India - US Civilian Nuclear Agreement

India and US signed a paradigm changing nuclear deal on March 2nd, 2006. The historic agreement has paved the way for a new geopolitical alignment, and has overnight catapulted India into the realm of a responsible nuclear state. The main achievement of this unprecedented partnership is the fact that both sides shook off decades of mistrust and acrimony to iron out their differences and agreed to converge on the issue of civilian nuclear partnership The key features of the agreement are: * 14 out of India's 22 reactors to be placed under IAEA safeguards. * All the 14 designated civilian reactors would be subject to checks and inspections by the international atomic energy agency. * India would be free to decide and classify the status of all the future reactors as civilian or nuclear under a "No questions asked" policy. * Nuclear separation plan will be implemented in phases but has to be concluded by 2014. * US have guaranteed continuous supply of nuclear fuel, along with the lifting of restrictive regime with regard to trade in dual-use technology. Advantages of the nuclear agreement signed between India and US are: * The deal would enable India to manage its ever-growing energy requirements more effectively, and also optimize its existing energy resources. * The deal will have long term ramifications on the IndoUS strategic relationship alongwith a salutary effect on other areas like bilateral relations, cultural exchange, trade and business, and will also go a long way in developing an atmosphere conducive to better Indo-US relations. * The deal will reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources of energy like coal, natural gas etc. for power generation. * Agricultural sector will gain the most from this agreement, as increased electricity supplies will reduce the reliance on monsoons and other established sources of water supply.

* The utilization of nuclear technology instead of thermal sources for power generation will contribute to a cleaner environment as conventional sources of power generation lead to air and water pollution. the nuclear deal will serve to embolden those nations to follow a similar path. * The scientific community is against opening up of the Indian nuclear establishment to inspections by international agencies as they feel that it could compromise the security interests of India. An increase in the demand of oil will lead to an increase in the price. it can be said that the advanta ges accruing to India from the Indo-US nuclear deal far outweigh the disadvan tages. * The agreement will have a positive implication on global oil prices as increased use of nuclear technology will result in reduced oil consumption. Disadvantages of the nuclear agreement signed between India and US are: * The agreement will send a wrong message to rogue nations with nuclear ambitions and clandestine nuclear programs. In conclusi on. which would have a negative impact on world economy and trade protocols. * The agreement may further polarize India's domestic polity along pro and anti-US lines and will provide material to propagandists and anti-US lobbies. As India is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty. The civilian nuclear agreeme nt has portraye d India as a responsi ble .

and recogniz es India as a defacto nuclear weapons state. It is hoped that the civil nuclear agreeme nt will serve to further strength en the emergin g close friendshi p between two of the world's largest democra cies. .nuclear nation. and has led to a quantum increase in India's importan ce regionall y as well as internati onally. It is an acknowl edgment of India's responsi ble conduct in the nuclear domain.

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