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Here’s what we are going the explain in this writeup:

  • The Backstory
  • What is the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)?
  • What does India need to do to get in?
  • Does joining the MTCR make getting missile technology easier?
  • Does the MTCR actually stop the spread of missile technology?
  • Are there any sanctions for breaking MTCR rules?
  • Does the MTCR actually stop the spread of missile technology?
  • Why does India want to be in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)?
  • Why does the US want India in the NSG?
  • Why doesn’t Pakistan want India in?
  • And what is China’s problem?
  • Why then did China go along with the NSG waiver in 2008?
  • Why does India want to join Proliferation control regimes?
  • Why is India’s Bid for NSG being criticized?

source

The Backstory

  • Since 2008, India has been pushing forward to become an NSG member, where decisions are consensus based and not based on majority votes
  • It has also been looking for membership of other groups such as MTCR
  • India recently became the Member of MTCR, however its bid for getting membership of NSG was not successful because of opposition from China and 12 other NSG members

#1. All about MTCR

What is the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)?

Established in April 1987, it is a voluntary association of 35 countries and 4 “unilateral adherents” that follow its rules: Israel, Romania, Slovakia, Macedonia.

The group aims to slow the spread of missiles and other unmanned delivery technology that could be used for chemical, biological and nuclear attacks.

The regime urges members, which include most of the world’s major missile manufacturers, to restrict exports of missiles and related technologies capable of carrying a 500 kg payload at least 300 km, or delivering any type of weapon of mass destruction.

How does one become a member of MTCR?

  • Prospective members must win consensus approval from existing members. United States policy had been that members that are not recognised nuclear-weapon states — including India — must eliminate or forgo ballistic missiles able to deliver a 500 kg payload at least 300 km
  • The US, however, made an exception in 1998 for Ukraine, permitting it to retain Scud missiles and, in October 2012, South Korea was allowed to keep ballistic missiles with an 800-km range and 500-kg payload that could target all of North Korea
  • For India, the US have waived these terms, allowing it retain its missile arsenal

Does joining the MTCR make getting missile technology easier?

  • There are no special concessions for MTCR members. But India hopes its MTCR membership will be one more reason for the US to consider exporting Category 1 UAVs, Reaper and Global Hawk, which have been key to counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen
  • These drones have so far been sold to only one country, the UK, though unarmed versions have also been made available to Italy and South Korea
  • The US has been rethinking rules on exports, aware that competitors in Israel, Russia and China are working on similar products — and India wants to be at the head of the queue when the Reaper and the Global Hawk go on the market

Are there any sanctions for breaking MTCR rules?

  • Rule breakers can’t be punished.
  • However, US law mandates sanctions for companies and governments that export MTCR-controlled items. The sanctioned entity can’t sign contracts, buy arms and receive aid for two years or more.

Does the MTCR actually stop the spread of missile technology?

  • Yes and no. North Korea, Iran and Pakistan acquired ballistic missile technology from China. But then, China began to feel the pinch of US technology sanctions — and announced, in November 2000, that it would stop exporting ballistic missile technology.
  • Four years later, it applied for MTCR membership — but has been denied entry because of suspicion that some companies in the country are secretly supplying technology to North Korea.
  • Many others dropped missile programmes because of MTCR pressure: Argentina abandoned its Condor II ballistic missile programme (on which it was working with Egypt and Iraq) to join the regime. Brazil, South Africa, South Korea and Taiwan shelved or eliminated missile or space launch vehicle programmes. Poland and the Czech Republic destroyed their ballistic missiles.

It is possible China may now seek some kind of bargain, whereby it is given entry to the MTCR in return for letting India get into the NSG, where it wields a veto.

What after MTCR?

  • Admission to the MTCR would open the way for India to buy high-end missile technology
  • It will also make India’s aspiration to buy state-of-the-art surveillance drones such as the U.S. Predator, made by General Atomics.

#2. All about NSG

Why does India want to be in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)?

Following India’s 1974 nuclear tests, the US pushed for setting up a club of nuclear equipment and fissile material suppliers.

The 48-nation group frames and implements agreed rules for exporting nuclear equipment, with a view to controlling the spread of nuclear weapons; members are admitted only by consensus.

India has been trying, since 2008, to join the group, which would give it a place at the high table where the rules of nuclear commerce are decided — and, eventually, the ability to sell equipment.

