India-United States Civil Nuclear Agreement

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Indo-US nuclear deal

The United States and India completed negotiations on a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement on 27th July 2007 in order to erase the long-standing U.S. and international nuclear trade restrictions imposed on India. The nuclear deal between The United States and India was signed on 8th October in the year 2008. It was an agreement. It is based on “123 agreement” of the U.S. It is also called as Indo-U.S Nuclear Deal or U.S India Civil Nuclear Agreement. The framework of this agreement was laid in the year 2005 by then United States President George W. Bush and then India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Here we will discuss:

  • Background of the Civil Nuclear Deal
  • What is the Indo-U.S Civil Nuclear Deal about?
  • What is the Need for this Civil Nuclear Agreement?

Under this agreement India agreed to separate its civil and military nuclear facilities. India brought all civil nuclear facilities under an organisation called International Atomic Energy Agency and The United States agreed to work towards full civil nuclear cooperation with India.

Background of this Civil Nuclear Deal

  • The Civil Nuclear Deal between India and United States was initiated in the year 2005. As mentioned in the firstpost website it was done after 30 years of US imposed sanctions after India tested its first nuclear weapon in the year 1974. Consequently in the year 2001 George Bush has decided to lift all sanctions imposed on India.
  • In the year 2005 the then Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh visited Washington came back with an agreement with George W. Bush the then President of United States that both the countries have decided to initiate civil nuclear agreement.
  • This landmark decision by both the countries has recognized India as a major nuclear power in the world. This agreement took three years to completely take shape as it had to go through several complex stages of diplomatic and administrative protocols. It also had to amend certain domestic laws of United States.

What is the Indo-U.S Civil Nuclear Deal about?

The fundamental area that was being addressed by this civil agreement is the nuclear energy. It stressed on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction. India did not officially join the Non-Proliferation Treaty however this agreement India signed cam with similar advantages as of other nuclear treaties. Some of the responsibilities and actions India agreed upon are:

  1. India accepted to separate its civil and military nuclear facilities. It brought the civil nuclear facilities under The Indian Atomic Energy Agency.
  2. It also reinstated the country’s rising dependence on oil and fossil fuels and also naturally the need to shift to more sustainable fuel energy like the nuclear.
  3. India agreed to transfer of enrichment and reprocessing of nuclear fuel to states.
  4. At the same tie U.S accepted to work fully with civil nuclear cooperation with India.

What is the Need for this Civil Nuclear Agreement?

There have many reasons behind the need for such an agreement between two very significant economic powers of the world India and the United States. Some of the important reasons are:

  1. Nuclear Non-Proliferation: This nuclear agreement helps in stemming further advancements in military nuclear facilities. Alongside this U.S also acknowledges India’s strong stance o Nuclear Non Proliferation. This would bring India closer to being important global power that is against nuclear proliferation.
  2. Economic Considerations: Since India agreed to separate civil and military nuclear facilities it gives an impetus to the country in advancing in the field of sustainable energy. This has huge economic viability as well considering the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. The United States also extended its support technologically to improve India’s civil nuclear facilities.
  3. Nuclear Technology: India’s emphasis on strengthening its alternative and sustainable energy source has been the one of the key reasons behind signing this agreement. This will help India garner support globally to technologically improve and go forward in the nuclear energy scene. Technology transfer across the global superpowers helps developing countries to become secure with regard to its fuel consumption and have control over its fuel trade.
  4. Global Power Strategy: The United States has increased inclination towards having strategic ties with India and also hyphanisation of Pakistan from India. This is also to counter China’s over bearing influence in the Asia and gradually increasing economic hold across the world. This gives India a bigger platform and advantage to put forward its issues on a global scale.

This is one of the path breaking diplomatic agreements ever signed by India with a super power country like The United States. This agreement has broken the thirty year old sanctions laid by a super power on India and also coming with a huge advantage to India.

Wrap Up

Over these years India and U.S have taken forward this agreement diplomatically and also made many other decisions to set up nuclear reactors in the country. Though being the first ever nuclear deal both the countries have signed it has been hugely successful. The agreement and its progress was appreciated by the other big powers for the affect it had on the narrative of non proliferation of nuclear weapons and also advancements and technology transfer with regard to sustainable nuclear energy.

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