Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

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News:Indian Prime Minister has made a pitch for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) in New York.

Facts:

About Nuclear suppliers group:

  • NSG is a group of nuclear supplier countries that frames and implements agreed rules for exporting nuclear equipment with a view to controlling the spread of nuclear weapons
  • The NSG was set up as a response to India’s nuclear tests conducted in 1974.
  • The aim of the NSG is to ensure that nuclear trade for peaceful purposes does not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
  • The NSG has 48 member states and the European Commission acts as an Observer.

India and NSG:

  • Since 2008,India has sought membership in the NSG.The NSG had granted India a clean waiver from its existing rules, which forbid nuclear trade with a country which has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT).
  • India had also submitted its membership application to the NSG in May 2016, a month before the Seoul plenary of the Group.However at the Seoul plenary group,India’s membership was blocked by China.

Roadblocks in India’s NSG membership:

  • NSG operates by consensus and all its current members are signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  • China has relied on an obstructionist argument claiming that a compulsory requirement for NSG membership is that they must be signatories to the NPT.
  • China equates India with Pakistan which has an established history of nuclear proliferation.

Significance of NSG for India:

  • The NSG is the top club of countries which controls access to technology and guards against proliferation.Its membership is important for India to access cutting-edge high technology.

Additional information:

About Non-Proliferation Treaty:

  • The NPT is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology to foster the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of disarmament.
  • Nuclear-weapon states parties under the NPT are defined as those that manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device before January 1,1967.
  • India did not sign it as the treaty was discriminatory.India argued that treaties like NPT were selectively applicable to only non-nuclear powers and legitimized the monopoly of nuclear power by a few.