Many countries that initially opposed its entry, like Australia, have changed stance; Mexico and Switzerland are the latest to voice support. India’s effort has been to chip away at the resistance, leaving only one holdout — China. But until China accepts India’s entry, there is no hope of membership.

Why does the US want India in the NSG?

The answer lies in the US effort to strengthen the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, whose centrepiece is the 1968 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, or NPT.

The NPT defines “nuclear weapons states” as those that tested devices before January 1, 1967 — which means India cannot ever be one.

India — like Israel and Pakistan — thus refused to sign the treaty. From 2005, though, President George W Bush’s administration sought ways to deepen strategic cooperation with India.

Nuclear energy was a key means to strengthen cooperation, but since India wasn’t a member of the NPT, technology couldn’t be shared. Then, a way forward was found — the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement.

India agreed to separate its civilian and military nuclear programmes, and put the civilian part under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

India also changed its export laws to line up with the NSG, MTCR, Wassenaar Arrangement, and Australia Group — the 4 key nuclear control regimes.

The US agreed to shepherd India’s entry into these regimes, which meant India would for all practical purposes be treated like an NPT member, even though it wasn’t one.

Why doesn’t Pakistan want India in?

The Pakistani argument is that giving India easy access to fissile material and technology for its civilian nuclear programme means it would have that much more material for its military nuclear programme.

Thus, Pakistan says, the move to give India NSG membership is fuelling a nuclear arms race.

But this argument falls apart because Pakistan is resolutely opposed to a key international agreement called the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT), which would cap the military nuclear stockpiles of all countries. The FMCT ought to put an end to Pakistan’s fears, but Islamabad has refused to sign.

Why has China opposed India’s Bid for NSG?

Chinese diplomats say Beijing wants NSG entry to be norm-based , in other words, whatever rules govern Indian entry should apply to others too.

Norm-based entry would, presumably, help Pakistan gain entry, something many in the NSG are certain to resist because of the country’s record as a proliferator of nuclear-weapons technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Why then did China go along with the NSG waiver in 2008?

Geopolitics!

The 2008 one-time waiver allowed nuclear commerce between NSG members and India — the agreement that now allows Westinghouse, and its competitors in France or South Korea, to bid to set up civilian reactors in India.

The waiver came only after President Bush rang President Hu Jintao and called in a favour. Back then, US-China relations were riding high — on the back of surging trade, and a common vision of how the international order should be structured.

Today, President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping are at odds over Chinese muscle-flexing in the South China Sea. The odds of a phone call changing the state of play are next to zero.

Why does India want to join Proliferation control regimes?

  • India’s membership of the NSG and other proliferation control regimes notably the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group, and the Wassenaar Arrangement is important in order to shatter the myth of it being an “outlier” to the non-proliferation regime as also to facilitate its trade, both imports and exports, of nuclear, missile and other related sensitive technologies.
  • Membership of these regimes will enhance India’s status in this critical area from merely an adherent to a rule maker.
  • It will also enable India to ensure that these regimes perform their mandated role of promoting non-proliferation effectively and not hurt its commercial interests.

Why India’s recent NSG bid is being criticized?

  • Many experts believe that after the clean waiver of 2008 and the 2011 amendment of the NSG rules (that non-NPT countries would not be entitled to the transfer of the reprocessing and enrichment technology), there is not much merit in seeking a membership of the NSG.
  • The worst outcome of this aggressive bidding was that at NSG forum India’s nuclear regime got hyphenated with Pakistan. It has taken a great deal of effort on the part of successive governments in India to kill the idea of that hyphenation.
  • It suits China ideally to put India in the same bracket as Pakistan. However for India it is diminishing to get itself compared with rogue state like Pakistan who have a dismal track record with respect to Nuclear Proliferation.

References:

Any doubts?


  1. Root

    Updated with CD Explains + Questions

  2. Er S

    Ans to Q3 : Mods + Dr. V. Request to kindly point out more points that can be incorporated.

