QUES 92 . What is/are the consequence/ consequences of a country becoming the member of the ‘Nuclear Suppliers Group’?
1 . It will have access to the latest and most efficient nuclear technologies.
2 . It automatically becomes a member of “The Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons(NPT)”.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a . 1 only
b . 2 only
c . Both 1 & 2
d . Neither 1 nor 2
Answer – a
In June 2017, India became a member of the 35-member Missile Technology Control Regime and by December last, New Delhi had also gained the membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement that has 42 members.
India on 19 Jan 2018, joined the 42-member Australia Group, an elite export control regime against spread of chemical and biological weapons .
The only grouping India is now left out of is the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG has 48 member countries who control trade in sophisticated civil nuclear technology. China was among the countries that objected to India’s admission to the bloc, ratcheting up tension between the two countries.
The group goes by consensus approach on the admission of new members.
Membership of the NSG means:
1 . Access to technology for a range of uses from medicine to building nuclear power plants for India from the NSG which is essentially a traders’ cartel. India has its own indigenously developed technology but to get its hands on state of the art technology that countries within the NSG possess, it has to become part of the group.
2 . With India committed to reducing dependence on fossil fuels and ensuring that 40% of its energy is sourced from renewable and clean sources, there is a pressing need to scale up nuclear power production. This can only happen if India gains access to the NSG. Even if India today can buy power plants from the global market thanks to the one time NSG waiver in 2008, there are still many types of technologies India can be denied as it is outside the NSG.
3 . India could sign the Nuclear non proliferation treaty and gain access to all this know how but that would mean giving up its entire nuclear arsenal. Given that it is situated in an unstable and unpredictable neighbourhood India is unlikely to sign the NPT or accede to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) that puts curbs on any further nuclear tests.
4 . With access to latest technology, India can commercialize the production of nuclear power equipment. This, in turn will boost innovation and high tech manufacturing in India and can be leveraged for economic and strategic benefits.