Why India is aiming for Membership in Nuclear Suppliers Group?

India Nov 08, 2021

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India’s representative, popularly known as Sherpa, categorically presented the nation’s objectives for the membership of the coveted Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in the recent G20 summit, adding that its eco-friendly goals are synchronized with its ticket in the grouping.

NSG is a group which aims to prevent nuclear proliferation by regulating the export of materials, equipment, and technology which can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons, hence preventing acts of nuclear terrorism.

Why is NSG’s membership important for India?

The membership to the NSG will increase India’s access to up-to-date technology and this access to technology will provide a boost for Make in India program as well, which is efficient in promoting economic development in the subcontinent. India, being the 3rd largest contributor to greenhouse emissions after China and USA, will make its transition from coal-based electricity to uranium-based electricity (green energy) fluid.

Namibia, the fourth-largest producer of uranium dwells for exporting uranium to India is bound by the Pelindaba Treaty, which regulates the supply of uranium from Africa to the rest of the world and India’s NSG membership will melt such reservations.

Out of the 48-member group, majority which backed India’s membership, China, since 2016, insisted that India should mark non-proliferation treaty (NPT) for NSG membership. After all, it is now an open secret that China’s confrontation is to simplify Pakistan’ entry as well. But Pakistan’s credentials for NSG membership are highly defective and inadequate. Over the years, India has shown adherence to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and has taken voluntary measures for the same.

Now, the question of the hour is why India didn’t sign the NPT?

As per India, the treaty divides the world into the world of nuclear ‘have’ and ‘have-not’ and hence finds it discriminatory in nature. It also argued that it unnecessarily restricted 'peaceful activity', and that India would not comply to international control of their nuclear facilities lest all other countries involved in unilateral disarmament of their own nuclear weapons, claiming, NPT in many ways ignores the security of post-colonial powers. Also, India has always batted and agreed for non-discriminatory multilateral framework to which NPT doesn't match the standards.

Amidst the strong demands and confrontation from the opposition, India points for elite membership like France, without signing the NPT. As well, India’s pledge for the universal commitment of peaceful nuclear disarmament and it's no-first use doctrine is a cherished strategy worldwide. Most prominently, India’s credentials have been worthy and adequate for non-hesitantly gaining membership which is, nowadays, also backed by the major powers worldwide.

NSG membership would be a welcome development for India as it will definitely boost the economic and strategic development as well as an opportunity to pave the way for clean energy commitments to reduce the carbon footprint.

This article was written by Shrawan Deogirkar for Paradigm.

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