    India was branded as an ‘outlier’ when it was given a waiver to trade with the NSG countries despite being a non-NPT state. Since then India has been trying to get rid of the tag.
    According to India, its commitment to disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation has been impeccable. India was at the forefront of discussions which led to the NPT. However it refused to sign as it considered its terms, most prominently the distinctions between nuclear haves and havenots, unjust and unequal. India then went ahead with its first nuclear test Pokhran 1. This development didn’t work well for its international relations. India justified itself by accusing China of acquiring nuclear capabilities and threatening to use it against India. Nehru himself accepted that India was surrounded by a hostile environment and hence couldnt depend on others for its security. Pokhran 2 had similar response from the intl community.
    The international community has blamed India for starting a nuclear arms race in the region which eventually led to pakistan acquiring nuclear weapons. The NSG was created as a response to Pokhran 1 to keep India out of international nuclear trade. However India’s Nuclear Policy of ’No first use’ and adhering to the norms setup by international regimes without being a member have been well appreciated across the globe. This was one of the main reasons it became easier for US to push for a waiver in NSG.
    NSG membership should not be hard to come by if India uses its diplomacy well. At present it faces opposition from China which has become more powerful and assertive in the international arena. As Suhasini Haider points out, its important to keep pushing for the agenda and a setback in the vienna session should not discourage India from being hopeful in the upcoming Mexico meet in december. Backdoor diplomacy should be explored as it has yielded good results in the past.

    1. Suvendu Guria

      India conducted nuclear tests on 11th and 13 May of year 1998. After few days on 28th and 30th May, 1998 Pakistan conducted nuclear tests. Still India will be blamed because of Pakistan’s acquiring of nuclear weapon! Even though a nuclear test needs huge time to conduct. It’s not possible within 2 weeks of time.

    2. Focus Ias

      Good attempt and fine flow. Will you/ Can we use names of journalists in the answer attempts?

      1. Er S

        it adds weight to sentences that are obvious.

  3. Root

    CD Explains updated.

  4. NANDINI Nandini

    current awerness

  5. eswara babu

    Does India get advantage in getting UNSC membership with MTCR (membership)? Please clarify doubt

    1. Shikhar Sachan

      Yes. There is no hard and fast rule that one has to be a member of MTCR for a Permanent Seat at the UN. But it increases your credibility as a leader and believer of non-proliferation. In that sense – it makes your case stronger.

  6. eswara babu

    India by becoming member of MTCR, does be allowed to develop Agni, Prithvi etc missiles? Please clear doubt

  7. tahir fazal

    to the CD team, in view of NSG & MTCR kindly cover Australia Group & Wassenaar Arrangement. Question had come in 2011 Pre on these export control regimes. & also the 3 associated treaties – NPT, CTBT, FMCT. Thanks.

    1. Root

      All of these have been covered by Dr. V at the forum. Refer to the tag of Prelims tit bits there.

  8. S Giri

    What is e governance?

  9. S Giri

    What is NSG and membership countries in?

    1. Er S

      The exact clauses of these groupings can be hard to follow. All you need to remember is that there are 4 export control regimes – NSG, MTCR, AG, WA of which India wants to be a part. NSG coordinates export controls on items which can be used to build nuclear weapons(directly and indirectly). Similarly others have clauses referring to other destructive materials. NSG is a 48 member body as given in this page.

India seeks probe into North Korea nuclear ties

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: North Korea’s Nuclear Test is a hot topic these days. We should know every possible aspect of it, just as in the given newscard which explains Pakistan’s link in the issue.


News

India’s Demand

  1. India has sought a probe into North Korea’s nuclear proliferation linkages
  2. And demanded that those responsible for it should be held accountable (in a veiled reference to Pakistan)
  3. The remarks came after North Korea had fired another mid-range ballistic missile over Japan
  4. It follows North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test which was in direct defiance of the United Nations sanctions

Background

  1. Though there was no direct reference to Pakistan in Foreign Ministry remarks
  2. It came amid reports that Pyongyang had received nuclear enrichment technology from Pakistan when AQ Khan was at the helm of Islamabad’s nuclear programme

‘Uranium sale talks at advanced stage’

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Uranium Reserves around the world

Mains level: Uranium export from Australia, is very crucial for India’s rising energy needs


News

Uranium sale to India

  1. According to the Australian government, discussions are at a ‘well-advanced’ stage for Australia’s uranium sale to India, to fuel nuclear power plants
  2. Of the world’s proven estimated uranium reserves (5,404,000 tonnes), 31% are held in Australia (1,673,000 tonnes)

Dismissing the allegations

  1. Australian government has also dismissed the allegations that uranium supply was facing ‘delays’ due to the Australian coal mining sector ‘lobbying’ to protect its interests

