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INDIA’S BID TO NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS GROUP (NSG)

The Plenary meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) ended in Seoul, without a decision on India’s
application for membership in the body. India’s pursuit of membership in the NSG was not an example of misdirected
diplomacy but a sincere effort to ask for its due as a nuclear-disciplined nation which has for years been aligning itself
with the norms of global nuclear export control regimes.
What is Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG)?

• The Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) is a 48-nation club committed to limiting nuclear arms proliferation

• It oversees the export, re-transfer and protection of sensitive materials that could foster nuclear weapons
development.

• It first met in November 1975 in London and is referred as the “London Club”.

• The NSG was founded in response to the Indian nuclear test in May 1974, which used fuel illegally diverted from
a nuclear reactor that was supplied to India for peaceful uses.

• The nuclear trade embargo put on India was only lifted after US successfully lobbied in favour of India to get a
special waiver from NSG.

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What are requirements for membership? How will India benefit if it becomes a NSG
member?
• Should be a signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation
Treaty (NPT), Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban 1) Will seek easy transfer of nuclear technology and
Treaty (CTBT) or a similar international agreement. raw materials among nations.

The country should; 2) Will ensure stability in business environment even


if a government changes or falls.
• Have the proved ability to supply nuclear or nuclear-
related material, 3) Will also give an opportunity to tap the global
market.
• Adhere to the guidelines on nuclear items and
nuclear-related items, 4) Will help India further its clean energy plans.

• Enforce a “legally based domestic export control India’s bid for NSG membership
system”, • India is already abiding by the NSG Guidelines
• Support non-proliferation of all Weapons of Mass without being a member
Destruction (WMD). • India has been reaching out to all representatives
• Unanimously approved by other members. across the 48 member nations to support India’s case.

Does India meet these requirements? • If India gains membership it will be the only
participating country that has not signed the Nuclear
• India has been abiding by the NSG guidelines and Non-Proliferation Treaty.
has traditionally been a strong advocate of non-
proliferation. What Pakistan factor

• India has placed its civil nuclear facilities under • Pakistan applied for the membership of the Nuclear
the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Supppliers Group after India, saying its inclusion
Agency (IAEA). would help further non-proliferation objectives.

• India has not signed the NPT or the CTBT. • US was unwilling to lend their support for Pakistan’s
cause.
• India has called for a non-discriminatory treaty that
should be agreed upon by all countries multilaterally. • Pakistan’s request for membership of the group came
after India’s application for membership.
Why hasn’t India signed the NPT?
• Pakistan argues that in the wake of India gaining easy
• Only the five permanent members of the UNSC are access to fissile material and technology for its civilian
allowed to keep and develop nuclear weapons, while nuclear programme, it would have that much more
the rest can only use nuclear technology for their material for its military nuclear programme.
energy requirements.
• It is important to mention here that Islamabad was
• Although India has so far categorically refused to be caught selling nuclear weapons secrets to Libya and
party to any agreement of discriminatory nature, it was defamed globally.
committed to a unilateral moratorium on nuclear
tests during US-India civil nuclear agreement in What was the hurdle that India faced?
2008.
• Until China accepts India’s entry, there is no hope of
• India won’t be conducting any more nuclear tests for membership since the decision has to be a consensus
an unspecified period of time, unless necessitated by among all active members.
the circumstances.

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• China argues admission in the group should be norm development of India’s nuclear sector because of the
based, and rules applied to give India membership 2008 NSG waiver.
should also apply to all new entrants.
• In the ensuing period, till the next plenary in
• Majority of the elite group members backed India’s Switzerland in 2017, India should actively engage
membership. with all members and particularly with those who
have expressed doubts or raised queries, including
• Apart from China, countries like Turkey, South China.
Africa, Ireland and New Zealand were not in favour
of India’s entry into the NSG. • India has already stated that the lack of a decision in
Seoul will delay its ratification of the Paris Accord on
• China maintains opposition to India’s entry, arguing climate change.
that it has not signed Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT) while batting for its close ally Pakistan’s • India has made it clear that it does not have any geo-
entry if NSG extends any exemption for India. strategic ambitions in becoming a member of NSG.
The way Forward • Developments in Seoul are a temporary setback and
not a disaster. With its unblemished and impeccable
• In the near term, the denial of NSG membership
record, India can hope to enter the portals of the
will not make any substantive difference to the
NSG during this year or soon thereafter.

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SHANKAR IAS ACADEMY


The Best IAS Academy in South India SINCE 2004
This file is part of Shankar IAS Academy mobile Application. To access other files please download
Shankar IAS Academy App. available for Android, iphone and Windows.