Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), whose membership PM Narendra Modi has been aggressively seeking for India, is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. India is also poised to join the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) after talks this week between Modi and US President Barack Obama in Washington. Both groups would give India greater access to research and technology, but China has so far blocked India’s accession to the NSG.
What is NSG?
Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The NSG was founded in response to the Indian Nuclear Test in May 1974 and first met in November 1975. The test conducted by India demonstrated that certain non-weapons specific nuclear technology could be readily turned to weapons development. Nations already signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) saw the need to further limit the export of nuclear equipment, materials or technology. Another benefit was that non-NPT and non-Zangger Committee nations, then specifically France, could be brought in.
Initially the NSG had seven participating governments: Canada, West Germany, France, Japan, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1976-77, participation was expanded to fifteen with the admittance of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland. Germany was reunited in 1990 while Czechoslovakia broke up into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Twelve more nations joined up to 1990. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union a number of former republics were given observer status as a stage towards future membership. China became a participating government in 2004. The European Commission and the Zangger Committee Chair participate as observers. The NSG Chair for 2015-2016 is Argentina.
Countries that are part of NSG are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States. Source
Why is the NSG entry important for India?
1] NSG’s membership will help India significantly expand its atomic energy sector. NSG’s members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology.
2] India’s bid for full membership, if granted, would tip the balance of power in South Asia against Pakistan, whose own application has been backed by China, despite questions over its proliferation record.
3] India has been pushing for membership of the bloc for last few years and had formally moved its application on May 12. The NSG had granted an exclusive waiver for India in 2008 to access civil nuclear technology after China reluctantly backed India’s case based on the Indo-US nuclear deal. Source
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