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Q. NSG membership for India: Discuss the NSG membership issues of India in detail.
May 17, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a multinational body which is aimed at reducing nuclear proliferation by controlling the transfer (export) and re-transfer of materials that may be applicable to nuclear weapon development and by improving safeguards and protection on existing materials. The NSG was founded in 1975 in response to India’s nuclear test in 1974.

India and NSG-


India is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is widely considered as the key criterion to become NSG member. Hence India is a member country of NSG. Since long time India is trying to get NSG membership.

Support from other countries-

Despite being non-signatory to the NPT, considering the clean track record in nuclear weapons India has got support from various NSG members. Major countries like the USA, Russia, Germany, the U.K. and Australia have openly backed the India’s bid for NSG.

Last year India reached out to many other NSG members, including those such as Ireland and Sweden which are traditionally been opposed to its admission. But China is opposing India’s membership for NSG citing India as non-signatory to the NPT, but in reality it is practising appeasement policy for its all-weather friend Pakistan.

Benefits of NSG Membership-

  • NSG membership will help India procure more fuel and nuclear components. Being a member country of NSG, India will be in a far better position to obtain new technologies and nuclear material from abroad.

  • It will open an opportunity for the Indian industry to aggressively tap the global market.

  • It will help India to resuscitate its nuclear energy programme without endangering its nuclear deterrent.

Potential issues –

  • There is possibility that NSG members could object to an India-specific ruling, and that other non-NPT countries like Pakistan, Israel may also benefit from any flexibility that is shown in India’s case.

  • There is a possibility that India could receive a second category membership, and not be considered a nuclear weapons state by the NSG.

  • NSG which was set up specifically in response to India’s nuclear test in 1974, which eventually may require India to curtail its nuclear weapons programme.

Conclusion-

India truly deserves to be a member of NSG, especially when the NSG’s ground rules have been already put in place. India being a responsible global player, it is desirable that India is associated with the decision making process of NSG. For this a persuasive diplomacy is required to win naysayers such as China from blocking India’s bid. Also India should access its position properly and could not accept any compromised deal in this regard.


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