[op-ed snap] No First Use Policy- its advantages

  1. Context: Since 1998, a key pillar of India’s nuclear policy has been a pledge not to use nuclear weapons first
  2. Why India opts for NFU? India’s non-nuclear military forces are superior to Pakistan’s
  3. Very low risk of a major ground war with China given Indian defensive stopping power of the Himalayas
  4. No plausible scenarios for which the first use of nuclear weapons might be useful
  5. India’s nuclear forces are strictly to deter a WMD attack, and can be oriented entirely for retaliation
  6. Advantages of NFU: stable scenario because enemies do not have to fear that India will initiate nuclear use, which might tempt them to use nuclear weapons early and massively against India
  7. Ambiguity in nuclear doctrine is not necessarily a bad thing — it can enhance deterrence
  8. Parrikar’s remarks, however, did not introduce ambiguity into Indian nuclear doctrine. Instead, they injected confusion
  9. Confusion arises when statements by various govt officials, contradict stated government policy, this leads other countries to believe in the worst case scenario
  10. Hence, PM Modi must publicly reaffirm India’s NFU pledge

A background of the Marshall Islands disarmament case

  1. The Marshall Islands originally filed cases against all nine nations that have declared or are believed to possess nuclear weapons
  2. These include- the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea
  3. But only the cases against Britain, India and Pakistan got to the preliminary stage of proceedings
  4. In a landmark 1996 advisory opinion, the court said that using or threatening to use nuclear arms would ‘generally be contrary to’ the laws of war and humanitarian law
  5. But it added that it could not definitively rule on whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be legal ‘in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of a state would be at stake’
  6. The judges in 1996 also unanimously stated that there is a legal obligation ‘to pursue in good faith’ nuclear disarmament talks

Discuss: Considering ongoing geopolitical conflicts across the world, do you think Non- Nuclear States should push Nuclear States towards disarmament of their nuclear weapons? What factors have determined India’s stance on disarmament?

UN court rejects disarmament case against India

  1. The International Court of Justice rejected nuclear disarmament cases filed by the Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands against Britain, India and Pakistan
  2. Ruling (why rejected Marshall’s claim?): The Marshall Islands has failed to prove that a legal dispute over disarmament existed between it and the three nuclear powers before the case was filed in 2014, and consequently the court lacks jurisdiction

India will never sign NPT, says Sushma Swaraj

  1. News: Govt told the Lok Sabha that it will never sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but will maintain commitment to the NPT
  2. This counts as a significant continuation of national policy on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
  3. Context: It was in response to a question if India had a clear policy about how to join the NSG without becoming a member of the NPT?
  4. How to get NSG entry? The world knows our commitment to the NPT and it was because of this that we got the waiver and it was on this basis that we will get NSG membership
  5. Background: India got waiver at the NSG in 2008 without becoming member of the NPT

Pacific Ocean radiation nears pre-Fukushima level

  1. News: Radiation levels across the Pacific Ocean are rapidly returning to normal after 5 years, a study showed
  2. Background: An earthquake-generated tsunami in 2011 in Japan had triggered dumping of nuclear material into the world’s oceans, from Fukushima nuclear power plant
  3. Study also showed that radioactive material has been carried across the ocean as far as the shores of US
  4. The research examined radioactive caesium levels measured off Japan’s coast across the Pacific to North America
  5. Caesium is a by-product of nuclear power and is highly soluble in water, making it ideal for measuring the release of radioactive material into the ocean

Nuclear plants insured

  1. News: India’s first insurance policy covering public liability to an atomic power plant operator has been issued to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL)
  2. The insurance policy was issued by the country’s largest non-life insurer New India Assurance Company Ltd
  3. The total was around Rs 100 crore for a risk cover of Rs 1,500 crore
  4. Background: The Central government had announced the setting up of the Rs 1,500-crore India Nuclear Insurance Pool to be managed by national reinsurer GIC Re

India enters MTCR

  1. News: India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), in a bid to boost its non-proliferation credentials
  2. MTCR: Places restrictions of proliferation of rockets and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that can carry a payload of 500kgs and a range of 300kms
  3. China, who had blocked India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), is not a member of MTCR
  4. Benefits: Will enable India to buy high-end missile technology and also enhance its JVs with Russia
  5. Background: Italy, a member of MTCR, had previously blocked India’s application over the issue of detaining its marines
  6. After resolving the issue with Italy and after joining the Hague Code of Conduct, India was poised to be an MTCR member soon

What is Pelindaba Treaty?

