Difficult For India To Get NSG Membership

Ahead of the crucial Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting in Vienna (on November 11-12), Indian experts have opined that it may not be possible for the South Asian country to bag the membership of the elite 48-member club in near future.
As the NSG member countries are ready to hold a meeting in the Austrian capital next Friday, experts have urged the Indian government to soften its stand on the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Otherwise, according to them, it will be difficult for India to become the 49th member of the elite group.
Although Rafael Grossi, the Special Envoy appointed by NSG, hinted that he would propose a two-step process for allowing non-NPT countries to become NSG members, Indian experts have predicted that countries, like China and Austria, could create troubles for non-NPT countries, like India. Senior spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying recently said that his country would urge the NSG members to prepare a different yardstick for all non-NPT countries. By making such a proposal, the Chinese official made clear that Beijing was still backing Pakistan’s NSG membership.
In recent past, countries, like Turkey (considered as a friend of Pakistan) and Switzerland, opposed India’s NSG membership bid. They asked India to sign the NPT before becoming a NSG member.
As India is still not ready to sign the NPT, experts are not expecting a “positive” outcome from the Vienna meet. Despite knowing the fact that NSG membership would be a huge boost for the country that is seeking to expand its atomic energy sector, India is not ready to compromise with its stand on the NPT. The South Asian powerhouse believes that the treaty, in its current form, is not fair, as it says that only five winning powers of WWII have the right to have nuclear weapons. India’s position on the issue is very clear: either those five countries, too, denuclearise or everyone has the same rights to have nuclear weapons.
Interestingly, the US, Russia and France back India’s entry bid. Unlike China, they believe that a deal can be sealed without India having to sign the NPT. But, their backing will not be enough for India to secure a place in the elite group. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi aggressively pushing for India’s NSG case, it is up to Grossi to convince the countries opposing India’s bid in Vienna.


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