India And The NSG (Nuclear Supplier Group) : Why Is It Important
The topic of India's joining the Nuclear Supplier Group is a very popular one. Why is it important for India to join NSG and what are its barriers? To understand that, let us first look at what NSG is.
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear growth by controlling the export of materials, equipment, and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.
The Nuclear Supplier Group consists of 48 members which include the five nuclear weapon states US, UK, France, China, and Russia.
The current guidelines of NSG state that a NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty) state cannot become a member of NSG which keeps India out of the group.
As you know that India has not signed the NPT(Non Proliferation Treaty). And this is because
The NPT defines “nuclear weapons states” as those that tested devices before 1967, which means India cannot ever be one. NPT is unfair treaty as nuclear weapon states have no obligation to give them up while non-nuclear states are not allowed to have them.
- Along with India, Pakistan and Israel have also not signed the Treaty.
- India also conducted its first nuclear test at Pokhran(Operation smiling budhdha) in 1974 and due to that India had to face sanctions from western countries like the US.
- Then in 2008, US agreed to sign a civil nuclear deal with India (123 agreement). Under this, India signed a civil-military separation plan and "India IAEA safeguard agreement". In return, US diplomacy helped us to get NSG waiver.
- US President Barack Obama supported India's participation in NSG. And India also formally pledged that it would not share its sensitive nuclear technology.
- Due to which the NSG participating governments agreed to grant India a “clean waiver” from its existing rules.
- In 2016, India applied for the NSG membership. A majority of countries supported India. But China along with New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria opposed to India’s admission.
- China insisted that India should sign NPT for NSG membership.
- India has been deprived of the latest technologies as it is the NSG members that have the latest and the most efficient technology.
- And above all it is also going to boost the 'Make In India' program. And it is necessary for it's economic growth.
- As India has also signed the Paris agreement on climate change which is to reduce thr dependence on fossil fuels. The access to more nuclear energy is important for achieving this target.
- Lastly, India can't import fuels like the uranium from countries because these countries are bound with similar treaty.
France also got membership of the group without signing the NPT. And India has always maitained a clean record for not sharing its technology. It signed an agreement with IAEA ( International Atomic Energy Association) to monitor its nuclear plants as well. Taking in view the support of the majority of coutries to India, it needs to continue working for it.