NUCLEAR DEAL: A Boon or Curse

The worldwide political scenario had been simmering constantly for the past three years with the much hyped  nuclear deal between two strategic countries- United States of America and India. This historical pact will raise the nuclear technology to figure, among the top commercial commodities. It is the mass impact of this bilateral agreement which has aroused the interest of the world leaders. However, the key question now is to support or oppose it with full intensity.

Demystifying the Nuke Deal

Uranium–the main material used in the nuclear reactors, are found merely in 1% in the country of the net uranium deposit around the world. Keeping in mind the exorbitant energy demands of our country and the diminishing non-renewable resources, nuclear energy seems to be the only hope for all our energy needs. Once the nuclear deal comes into effect, India will be able to import nuclear technology and fuel and secure the energy demands in future. What many have failed to understand is that the basic objective of the nuclear deal is concerned with the transparency of civil nuclear facilities, it is in no way going to affect the nuclear research in defense projects.

The Hyde Act Paving the Way

It all started during the time when George W. Bush was the President of USA and the ruling UPA government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh, way back in 2005. The foundation was laid by the Hyde Act in 2006, which was passed unanimously by the US legislature and Senate. The Hyde Act had to be moved in order to enable India to circumvent the implications of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which India did not wish to sign. This Act was the most critical factor which eased the bottleneck and aided the two countries to reach a consensus.

The Progress and Controversies

Although the progress in the nuclear deal is going on at a snail pace yet there had been crucial developments over the past few years. There had been strong opposition both in India and the USA, which is being cited as the major reason for the delay. The pending issues were resolved in America much earlier compared to India, where the Nuclear Bill is still a strongly debated topic in the Parliament.

The Manmohan Singh’s Government came under crossfire in 2008 and had to face the confidence vote to remain in power. UPA had to invite new allies to survive the situation with 275 votes to the oppositions’ 256. And the “Cash for Votes” followed to haunt the ruling party, where the opposition came out in full fury with taped evidences of the MPs being bribed to vote, by the UPA Government.

Opinions of Nuke Experts

In spite of the unhappiness of the politicians, the nuclear deal with the US, has received thumbs up from the prominent think tanks of India. The scientists are in favor of the nuke deal given the advanced technology it is said to bring to the Indian soil. Former President of India- Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam had expressed his desire for India to go ahead with the deal. Ever since the drafting of the Nuke Deal, it has undergone several changes which are to make sure that India can withdraw from the deal in case of national securities in future.

The Impact

Even though the Indo-US nuclear deal seems to be entangled in a time warp, but it is making its way through the obstacles. The greatest fear that still bogs the minds of experts is– “To what extent will the deal impair the defense nuclear warfare?” but this deal had been targeted towards the civil nuclear activities, so hopefully India retains its sovereignty when it comes to the defense activities. Recently the Nuclear Liability Bill was discussed in the Parliament and the ruling party quite graciously accepted the changes to certain clauses in it, regarding ‘Nuclear Accidents’ as pointed out by the opposition.

Like it or not but the Indo-US Nuclear Deal is here to stay and it is going to be a huge factor in the India’s global image as a responsible nuclear nation.

B Krithiga

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