Gang of 6...

This blog belongs to 6 ex COE students of NSIT... Though, now, we are all in separate places, studying or working, we hope to remain in touch with each other lest we forget the great time we had back in college. This blog is an attempt to achieve the same. Here's to us...!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

My thoughts about the nuclear deal

Let me start from the very starting and explain why I think, what I do think.

This Indo-US deal basically states that the US of A will make some ammendments in its own Nuclear control and export laws specifically for India, lifting curbs on export on nuclear fuel and ~technology that had been imposed way back in the late 70's (don't know the exact year..) India, which has shown an impressive record of non-violation of any international laws pertaining to nuclear armament save a couple of nuclear testings, and which has shown to the world that it is indeed a responsible nuclear nation, will according to the treaty be bestowed all the privileges of a globally accepted nuclear nation and that too without signing the NPT. All that India has to do in return is to agree to be placed under the same scanner as the other nuclear nations. This includes, among other things, a complete separation of India's military and civilian nuclear programmes and henceforth, placing the civilian facilities under the IAEA safeguards.

Now this is where the problem arises. The bone of contention is this separation of the civilian and military facilities. The problem is two-fold.

One, who decides as to what's civil and what's military? India (rightly) thinks that it is their prerogative. The US think otherwise. According to them the civilain list must include all facuilities including experimental & research installations, which are not directly related to nuclear weapons. This choice has to be made carefully, keeping in mind the strategic importance of India's military nuclear programme and the fact that in India , both civilian and military programmes are, well, quite entangled, which takes us to the second problem.

In India, never has nuclear research been classified into civilian research or military research. Our scientists don't exactly work full-time on either. Our nuclear programme is one monolithic mass encompassing all aspects of nuclear science that are currently of any significance to the country. Scientists, presently, work on their own research projects and whatever reults are thrown up are incorporated into the approppriate technology/field, be it for civilian purposes or for military ones. This is not to say that there is no larger plan being followed, it's just that we don't have any clearly demarcated civilian or weapon related installations or programmes. All of our military programmes are but individual resarches that have been carried out by certain teams within the larger framework of academic and civilan research.

Now, do you see the problem?? If US has its say, it will put all of our nuclear establishments into the civilian category. And what would that do?? Place all our establishments under the purview of the IAEA, which is what no country can ever accept!!

Indeed, some version of this has long been US' aim and its only now that they have got around to try and fulfill it. And coupled with this is the fact that they badly need a prospective superpower in South Asia to counter their biggest emerging threat, CHINA. It is an open secret that the US, in the longer run, sees India as nothing but a strategic partner to counter the effect of China. And the irony of the situation is the fact that the Indian think-tank is well aware of it, but can't do a thing, as at this moment India badly needs US support to further its nuclear programme whihc is on the verge of an untimely death due to lack of enriched fuel.

Indeed, even if we had been in Manmohan Singh's place, we would have been as hard pressed as he is to find any alternative for a way out of the current scenario. Reject the help offered by US, and ,well, I don't need to say what the consequences might be. Accept it and, well, we might get around to seeing that soon, won't we??

What's gonna happen next in this wierd scenario?? Wait and watch !!

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