines global trade in civil nuclear materials and technologies. It works to ensure the nuclear technology and material don’t get utilised to develop nuclear weapons by nations it is being transferred to.
India in 2008 was exempted from NSG on the bases of NSG in 1992 banning nuclear cooperation with any state that had not accepted IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) comprehensive safeguards. But now India also wants to be a member of NSG.
India is aggressively being supported by the United States, which has more or less assured India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in the coming couple of months, and then follow through to facilitate it in the NSG.
US diplomats told India Strategic that the Obama administration was committed in this perspective.
Diplomatic sources also said that President Barack Obama had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a state visit in March 2016, which had been accepted, and the US support to India due to its clean non-proliferation record, tight export control laws, and growing friendship with the US was a given now.
India however has a waiver, courtesy Washington, for nuclear trade with those willing, but there are many technologies that it still cannot access due to MTCR and two other denial regimes, the Wassenar Arrangement and Australia Group.
Sources say that Indian diplomats are also engaging China towards NSG.
The grouping, set up in 1975 as a reaction to India’s 1974 nuclear test, needs consensus for admitting new members or to take some key decisions.
(With inputs from IANS)