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Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) Establishment

NSG was formed in response to India's PNE (1974) in 1975 and was initially called London Club. Its aim was to manage export controls and nuclear proliferation issues that were outside the framework of NPT. 

Till 1991, NSG remained a dormant grouping. At the end of the Cold War, with the disintegration of the USSR, the threat of nuclear war was replaced with the threat of nuclear proliferation, which re-energized the NSG to tackle those matters that were left out of the scope of NPT. 

The decision in the NSG is taken by consensus, making memberships difficult for new member states.

At the end of the Cold War, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan possessed weapons of the Soviet era. Both the USSR, through proactive diplomacy, and the US decided to de-arm them and made the proliferation in Iran join the NPT as NEWS. Since 1991, with the advent of Gulf War-1, and the situation of proliferation in proliferation and in North Korea, there was a growing belief that NPT is not sufficient to tackle nuclear proliferation The NSG made attempts to rectify such shortcomings of NPT. 

In order to reposition NSG as a se Gas a serious grouping to tackle nuclear proliferation and not merely position as a club, NSG in 1991 stated will not use member states as a term, which will be replaced with PGs. Subsequently, in 2001. a procedural arrangement' was adopted that talked about admitting a new PG to NSG. 

The procedure has five-point criteria.

  1. The state should have the ability to supply or produce items mentioned in the control list of NSG
  2.  The state should adhere to the guidelines of NSG.
  3. The state should legally enforce the guidelines of NSG.
  4.  The state should support global efforts to seek non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  5.  The state should adhere and comply with one or more obligations of the NPT.

It was clarified that the above points were only considerations to be used for membership and were not mandatory as criteria. As part of an attempt to operationalize the India-US nuclear deal, in 2008, India was given an NSG-specific waiver. In 2010, India expressed an interest to become a member of the NSG. From 2010 to 2016, there was a political and diplomatic void in India taking up the issue with the NSG. This was primarily out of concerns arising out of India's Civilian Liability for Nuclear Damages Act.

In 2016, when India made a formal attempt to join the NSG, after resolving the concerns in the liability law, its membership was blocked by China.

Why did China object or block Indian membership at NSG? 

China has raised certain concerns regarding Indian membership.

1. China asserted that there needs to be 'broader consensus' to evolve a technical, legal, and policy criterion to admit new states to NSG as PG,

2. China asserted that let there be a two-step process for admitting a new PG to NSG. First, le First, let there be a formula developed for admission of non-NPT members to NSG. Second, after such a form is developed and adopted, then NSG should admit new PG.

3. China asserts that in the absence of such a formula, there will be serious effects of admit us effects of admitting non-NPT member states (like India) to NSG as PG as such states in NSG (without being a member of NPT) will affect the integrity of the non-proliferation architecture in the world. Indian strategic community believes that this is used by China as a cover to push the case for Pakistan along with India for admission to NSG.

Due to the obstructive and non-cooperative attitude of China, Indian membership to the NSG remains a hurdle to date.

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