New Delhi, June 5: After India submitted its application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group on May 12, New Delhi has been proactively seeking the support of the member countries. This high-power campaign was further augmented after China announced its plan to block the application. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Switzerland on Sunday evening with two key issues on the agenda; black money and Nuclear Suppliers Group. Also Read - Breaking News Feb 25 Live News And Updates | JP Nadda Launches 'Lokkho Sonar Bangla Manifesto Crowdsourcing Campaign'

A Plenary Meeting will be held in Vienna on June 9 during which the NSG member-countries will review India’s application. So far, US vocally supported India’s bid, which is expected to put the odds in favour of the South Asian nation. However, several countries, including Mexico and Switzerland, have expressed reservations about India’s entry into the “elite group”. Also Read - PM Modi Biggest 'Dangaabaaz' of India, Worse Fate Than Trump Awaits Him, Says Mamata Banerjee

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What is Nuclear Suppliers Group?

The Nuclear Suppliers Group or the NSG is a 48 nation group which seeks to control the trade and re-transfer of nuclear material so as to curb the nuclear arms proliferation. The group also tries to ensure that material procured for civil nuclear purposes isn’t used for building a nuclear arsenal. It was established in November 1975 by seven members; US, UK, Soviet Union, Canada, Japan, France and West Germany, in response to the first nuclear test conducted by India in May 1974.

What are requirements for membership?

One of the major prerequisites for membership is being a signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) or a similar international agreement. India hasn’t signed and isn’t a part of either agreements.

Moreover, the country should; (a) have the proved ability to supply nuclear or nuclear-related material, (b) adhere to the two sets of guidelines on nuclear items and nuclear-related items, (c) enforce a “legally based domestic export control system” that ensures point (b), and (d) support non-proliferation of all WMDs or Weapons of Mass Destruction.

After these requirements are fulfilled, the members of the NSG review the country’s application unanimously decide whether or not membership is to be granted.

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Does India meet these requirements?

India has been abiding by the NSG guidelines and has traditionally been a strong advocate of non-proliferation. It has even placed its civil nuclear facilities under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, it has not signed the NPT or the CTBT. Instead, India has called for a non-discriminatory treaty that should be agreed upon by all countries multilaterally.

Why hasn’t India signed the NPT?

As per the treaty, only the five permanent members of the United Nations are allowed to keep and develop nuclear weapons, while the rest can only use nuclear technology for their energy requirements. Although India has so far categorically refused to be party to any agreement of discriminatory nature, it committed to a unilateral moratorium on nuclear tests during US-India civil nuclear agreement in 2008. As a result, India won’t be conducting any more nuclear tests for an unspecified period of time, unless necessitated by the circumstances.

What are the chances of India becoming a member?

With considerable resistance from several countries with non-proliferation concerns and China’s open opposition, in addition to Pakistan’s bid for membership, the odds of India becoming a member are very steep. While the US may have been supportive of India’s bid, it isn’t a major priority for the Obama administration which means the US is unlikely to spend diplomatic capital on turning the odds in India’s favour.

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