Formed after Pokhran tests to keep India out, the ‘nuke cabal’ will come a full circle if it makes New Delhi a member
GN Bureau | June 23, 2016
What is NSG?
The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a syndicate formed by nuke-powered countries to keep a check export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons. The aim is to prevent nuclear proliferation, by not letting critical material and technology fall into the hands of a rogue state.
When did it come up?
India’s nuclear tests of 1974 alerted the nuke powers who wanted to keep the technology among themselves. Seven countries – Canada, West Germany, France, Japan, the USSR, the UK, and the US – first met in 1975, and that was the launch of NSG. They soon prepared a list of technologies that they would not export to countries like India which had not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). The organisation has grown to 48 members, and its ambit to regulate the global nuclear trade in general.
What would that mean for India?
India was thus rendered nuclear pariah, an untouchable nation, that went on to develop its nuclear capability on its own – without support from any nuke-powered nation. India had a second series of nuclear tests in 1998 – followed by the same from Pakistan, of course.
What has changed the scene?
The Indo-US civil nuclear deal. The Bush-Manmohan initiative is meant to enable India to harness nuclear power to meet its growing electricity demand. It also means a huge opportunity for technology provider firms of the US as well as other capable nations.
The deal, which means US firms committing to proving n-technology to India, would of course be a violation of the very basis of NSG. Thus, a special ‘exception’ had to be secured from the NSG so that the US could enter into this agreement with India.
What’s the latest?
After the n-deal – and the ‘exception’ made by NSG, India is no longer a nuclear pariah, and while NSG remains relevant for broader goals, its original cause of keeping New Delhi out is irrelevant now.
India refuses to sign the NPT, terming it as discriminatory, but wants to formally come on board with NSG membership. That is also a natural follow-up to the n-deal. That is why, right since 2010, the US has campaigned for India’s membership, and several other nations (mostly n-tech providers, especially France) have supported the cause.
India last month made the formal application for membership, which is coming up for consideration at the NSG’s plenary meet in Seoul on June 24. Predictably, Pakistan also made the application, and it has been supported by China.
Since NSG takes decisions by consensus, China’s stance is crucial. Initially, it opposed India’s entry, but of late its media and think tanks have let out rather ambiguous views.
Close to 48 lakh migrant labourers have been able to reach home from the cities they were working in, as the Indian Railways have run a total of 3,543 “Sharmik Special” trains from May 1. Following the home ministry order regarding the movement by special trains of migrant worker
Before the novel coronavirus hit it, Mumbai about 10-12 lakh labourers from elsewhere had made it their home. The figure for the state of Maharashtra was another 18-20 lakh. As the pandemic spread and the Maximum City emerged as the worst-hit place in India, all economic activities came to an end, and with
For the rest of the world, it is not easy to understand China when it comes to politics or economics. Under pressure from the international community, it has accepted to open the country for a “comprehensive” probe into the origin of the deadly coronavirus. But it is not clear whether the Asian
Even as humanitarian support is pouring in to help distressed migrants amid Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, civil society organizations and NGOs are working for sanitation of community toilets which have become breeding source of virus infection. Every community toilet has 20 seats. Each
India, completing about two months of lockdown to protect against the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, has made good use of the time to improve health infrastructure, the government has said. Countering media reports “about some decisions of the government regarding the lockdown implem
As India begins to learn to live with Covid-19 and come out of nearly two-month long lockdown, regular train services are set to resume from June 1 in a graded manner, even as more ‘shramik’ special trains are planned. The railway ministry, in consultation with the health ministr