  1. Pelindaba Treaty (Also known as the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty or ANWFZT) controls uranium supply from key mineral hubs in Africa
  2. As India is not a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the member states of Pelindbaba treaty (ANWFZT) are not allowed to supply uranium to India
  3. Named after South Africa’s main nuclear research centre, a location where South Africa’s nuclear bombs of 1970s were developed and stored

Namibia assures uranium supply to India

  1. News: Namibia assured that it will look into legal ways through which its uranium can be supplied to India for civil nuclear power projects
  2. Context: As India is not a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Namibia, one of the member states of Pelindbaba treaty, is not allowed to supply uranium to India
  3. Namibia and India also shared similar views about the need for reforms in the United Nations

Let’s know more about MTCR

  1. MTCR: Missile Technology Control Regime is an informal political understanding among states that seek to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology
  2. When? Was formed in 1987 by the G-7 industrialized countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the United States)
  3. Purpose: The MTCR seeks to limit the risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by controlling exports of goods and technologies that could make a contribution to delivery systems (other than manned aircraft) for such weapons
  4. Focus: Rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles capable of delivering a payload of at least 500 kg to a range of at least 300 km and on equipment, software, and technology for such systems

 

Is MTCR a treaty & what is its relation with UN?

  1. MTCR is NOT a treaty and does not impose any legally binding obligations on Partners (members)
  2. Rather, it is an informal political understanding among states
  3. MTCR & the UN: While there is no formal linkage, the activities of the MTCR are consistent with the UN’s non-proliferation and export control efforts
  4. For example, applying the MTCR Guidelines and Annex on a national basis helps countries to meet their export control obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1540

What after MTCR membership?

  1. Admission to the MTCR would open the way for India to buy high-end missile technology
  2. It will also make India’s aspiration to buy state-of-the-art surveillance drones such as the U.S. Predator, made by General Atomics
  3. Membership would require India to comply with rules- such as a maximum missile range of 300 km (186 miles)- that seek to prevent arms races from developing
  4. It also restricts export of missiles carrying more than 500 kg payload as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with mass destruction capabilities
  5. India is also hopeful of building on the MTCR entry with membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the Australian and Wassenaar arrangements next

India clears final hurdle to join missile control group

  1. The members of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) have agreed to admit India
  2. A deadline for members of the group to object to India’s admission had expired on Monday without any of them raising objections
  3. Under the ‘silent procedure‘, India’s admission follows automatically
  4. Next stage: Each of the 34 member countries need to send a diplomatic note stating formally that they accept India’s membership
  5. This could take weeks or even months, given the internal processes of each country
  6. India will also soon receive membership documents which it must ratify and return

Swiss back India’s bid for Nuclear Suppliers Group membership

  1. Context: India has been pushing for membership of the NSG for last few years and has formally moved its application
  2. Switzerland promised India support in its efforts to become a member of NSG
  3. The NSG looks after critical issues relating to the nuclear sector and its membership will help India expand its atomic energy sector

Let’s know more about the Hague Code of conduct

  1. The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) was established on 25 November 2002
  2. It is a voluntary legally non-binding multilateral body
  3. Aim: Preventing the spread of ballistic missiles that can deliver weapons of mass destruction
  4. It is the only normative instrument to verify the spread of ballistic missiles
  5. It does not ban ballistic missiles, but it does call for restraint in their production, testing, and export
  6. Its membership stands at 138 (including India)
  7. While the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) has a similar mission, it is an export group with only 34 members

India joins The Hague Code of Conduct

  1. India’s joining HCoC strengthened the worldwide attempt to contain the spread of ballistic missiles
  2. It signals our readiness to further strengthen the global non-proliferation regimes
  3. HCoC has been focused on West Asia, South Asia and the East Asia due to the rising missile and nuclear arms race among rival powers
  4. In the latest meeting of the HCoC, a special mention was made of the increased number of missile launches by North Korea in 2015
  5. India is on track for membership in other technology regimes like the Missile Technology Control Regime

