Should India fight for membership of NSG

Note4Students:

Recent Indian diplomatic effort to get support from various countries. So this portion is important.

Introduction:

What is NSG?

  1. The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of two sets of Guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear-related exports.
  2. One of the critical elements for inclusion into the NSG is that the member countries need to signatories of the NPT, a proposal which India has categorically disagreed.
  3. However considering India’s history of nuclear non-proliferation, the US and subsequently the NSG have shown some recognition and granted India with the waiver of dealing with other countries for nuclear technology.

Recent Developments

  1. Present Indian government, embarked to pursue the ambitious goal of NSG membership aggressively.
  2. Prime minister visited countries like USA,Netherlands, Mexico, and Portugal to secure the support from these countries.
  3. US administration under Obama and Donald trump reiterated their support for Indian entry to the NSG. Russia also extended its support.
  4. NSG takes decision based on consensus of the member countries. So it is important to secure the support of each and every member country.
  5. China is against the granting membership. Insisted on a criteria-based approach for the non-NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) signatory countries.
  6. China has also maintained that for non-NPT members some definite criteria should be evolved rather than granting country specific waivers. At other times, it has stated that Pakistan also has similar credentials to join the NSG; and that if India is admitted; Pakistan should also be admitted simultaneously.
  7. Some other countries, including Turkey, Switzerland, Mexico and New Zealand, were among those which have stressed on the criteria-based approach, without opposing India’s application outright.

Analysis

Arguments supporting Indian effort to secure NSG membership

  1. Expansion of power generation: India seeks to significantly expand its nuclear power generation and also enter the export market in the coming years.
  2. Joining the NSG will give India better access to low-cost, clean nuclear energy — important for its economic growth. Nuclear power is one way India, the third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, could cut its emissions and reduce air pollution from coal-fired power plants.
  3. Although the 2008 NSG waiver does provide significant possibilities for India to engage in civilian nuclear trade with other countries
  4. More certainty in nuclear regime: Membership of the NSG will provide greater certainty and a legal foundation for India’s nuclear regime and thus greater confidence for those countries investing billions of dollars to set up ambitious nuclear power projects in India.
  5. International stature: As India’s international political, economic, military and strategic profile enlarged, India would like to move into the category of international rule-creating nations rather than stay in the ranks of rule-adhering nations.
  6. Joining the NSG is chiefly a matter of pride and desire to be taken seriously by some of the world’s most powerful nations. Since prompting international technology sanctions and limits on exports by conducting nuclear tests in 1998, India has been eager to gain legitimacy as a nuclear power.
  7. Pakistan angle: If India gets the membership, India can block Pakistan to get NSG membership. This is remunerative with respect to our security angle.
  8. Future prospects: NSG membership would put India on a firmer footing to propose the idea of plutonium trade for its thorium programme that has been waiting in the wings. An early adoption of thorium technology would give India enormous energy independence and security.

Arguments against Indian efforts to secure NSG membership

  1. These are the bigger issues in India’s massive expansion of its nuclear capacity, not NSG membership. Nor is NSG likely to matter materially in terms of uranium supply. India has hammered out agreements with Canada (April 2013) and Australia (November 2014), and other countries such as Kazakhstan have been supplying too.
  2. Indian impeccable track record has facilitated the civil nuclear deal with Japan. India was the first non NPT country with which japan signed a nuclear deal.
  3. India has access to technology, because of the waiver granted in 2008. No foreign nuclear reactor supplier is waiting for India to get a NSG membership.
  4. NSG is not a body with very firm legal standing for example even IAEA refers to NSG as “certain members states”
  5. It’s credibility as a governance body is further reduced by the fact that it had not be able to stop even its member country China from non-proliferating.
  6. no  hindrance for the expansion of India’s nuclear power programme The waiver given to India in 2008 allows for trade in civilian nuclear power, import of nuclear power reactors and fuel under International Atomic Energy (IAEA) safeguards. And, there is no hindrance for the expansion of India’s nuclear power programme
  7. When the NSG members, including China, realise that India has a huge trade potential, they will automatically come around someday, and hence there is no point in India approaching them.
  8. Sustainability High grade nuclear fuel may not last more than one decade. There is overwhelming evidence to show that advanced countries moving from the nuclear energy. A Global sentiment is that the renewable energy is the solution for the energy crisis. (For example, Switzerland is planning to shut down its nuclear power plants in phased manner).
  9. Energy security So future of our energy security lies in the development of more efficient green energy technology.

Way forward

  1. India should convince China that, its interest in NSG membership is not guided by any political or strategic considerations but only to facilitate the expansion of its clean and green nuclear energy programme.
  2. India to continue with a low-key building of partnership with other NSG members.
  3. Meanwhile, India should focus on developing the efficient green energy technologies to meet the massive energy requirement.
  4. Our efforts for the membership should be consistent with our domestic requirements rather than mere rhetoric sentiments.

Questions

Q.) NSG membership is essential for the Indian energy security prospects. Analyse

Q.) India should aggressively pursue the NSG membership. That Is essential for the indian nuclear programmes,. Critically comment

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