The India-US Joint Statement released on June 7 said President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi “looked forward to India’s imminent entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime” (MTCR). It said that Obama “welcomed India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)”.
The NSG was set up by a group of countries that have civil nuclear technology, equipment and material export capabilities. The main aim of NSG is to achieve nuclear non-proliferation by restricting civil nuclear technology and material from being used to develop nuclear weapons.
A country must meet four requirements to become a member of NSG. These are :
- It must have the capacity to export civil nuclear technologies.
- It must abide by the guidelines of NSG.
- It must have signed the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear weapons ( NPT ) or other regional non-proliferation agreements.
- It must provide overarching integrated legislation prohibiting unlawful activities in relation to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
The reason why India is struggling to become a member of NSG is that, by becoming a member of NSG, India will have the permission to go and join the global civil nuclear market.
Recently India was admitted to the membership of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
The obstacle behind India’s entry into NSG is that it has not signed the essential nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) or any other regional non-proliferation treaty. So India is virtually a non-NPT signatory. The only exception for a non-NPT signatory country to become a member of NSG is if all the existing countries approve India to become a member in it. Here the hurdle lies. Some countries like Norway, New Zealand, South Africa and China have reservations against India’s membership into NSG.
It may be noted that a notion is prevailing among nuclear countries that the countries who conducted nuclear tests before the signing of Comprehensive-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT), which was adopted in United Nations’ general assembly in 1996, considered as legitimate nuclear power. Whereas those that conducted nuclear tests after the CTBT was signed, are considered illegitimate nuclear countries.
As of now NSG has 48 members, in 2016.