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Will Indian Diplomacy Work? - June 17, 2016

Recently the U.S. President Barack Obama supported India’s attempt to join the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as well as Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The MTCR was established in April 1987 with the objective of slowing the spread of missiles and other technology which can be used in biological or nuclear attacks. The group has 34 member countries at present. By becoming a member of MTCR, India is hoping to receive technology which can be used in the counter-terrorism activities.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group was formed in 1974 under the aegis of the United States government in order to control the spread of nuclear weapons. The group has 48 member countries which decide the rules for exporting nuclear equipment. By joining the group, India will participate in this decision-making process and will develop ability in future to sell nuclear equipment. The new membership to the NSG is given only consensus. At present, India has the support of U.S. and a few other countries. However, China is not in favor of India’s entry into the NSG and it can prove a bottleneck for India. China has demanded that if India gets an entry, the rules that apply in India’s case should also apply for the other countries who want to enter the NSG. It is feared that it will facilitate the entry of Pakistan into the NSG which is not favored by many of its members. The experts feel that China might trade its entry into the MTCR, which depends on U.S. support, by sanctioning India’s entry into the NSG. These kinds of decisions depend on the perceived strength of nations and their utility for powerful blocks in international politics. The situation seems favorable for India provided it plays its cards well.

- Prof. Kalpana Dixit

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