China’s global nuclear inroads

  1. With the world’s largest number of reactors under construction, China plans to develop this experience (Sudan) into nuclear exports
  2. China is already having a long standing nuclear cooperation with Pakistan as it has built several nuclear power reactors and is currently building two 1100 mw reactors in Karachi
  3. Chinese nuclear companies are also making huge inroads in global nuclear markets, including Britain and Argentina

China signs deals with Sudan to build nuclear reactor

  1. China has signed agreements with Sudan (its close ally in Africa) to build 600-megawatt atomic reactor, the first such project in the African country
  2. The agreements may involve a blueprint for nuclear power development in the next decade for Sudan and building the first nuclear power station in the country

Key nuclear security initiatives

  1. Context: Modi announced key nuclear security initiatives by India during Nuclear Security Summit
  2. Initiatives: Counter nuclear smuggling and strengthen the national detection architecture for nuclear and radioactive material
  3. A dedicated counter-nuclear smuggling team has been set up.
  4. High national priority to nuclear security through strong institutional framework, independent regulatory agency and trained and specialized manpower
  5. Support IAEA’s role in nuclear security by a further contribution of $1 million to the nuclear security fund

Kerry hails India’s role in securing its nuclear material

  1. Context: The 4th Nuclear Security Summit at US
  2. News: India has a very important role to play in securing nuclear weapons and nuclear materials
  3. It has shown responsible stewardship of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials
  4. India is deeply interested in seeing and ensuring that the safety and security of the radioactive material must be ensured
  5. Challenge: The battlefield deployments make nuclear weapons vulnerable to theft and sabotage

Nuclear security must remain abiding national priority: Modi

  1. Context: Modi during a White House dinner hosted by US President Barack Obama that formally kicked off the two-day Nuclear Security Summit
  2. What? Nuclear security must remain an abiding national priority
  3. All States must completely abide by their international obligations
  4. Brussels attacks show how real and immediate the threat is to nuclear security from terrorism

Learn about Nuclear Security Summit

  1. Basics: It provide a forum for leaders to engage with each other and reinforce the commitment to securing nuclear materials
  2. History: The I Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington, DC in 2010, and was followed by Seoul in 2012 and The Hague in 2014
  3. Impact: It has achieved improvements in the security of nuclear materials and stronger international institutions that support nuclear security
  4. 2016 Summit: It will be the last Nuclear Security Summit in its current format
  5. The twin goals are advancing improvements in nuclear security behavior, and strengthening the global nuclear security architecture

Modi in US to attend nuclear security summit

  1. Context: The fourth and last Nuclear Security Summit hosted by Obama
  2. News: Mr. Modi is expected to lay out his vision of securing nuclear weapons
  3. He would underline some of the important measures India has taken to strengthen nuclear security
  4. Agenda: To strengthen the global nuclear security architecture, especially to ensure that non-state actors do not get access to nuclear material
  5. To deliberate on the crucial issue of threat to nuclear security caused by nuclear terrorism

India may focus on best practices at Nuclear Security Summit

  1. Context: To highlight the “Best Practices” in the international nuclear industry and its national nuclear safety record in the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) held in March
  2. Importance: This is the last time U.S. President Obama will host the participating countries and the first time PM Modi will take part
  3. Indo-Pak Relevance: Summit may form the backdrop for a meeting between Modi and Sharif , that may thaw freeze that crept into India-Pakistan ties
  4. Background: India has been a part of the summit since it convened in 2010, but came into focus due to a critical campaign by Centre for Public Integrity, a Washington DC-based NGO
  5. Scientists Opinion: Summit provided opportunity for India to stay ahead in the field of security and safety in the nuclear industry
  6. Way ahead: India will highlight its safety and non-proliferation records in the summit

Marshall Islands sue Britain, India and Pakistan over nuclear weapons

Archipelago where infamous Bikini Atoll test took place tells international court that nuclear powers have not lived up to disarmament obligations.

MarshallIslands


  1. It sought to persuade the UN’s highest court to take up a lawsuit, accusing the countries of failing to halt the nuclear arms race.
  2. The International Court of Justice has announced dates for separate hearings for the three cases between March 7 and March 16.
  3. In the cases brought against India and Pakistan, the court will examine whether the tribunal based in Hague is competent enough to hear the lawsuits.
  4. The hearing involving Britain will be devoted to ‘preliminary objections’ raised by London.
  5. A decision will be made at a later date as to whether the cases can proceed.

