New Delhi: In a significant development, the United States has put before the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) a proposal to allow India membership in the elite nuclear group without adherence to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) being a "pre-requisite” – NPT signatory status would only be a "factor to be considered".
As per a newspaper report, Wednesday, India’s bid to become member of the NSG would make a significant progress if the proposal is accepted by the nuclear club.
The NSG, a 45-member nuclear group, is scheduled to meet in The Hague this week for its plenary.
The US had promised India that it would stand with New Delhi in its bid to secure membership of the nuclear non-proliferation regimes, namely the NSG, Australia Group, Wassenaar Arrangement and Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
As part of the commitment, Washington has now circulated a paper among NSG members which lists several proposals on India`s accession.
For the record, India has refused to become a signatory to the NPT and is not expected to change its stand anytime soon. It believes the NPT is discriminatory and has no significance in the current scenario.
India`s non-NPT status had become a major hurdle in the run up to the South Asian nation securing a waiver by the NSG in September 2008 allowing it to engage in nuclear commerce. It is expected that the same voices that opposed India’s bid then would again become louder.
The newspaper also reported that India was worried about the possibility that the NSG might frame new guidelines on export of enrichment and reprocessing technology (ENR) following which non-NPT states would not be able to access the ENR. If the new guidelines come through, India would be adversely affected.