Thursday, July 18, 2013

The pressure is rising up these days for India to sign the CTBT in the world politics !!!

In an unusually tough speech, the then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao had asked: "If such a commitment is not forthcoming, what are we to make of a status in which a few hold on to their awesome arsenals, kept trim by sophisticated computer simulation techniques, while they want all others to watch on with empty hands?"

Here we look forward as to how can India play diplomacy with this regards !!!!

Test-Ban Treaty: India's Options

More than any other treaty, the CTBT is certain in to curtail severely India's nuclear-weapon capability. Here are some of the options available:
  • Insist on a time-bound programme for elimination of atomic weapons which the five nuclear powers possess. 
  • If they don't agree, blame them for sabotaging the treaty and proceed to weaponise its own capability. If they agree, sign on and proclaim a major victory.
  • Conduct a few tests involving nuclear explosions to develop India's weapon capability while assuring the world that it would sign the treaty. The international fallout of such a move would be severe and India's policy-makers would have to evaluate whether the country can afford it.
  • Use the signing of the treaty to wrest major concessions for India from the nuclear powers. 
  • One option is to ensure a permanent seat in the Security Council. From the US, for instance, India could insist that it keep off Kashmir, transfer critical technology in many areas, give trade concessions, etc.

 Additional Reading 

What are the Hyde Act and the 123 Agreement?
  • Under Section 123 of its Atomic Energy Act, the United States can enter into civilian nuclear trade only with those countries that have signed the NPT and CTBT. 
  • India has signed neither treaty. 
  • Further, after its first nuclear test in 1974, the United States had placed a ban on the supply of nuclear fuel and technology to India. 
  • In order to sign the present deal, the section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act needed to be amended. 
  • The Hyde Act 2006, a domestic Act of the United States, was accordingly brought in to amend this Section and provide a legal framework for a 123 Agreement with India. With this agreement India becomes the only non-NPT/CTBT signatory to have signed the 123 Agreement with the United States.

Who are the Nuclear Suppliers Group?
  • Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a 45 nation body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation by controlling trade in nuclear fuel and technology. 
  • Their policies had so far kept India out of bounds of international nuclear trade as it has not signed the NPT and CTBT. 
  • Some countries in the NSG had misgivings about giving India the unprecedented waiver of carrying on international civil nuclear trade even without signing the NPT, but the approval finally came through keeping in view India's strong non-proliferation records, and its voluntary declaration of "no first use" of nuclear weapons.


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