India pushes harder for NSG membership

  1. India is fast-pacing its pitch for membership to the 48-member nuclear club.
  2. The 48-member NSG works by consensus, and not majority, so India is reaching out to every possible country.
  3. Govt. is focusing on membership of NSG, as well as other major groupings: Missile Technology Control Regime, Australian and Wassenaar Arrangement.

Modi may attend US nuclear security summit next year

  1. PM is likely to travel to the US for the 4th Nuclear Security Summit in next year, an initiative of President Barack Obama.
  2. This is an international effort to secure vulnerable nuclear material, break up black markets, and detect and intercept illicitly trafficked material.
  3. These risks were mostly associated with the republics that once formed the Soviet Union and were left with a lot of nuclear material.
  4. Now, Pakistan has emerged as a core concern with the increasing risk of jihadi groups accessing Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

No decision on India’s inclusion as MTCR concludes meeting

It was established in April 1987 by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, and the United States.

  1. India has an application under submission since June 2015 to be a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
  2. MTCR is voluntary partnership between 34 countries to prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology.
  3. MTCR was supplemented by the International Code of Conduct in 2002, against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (ICOC), also known as the Hague Code of Conduct.

What a US-Pakistan nuclear deal might mean for India

Although the deal has been termed a potential “diplomatic blockbuster”, its inherent contradictions may make it difficult to sell in both the US and Pakistan.

pakistan, US, Pakistan US nuclear deal, Pakistan US civil nuclear deal, Washington, Islamabad, india US nuclear deal, india news


 

  1. As the idea of a nuclear deal between the United States and Pakistan gains some traction in Washington, Delhi is unlikely to lose much sleep.
  2. The hope for a nuclear deal between America and Pakistan was born the very moment US-India unveiled the historic civil nuclear initiative in July 2005.
  3. Pakistan simultaneously opposed the US deal with India and demanded one for itself on the same terms that Washington had offered Delhi.
  4. The Bush Administration refused to entertain any proposal for a nuclear accommodation with Pakistan.
  5. It insisted that the deal with Delhi was an exception that couldn’t be replicated with Islamabad.
  6. The US is ready to lift international restrictions against civilian nuclear commerce with Pakistan in return for significant voluntary restraints on its nuclear weapons programme.
  7. The terms of the deal with Pakistan are somewhat different from those that India had won from Washington in 2005.
  8. This will make it a hard political sell in Pakistan, which has always insisted on ‘nuclear parity’ with India.
  9. The quest for nuclear parity has only been one important theme of Pakistan’s atomic diplomacy.

Overall completes the vicious circle that has long complicated the triangular relationship between India, Pakistan and the US.

Nuclear energy not viable, says German economist

  1. German green economist Ralf Fücks feels India should focus on solar energy, which is becoming cheaper by the day.
  2. India will do better to invest in solar and in wind power than in nuclear energy.
  3. Nuclear energy is economically unsustainable and needed govt. subsidies to survive.
  4. If something goes wrong then it can be catastrophic like Chernobyl and Fukushima.
  5. There was a very thin wall between civil and military nuclear applications.

India has to homogenise liability law, says GE chief

  1. There is an extremely standard liability law that the rest of the world has adopted.
  2. The language has to be just homogenised between India and the rest of the world.
  3. The subsidies in the electricity sector should be lowered so that prices were more market-determined.
  4. GE is interested in commercial and military aviation, renewable energy as well as oil and gas and also saw a big opportunity in Make in India.

N-pact a done deal, says Indian envoy

In 2 summits with the U.S. in 4 months, Indian government addressed lingering differences with the U.S. on nuclear liability, injected new energy into defence and economic cooperation, and explored pragmatic ways forward on IPR issues and climate change.

Questions (attempt in the comments section)

1

India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) will open the gateways for India’s membership in other nuclear regimes as well. Critically examine.

2

“India seeking membership of the NSG is like Russia seeking membership of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.” Comment on the statement and critically examine what India gains or doesn’t gain by NSG membership.

3

Do you think India is an ‘outlier’ to the non-proliferation regime? Critically comment on India’s non-proliferation record and examine how it can effectively use diplomacy to gain NSG membership.

4

Why does India consider it is important to get the membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime), Australian and Wassenaar Arrangements? Examine.

5

What is Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)? Why does India want to become its member? Examine.







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