Any person who has even the foggiest idea about the twists and turns of international politics has cognizance of the point that Washington is working like billyo to woo India. For good measure, US is wooing India like never before. America is, fair dinkum, making a pitch to secure some sort of strategic relationship with India. With this end in view, it is even winking over India's nuclear weapons acquisition. The spectacular and most recent example of America's ardent adoring for India is that the Bush administration has bullied and wheedled international imprimatur of its nuclear deal with India. The decision by 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) means that for the first time in more than 30 years - since New Delhi used its civilian nuclear programme to produce a bomb - the world can sell nuclear fuel and technology to India. The White House will now pull out all the stops to coax or shanghai Congress into signing off on the deal. In order to pin down the situation precisely, let us touch upon the bare bones of this deal. This high - profile civilian nuclear deal is popularly known as the "123 agreement" It is christened so after Section 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act,1954 which stipulates the exact terms and conditions for a nuclear deal with another state. To date, the US has entered into roughly 25 such agreements with various countries. This civilian nuclear deal was initialled by US President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on July 18,2005. To the glee of India's government, this deal is basically meant to provide India access to US nuclear fuel, technology and equipment. It lets India buy US nuclear reactors and fuel. The US will support an Indian effort to develop a strategic repository of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of supply over the lifetime of India's reactors. On its part, India will separate its civilian and military nuclear reactors and place the 14 civilian reactors under IAEA safeguards. Eight other reactors designated as military ones would not be subject to inspections. Under this deal, India will maintain a unilateral moratorium on nuclear tests and follow the guidelines of the 45 - member Nuclear Suppliers Group ( NSG ). This deal also mandates India to reprocess the spent nuclear fuel under safeguards by the global nuclear watchdog. Interestingly, this right to reprocess US - sourced nuclear fuel has been accorded only to Japan and the European Union so far. This deal has also a distinctive characteristic of invalidating a three decade long policy of non-cooperation with India in the nuclear field that US had adopted since India's nuclear test in 1974. The provisions of the deal spell out that nuclear co-operation would be on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty, non-interference in each other's internal affairs and with due respect for each other's nuclear programmes. Under the terms of the deal, the US commits to behave and urges other states to behave as if India were a nuclear weapons state under the NPT, even though India has not signed the treaty and will not be required to do so. On having candid analysis, the writer is of the viewpoint that American act of stitching up this deal with India will prove albatross for the international non-proliferation regime as it amounts to rewarding noncompliance. This deal, very patently, undercuts the efforts to halt the spread of nukes because it arrests prospects for global agreements on nuclear restraint and disarmament. It has also set a dangerous precedent for Iran, N Korea and other aspiring nuclear powers. These countries will not stop short of playing a cat-and-mouse game with the international norms. This deal is spectacular example of political duplicity by an administration which has been trying to punish Iran for its nuclear ambitions but conferring its blessings to India. If we take a long view of the situation, what sticks out a mile is that the US thinks of India as an invaluable ally. The reasons for America's out of ordinary love for India can be explicated on two counts. To start with, there is the growing convergence of Indian and American interests from the Persian Gulf to the Western Pacific. Both India and China are moving like clappers and will shape Asia's future. India and US are very much apprehensive and wary of China's burgeoning military muscle. America has zero tolerance for Asia to be spearheaded by China and is trying its damnedest to bolster India as the ideal bulwark against an inexorably developing China. India is also expected to take the edge off growing Islamic fundamentalism in Asia. On the top of this, both India and US are heavily dependent on the international energy market. India is the world's second fastest growing energy buyer. Oil accounted for one third of its import bill even prior to the recent hike in prices. Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean security is critical for both countries. The Gulf countries provide two-thirds of India's imported oil. Secondly, US is pampering India for it has got bewitched by India's potentially huge market and its economy making strides at full pelt. As economics is the handmaiden of everything else, so the US is eying up India's booming market. The US thinks that a slew of spin-offs will be accrued to it from the nuclear deal. Nuclear power issues are small bore issues in comparison to the defence deals and deals in other sectors, for which US companies are waiting with bated breath. India's trade with the US has clocked upto $ 30 billion a year, plus another $ 20 billion in services trade. Indubitably, India and US do not march in lockstep on some issues but they speak with one voice about the big strategic goals. America thinks that a high - octane India is vital for balance of power purposes in Asia and furnishing stability to the strategically important Indian Ocean littoral area. India is in a position to safeguard sealanes that are used to transport upwards of half the world's oil and gas. The writer is a civil servant Email: