Nuclear Deal : Deal or No deal

Today I used some of my time to understand the uncontroversial Indian Nuclear deal which may topple down the well stable UPA government to.The determination of Manmohan Singh Government is very good and it should go ahead.This may result in left withdrawing the support and fall of UPA government. I am sure PM won’t budge this time and will go ahead with what is more important to nation (Growth) rather than what is more important to congress( Political Power).

To come to above conclusion I tried to weigh of pros and cons of this deal and India's stand to gain a lot from this nuclear deal and still maintain sovereignty.

National Issues to solve :

Growth constraint-1 : The power shortage and future demand for power is growing exponentially. Fuel prices are breaking the life of ordinary citizen. According to the latest Ministry of Commerce statistics, India’s oil imports for April-June were $14.83 billion, 4.21% higher than the figure for the corresponding period last year.Skyrocketing Fuel prices are adding quite a lot to towering 'Inflation'. Even the other Asian countries like Malaysia slashing the hefty fuel subsidy in the national interest to cope with it.

Growth constraint-2 : The India does not have enough natural resources and imports most of its oil from other countries.

Growth constraint-3 : Not enough Nuclear resources : One study says the US draws 21% of its electricity from this source, while it is 78% for France, 40% for Japan, 15% percent for South Korea and around 25% for Russia.Globally, 16% of energy requirements are met from nuclear power but in India it is 3%.

Political constraint-3 : Politically we need to strengthen ties with US to improve the diplomatic relationship with US. US wants to strengthen its base in South Asia by having strong relationship with India . The US is not so much comfortable with its old alley Pakistan because of it’s political turbulence and unofficial links to extremist terrorism. US also wants to limit the growth and influence of China in Asia by supporting the equally good economy of India.

If the deal is through then :

  • India will have uninterrupted supply of Nuclear Fuel for its US-made nuclear reactors. India and the US agree to transfer nuclear material, non-nuclear material, equipment and components. US will support/help India in developing strategic reserves of nuclear fuel to guard against future disruption of nuclear supply using the its international ‘Big Brother’ role . In case of disruption, US and India will jointly convene a group of friendly supplier countries(NSG) to include nations like Russia, France and the UK to pursue such measures to restore fuel supply.
  • India can make that decision to conduct test at any time. It's a sovereign state, it's very clear that India is free to do as it wishes with regard to future testing
  • India can build many nuclear reactors for power generation but it has to Spend a huge amount to import nuclear fuel rods the cost of which is twice that of coal driven power, will eat a good portion of india's exchequer, besides another substantial portion will have to be kept aside for waste disposal which will tear the pockets while other developments like road building and eradication of diseases among the poor will standstill.and considering the nature of deal India will be buying the uranium from the US (which helps the US economy as well).
  • India has prospects(although not easy) of getting a waiver from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG).
  • India will have better power infrastructure which will help the Indian business in general. Deal will give India access to US nuclear fuel and technology, is potentially worth billions of dollars to US and European nuclear technology companies and would give India more energy alternatives to drive a booming trillion-dollar economy. India will have access to U.S. nuclear technology without complying with the Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT), which permits cooperation on nuclear energy only when countries pledge not to develop nuclear weapons.So The agreement not to hinder or interfere with India's nuclear pro gramme for military purposes.
  • Deal will place 14 of India’s 22 nuclear facilities under international safeguards. It leaves 8 of India’s nuclear facilities without safeguards, including a fast breeder reactor program that produces plutonium that can be used by India to increase its production of nuclear weapons. The deal provides no cap on India’s production of more nuclear weapons-grade fissionable materials.
  • The deal will allow India to harvest the plutonium and enriched uranium from its non-safeguarded nuclear facilities and use it for increasing the size of its nuclear arsenal.
  • After the deal overall nuclear energy production is expected to reach 9% by 2016.(which is not much as compare to 3% now).
  • Treaty has provision for one-year notice period before termination of the agreement.So we can say ‘NO’ later if harms our national interest. Agreement provides for consultations on the circumstances, including changed security environment, before termination of the nuclear cooperation. (Left-leaning parties say the wide-ranging termination clause in the act could be used to end the nuclear deal not only if India tests nuclear weapons but also for “not conforming to U.S. foreign policy,” in particular in cooperating on nonproliferation. But India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee says the nation is not bound by the Hyde Act.)
  • India can develop strategic reserve of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of supply over the lifetime of its reactors.

Manmohan singh's stand shows that after a life spent in pleasing political masters, first as a bureaucrat, then as a minister, he has finally come into his own. At least as of now he is the recognized head of government and that is an opportunity he knows he will not get again. He wants to go down in history as the man who did something big: converted India irreversibly into a strategic ally of the US and changed her course from non alignment to total and complete alignment with the one nation of his unipolar world.


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