The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. As per the NSG Guidelines a supplier, authorizes a transfer of nuclear technologies to other nations only when satisfied that the transfer would not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
This treaty was signed among 48 nuclear supplying countries to ensure nuclear trade for peaceful purposes and non proliferation on response to India's nuclear test in 1974 at Pokhran. This treaty laid norms for nuclear materials and technology which could exported and imported and it also prevents proliferation by banning the sale of few materials used for weapon making. NSG is guided by the principle of Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to prevent spread of nuclear materials, technology and weapons.
NSG guidelines govern the exports or transfer of nuclear material, nuclear reactors and equipment, non-nuclear material for reactors, plant and equipment for the reprocessing, enrichment, and conversion of nuclear material and for fuel fabrication and heavy water production, technology associated with each of the above items. Nuclear-related dual-use items and technologies (items that have both nuclear and non-nuclear applications) are also regulated and govern under NSG.
India has been trying to get into NSG since 2008 and has been making immense effort since then. It indeed got substantial success in the form of NSG waiver in 2008 which led it to sign various nuclear agreement pacts with many countries including US. Since then almost all the countries of the world have been batting for India's unconditional entry into NSG. World powers like US, UK, Russia etc. have put all its weight behind India to get it the deserving membership. However, the main opposition is coming from China apart from Pakistan, Turkey, Switzerland etc.
The most critical eligibility condition for the NSG membership is to be a signatory of the NPT. It is the principle of NSG that a country which is a non signatory of NPT, CTBT etc. Should not be given a NSG membership. Hence, the biggest hurdle remains that of the adherence to the procedure of NSG admission, which is being highlighted persistently with China.
However, India has already been getting the waiver to receive nuclear technologies through various civil nuclear agreements for last eight years and hence it can be considered as partial membership of NSG. Moreover, in 2011, NSG plenary was enacted to strengthen NSG guidelines on the transfer of sensitive enrichment and reprocessing technologies It meant that now India is not all free to conduct any trade of nuclear. Hence, this has triggered a need to get into this group and amend this rule.
India considers the signing of NPT as biased and discriminatory. India has been voluntarily adhering to various norms and principles of NPT, which can be definitely be considered to signing of NPT. These points are substantiated by following:
Supporting Points for India
Advantages for India
Although a nuclear capable state, India heavily lacks in the cutting-edge technologies and nuclear fuels. After NSG inclusion, the major difference will be evident in following areas.
Despite its dissonance to NPT, India has been trying hard to acquire the NSG membership. Apart from surge in the boost to domestic industries, energy security, accumulation of power vis-a-vis its adverse neighbors etc. Following are some of the strategic interests associated with NSG membership for India. These have further been enumerated by following points:
India is a fast growing developing nation. The persistent rise in the energy demands is well evident in the present scenario. However, owing to its environment commitments, reliance on other countries for fossil fuels, fast depleting non-renewable sources of energy, deficiency in solar and wind energy technologies and its goal of sourcing almost 40% of its energy from non-fossil sources, Nuclear energy has been the panacea for the India of 21st centuries. The entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group can be a game changer for India to fulfill such energy needs. Entry into NSG group will provide efficient and ample access of nuclear technologies to India, thereby assuring it of the energy security for the future.
The main hurdle for India's NSG entry is the procedural flaws, which India can not overcome without signing the NPT in its present form. However, most of the countries have agreed for the India's inclusion based on India's clean and benign record and its Nuclear Doctrine. Unfortunately, counties like China, Turkey, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Ireland and Austria, With the first three being the most vocal. However, China and Turkey being the members of NSG are most critical opposition for India's admission into NSG. Most of the opposition however has been because of the possible undermining efforts to prevent proliferation.
Opposition by China
China is opposing the India's entry into NSG by highlighting procedural hurdles, which says non-NPT signatory countries can not join NSG. However, this Chinese opposition is morally flawed as It has agreed for the inclusion of India if Pakistan is also admitted in NGS, as both these countries are non-NPT signatories. Hence, China is actually playing Pakistan's card with India.
China being a strong allies of Pakistan, which in turn acts as a bulwark for India's progress, is actually paving the way for Pakistan into NSG rather than opposing India. However, no one is willing to give Pakistan an entry due to its pathetic reputation of being proliferator of nuclear-weapons technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
China may be opposing the India's entry into NSG to bargain its own entry into Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Since, India has become a member of MTCR and China is not, hence China wants to push for its own membership into MTCR, if Indian NSG admission is to be allowed.
Opposition by Turkey
Turkey and Pakistan has always been all weather friend right from the creation of Pakistan. Turkey has supported Pakistan in Kashmir issue and in coping up with various natural hazards like earthquakes and floods. Indian Muslims of the area, currently known as Pakistani people, have helped Turkey in the Turkish war of independence immediately after world war I.
Pakistan was also one of the countries that offered the most assistance to Turkey after the 1999 Marmara Earthquake. Both these countries have deep cultural and religious ties. Hence, Turkey also wants the inclusion of Pakistan along with India into NSG. Turkey does not want to support only India and antagonizing its friend Pakistan.
Apart from India's continued efforts to get into the prestigious NSG, it is the Barack Obama's personal keen interest which has gathered the storm in recent times. Us president wants to deliver India's NSG admission, if not the permanent membership of
UNSC, before he makes the way for a newcomer. In spite of India's deserving claim, its impeccable nuclear records, adherence to almost all the global treaties and policies and benign Nuclear Doctrine, India's entry into NSG is entangled into diplomatic games.
For China, the inclusion of India into NSG may not have much effect directly. However, it is the Pakistan which is being kept in mind by China as well as Turkey. The latter along with many other opposing countries can be soothed by US. However, the China's acceptance may be a tough nut to crack for Indian diplomacy. MTCR membership for China can act as a way out in the near future, but it will be easier said than done.
India will be looking for the NSG membership for its commercial, strategic and diplomatic needs and it should continue to make diplomatic endeavors to build consensus among all the present 48 members of NSG for its hyped entry.