New Delhi: India’s membership continues to be under consideration of the NSG and government was engaging with all members of the 48-nation grouping for an early decision on country’s application, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said on Thursday.
Noting that the recent Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) Plenary meeting in Seoul (23-24 June) concluded without a decision on India’s membership, Singh said the broad sentiment within the NSG was to take this matter forward.
At the Plenary, China and some other countries had opposed entry of a non-NPT signatory into NSG.
Replying to a written question in Rajya Sabha, the minister also said that engagement was stepped up with China before the Seoul NSG Plenary.
“India’s membership continues to be under consideration of the NSG. The merits of India’s candidature have been recognised by a majority of the NSG members, including in formal bilateral Joint Statements. It is for the NSG to judge the merits of other candidates,” Singh said.
He said government continues its engagement with the NSG participating government including China on the issue of India’s membership of the NSG.
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“India’s membership has been supported by a large and diverse number of NSG members, including the US, France, UK, Russia, Canada, Australia, Germany, Netherlands and Japan.
It is natural for India to move ahead on this issue by working with as broad a group of supporters as possible,” Singh added.
Department of Atomic Energy has been actively associated with government’s efforts on India’s membership bid, he said.
Membership of the NSG would enable India to have enhanced and uninterrupted access to nuclear technology, fuel and materials required for its expanding civil nuclear programme, Singh said.
He said it would create a predictable environment for the large investments required for setting up nuclear power plants in India to meet India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) pledge of 40 percent of its power capacity coming from non-fossil sources by 2030.
Singh also asserted that India has a well developed and diversified indigenous nuclear power programme. Singh further said the civil nuclear cooperation
Singh further said the civil nuclear cooperation agreements with the US and France are in compliance with NSG guidelines.
The India-Australia civil nuclear agreement, which came into force in November 2015, promotes cooperation whereby Australia can play a role of a long-term uranium supplier to India, he said.
India’s entry to Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Singh said, will help move up the technology value chain by facilitating tie-ups for Make in India, including the defence sector and further international non-proliferation objectives.