Seat at nu­clear high table is ever closer

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

In­dia is re­joic­ing over news that Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has bro­kered deals with US of­fi­cials to bring New Delhi closer to its long-held dream of join­ing an elite group of na­tions al­lowed to con­trol the global trade in nu­clear ma­te­ri­als, equip­ment and tech­nol­ogy.

News­pa­pers have run daily front-page sto­ries herald­ing progress on the nu­clear front af­ter US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama came out in sup­port of In­dian mem­ber­ship in the Nu­clear Sup­pli­ers Group, which led other na­tions in­clud­ing Mex­ico and Switzer­land to sug­gest they, too, were on board. Diplo­mats in Vi­enna sug­gested on Thurs­day that In­dia is closer than ever to join­ing the NSG, de­spite never ful­fill­ing the re­quire­ment of sign­ing a global treaty aimed at pre­vent­ing the pro­lif­er­a­tion of nu­clear weapons and weapons tech­nol­ogy.

But would In­dia’s en­try into the club make any dif­fer­ence? Some an­a­lysts say no, at least not from a tech­ni­cal stand­point.

In­dia has al­ready man­aged to se­cure ac­cess to nu­clear fuel and tech­nol­ogy to build power plants it says it needs to boost en­ergy ca­pac­ity and drive eco­nomic growth for the na­tion of 1.25 bil­lion peo­ple.

An­a­lysts say join­ing the NSG is chiefly a mat­ter of pride and de­sire to be taken se­ri­ously by some of the world's most pow­er­ful na­tions. Since prompt­ing in­ter­na­tional tech­nol­ogy sanc­tions and lim­its on ex­ports by con­duct­ing nu­clear tests in 1998, In­dia has been ea­ger to gain le­git­i­macy as a nu­clear power.

“In prac­ti­cal terms, there is noth­ing ex­tra that the NSG will give In­dia other than a seat at the nu­clear high table,” said Rakesh Sood, a re­tired di­plo­mat closely as­so­ci­ated with In­dia's nu­clear ne­go­ti­a­tions.

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