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Govt. of India Revives Body for Nuclear Ties with Smaller Nations
Jun 18, 2016

As India moves closer to getting membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which would admit it into a group of countries who play by agreed rules on nuclear commerce, the government of India has resurrected a virtually defunct organisation to become the nodal agency for nuclear cooperation with smaller countries.

  • The Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP), which got a home near Bahadurgarh, Haryana in 2014, four years after it was announced by former prime minister Manmohan Singh in September 2010, will be the training and cooperation agency for India's nuclear outreach to different countries.
  • Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, with whom India has signed nuclear cooperation agreements are the first countries where India is using the facilities and skills in GCNEP to train its personnel and guide them through nuclear programmes on proliferation, safety and security fronts.
  • GCNEP was cleared by the Indian government in 2010.
  • As the sixth R&D centre of the department of atomic energy (DAE) it was initially envisaged as a brains trust where the traditionally closed Indian nuclear sector would meet international research on nuclear issues; where India could disseminate its own expertise in using nuclear technology for medicine, health, environment etc.
  • This would be done through five schools—advanced nuclear energy systems, nuclear security, radiological safety, applications for radioisotopes and radiation technologies.
  • In June 2011, Russia signed an agreement with India to cooperate on establishing four of the GCNEP schools.
  • In 2010, US also signed an MoU with India to help establish GCNEP as a world class R&D centre.

If India does manage to get into the NSG this year given China's opposition, India plans to open nuclear cooperation with a number of countries. With the government keen on incentivizing nuclear manufacturing through the Make in India programme, India plans to become a nuclear supplier in the years to come.


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