Acid test for PM Modi as India applies for NSG membership ahead of his US visit


Acid test for PM Modi as India applies for NSG membership ahead of his US visit

New Delhi: Ahead of Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi's US visit, India has formally submitted its application to become a member of the Nuclear Supplier Group. The application was pushed through on May 12, almost a week before Pakistan sent its case.

The decision on India's inclusion in the elite group members would be taken in plenary meeting on June 9 in Vienna.

Modi was earlier planning to go to only Afghanistan, Qatar and the US for his bilateral visits from June 4-8 but later he included Switzerland and Mexico in his itinerary also as these two countries have expressed strong reservations on India's application ,reports The Indian Express.

Modi faces a tough challenge from China, an NSG member batting for Islamabad's membership.

With China already having expressed its reservations against India's application, New Delhi's effort is to gather support from other "hold-out" countries and try to isolate Beijing in the process.

NSG is an elite group of about 45 countries which control the transfer of high technology in the world. While the group doesn't require a member to be a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), its guidelines are aimed at checking proliferation and misuse.

India's case is being pressed by the US and other influential countries based on its record in non-proliferation and the India-US civil nuclear accord.

China has been carrying on with its own civil nuclear technology collaboration with Pakistan, building many nuclear plants including a new 1100 mw plant with USD 6.5 billion assistance in Karachi which drew criticism from NSG members.

Since the NSG works on consensus, India asked all its ambassadors during the just-concluded heads of missions' conference to lobby the governments all over the world for getting support over the next three weeks.

In the last two years, Modi has travelled to Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Turkey, Russia, UK and the US and in almost all these countries, New Delhi has sought their support for NSG.

If India needs to meet its climate change commitments of aiming for 40% non-fossil fuels in the country's energy mix, it needs to be formally a part of the nuclear trading club. Second, India's NSG membership will automatically ensure the business environment is kept more predictable and stable regardless of change in governments.

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