Indian ambitions to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will have to wait for a while longer as the meeting convened in Vienna held for considering admission of non-NPT countries did not go in their favour. While India will consider this as a major setback, considering it lobbied for its admission to the coveted group actively, the NSG has a responsibility towards upholding the integrity of the international non-proliferation regime with the NPT as its cornerstone. India has remained a non-signatory to the NPT, objecting to the treaty’s unequal treatment of the nuclear powers. All the while, India has proceeded with nuclear development on the pretext that this is for “peaceful purposes.” India has dismissed the very spirit of nuclear non-proliferation and hence, does not deserve a seat at the NSG table.

There has been growing support for developing certain criteria for non-NPT states’ new admission and it must be done so in a manner that is non-discriminatory. India has had the support of the US to further its nuclear aspirations; in 2008, the NSG, under US pressure, agreed to grant India a “clean waiver” from its rules, which forbid nuclear trade with a non-signatory of the NPT. Following the decision of the NSG, India started negotiations with several nations like Russia, France, UK and has now signed a civilian nuclear cooperation deal with Japan that will allow it to export nuclear power equipment and technology to India.

According to the Japanese deal, the cooperation will be restricted to peaceful purposes and is states that nuclear materials must not be diverted to other purposes. But doubts persist that these provisions will guarantee that India will not resume nuclear weapons testing or divert plutonium extracted by reprocessing spent fuel to use in nuclear arms, and this is just the fear that keeps it out of the NSG as well. India is slowly and steadily securing nuclear material as well as US and Russia backed technology to increase its nuclear domestic use, the NSG is all but a tiny glitch in its grand scheme of things.