Primer: Making sense of the NSG muddle

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


#China   #Diplomacy   #NSG   #Nuclear Suppliers Group   #Pakistan  
Primer: Making sense of the NSG muddle
Primer: Making sense of the NSG muddle

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.

 

Comments

 

Other News

Thackeray launches three fast-track DNA units under Nirbhaya scheme

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched three state-of-the-art human DNA units under the Nirbhaya Scheme for efficiency in criminal investigations. A wildlife DNA unit in Nagpur makes Maharashtra the country’s first state to have a forensic testing lab for animals.  

How foreign policy has been Modi’s focus right from the start

The Midway Battle: Modi’s Roller-coaster Second Term By Gautam Chintamani Bloomsbury / 400 pages / Rs 699 Gautam Chintamani, a film historian and author, has penned an in-depth chronicle of prime minister Narendra Modi’s second

Remove unauthorized constructions without pressure: Thackeray to BMC

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has instructed the Mumbai civic authorities to take immediate action on unauthorized constructions on war footing. In a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, Thackeray said no illegal construction will be tolerated in Mumbai and called upon the BMC to

Covid norms relaxed; Mumbai restaurants, shops to remain open longer

After extending timings of shops and restaurants as well as the reopening of cinema halls and theatres under specified SOPs from October 22, in view of the festive cheer, the Maharashtra government has allowed restaurants and eateries to remain open till 12AM and shops and establishments to function till 1

Global Hunger Index data collection flawed: Arvind Panagariya

Rubbishing the recently released Global Hunger Index 2021, wherein India has slipped to 101 position to be placed below Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, Arvind Panagariya, professor of economics at Columbia University and former vice chairman, NITI Aayog, has said that data collection and methodologies used

‘Blue Zones’ concept of healthy living and its relevance in India

A long life span free from diseases and disability, the so-called healthy aging, has been a matter of prime interest to humanity. It is widely held that the life expectancy is a function of interplay between various genetic and environmental factors. There is scientific evidence to support the fact that on

Visionary Talk with Dr Arvind Panagariya, Professor, Columbia University & Former VC, NITI Aayog



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter