Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of 48 nuclear supplier countries that contribute to the nuclear weapons’ non-proliferation by monitoring the export of equipment, materials, and technology used in the manufacturing of nuclear weapons.
NSG has 48 members, including the five nuclear weapon states, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The other 43 NSG members are Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatories. NSG was formed in 1974, after India tested its nuclear device in Pokhran in May 1974, because India was not a member of the NSG. Thus a non-member nation’s global concern for nuclear weapons development and export led to the formation of this group.
NSG initially had seven members, including France, Canada, Japan, West Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union. The members were increased to 15 in 1976-1977, with the entry of East Germany, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Sweden. In 1990 East Germany and West Germany were united under the name Germany, following this, in 1993, Czechoslovakia broke up into Slovakia and the Czech Republic. In 2004 China entered the NSG. The participating government kept increasing and has reached to 48 at present.
Who are Current NSG members?
Australia, Argentina, Austria
Belarus, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria
Croatia, China, Canada, Czech Republic, Cyprus
Ireland, Iceland, Italy
Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg
New Zealand, Norway, Netherlands
Russian Federation, Romania, Republic of Korea
South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia
Ukraine, United States, United Kingdom
Why India Want to enter NSG?
India is not a signatory of the NPT because according to India the treaty is discriminatory. But, India has been keenly seeking an entry into NSG. The first formal request for NSG membership form India was discussed during the NSG meeting held on August 21-22, 2008.
India needs NSG membership, because it has planned to increase its share of clean energy to 40 percent of the total energy generation of the country. For doing this India needs to scale up its nuclear power production, which cannot be done without NSG membership.
There is an alternate way, which can help India to get NSG membership. If India signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it can become a part of NSG, but after this, it has to give its entire nuclear arsenal. India could not take this action because it is positioned in a highly unstable neighborhood. India’s position is the major consideration that stops the country from signing the NPT.
India’s entry into NSG, will give it access to latest nuclear technologies. India will also be able to commercialize its nuclear power equipment production, thus strengthening the economy of the country. This will also give a big boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Why most of the countries are opposing India’s NSG bid
The United States and some other NSG members are in support of India’s membership bid for NSG, but most of the NSG members including China, New Zealand, Turkey, Ireland, Australia and South Africa have been opposing the move. Which clearly shows the dirty power game. China has been pointing that India is a non-signatory to the NPT, so should not be given entry into the NSG. It looks like China either want India to sign the NPT or stay away from high end nuclear technologies.
With the support of China, Pakistan has also entered the game. It has submitted an application seeking NSG membership. The sole purpose is to delay India’s entry to the NSG. Also, Pakistan doesn’t want India to own high end nuclear technologies. The biggest reason behind Pakistan’s this move, is its fears that if India enters NSG, it could prevent Pakistan from entering the NSG, just like the way China is presently opposing India’s entry.