Entry to the fourty-eight member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in its next plenary is not going to be a cake-walk for India. The group, which was originated in 1974 after India’s first atomic test, have since then become hurdle in New Delhi’s way to importing essential nuclear items needed for developing pivotal nuke elements.
NSG currently controls major commercial activities in nuclear materials and technology transfer in the world. The major powers (US, France, UK and Russia) which are either producer of fuel or which are manufacturer of technologies have been the decision makers in nuclear trade.
In 1974, NSG was incorporated after Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) nations had observed a need of limiting the export of certain nuclear material on conditional basis.
Now, given the fact that India is neither a member of NPT, nor of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), its membership in the group contradicts the core principle on which the group was formed.
However, United States has been playing a big supporting hand for India’s bid, mainly to counterbalance China in the Asian region. The US has implemented an overarching strategic policy to build momentum to bring in India as a member. India’s Civil Nuclear Deal with US is the only step which has pitched the former as responsible nuclear user.
The biggest hurdle is China, which has already opposed India’s membership, on the grounds that it isn't a signatory of NPT. Beijing’s opposition is primarily based on two of its basic strategic principals – Keeping India at a low on international forums, supporting Islamabad to counterbalance New Delhi. However, China doesn’t have problem with Pakistan’s bid for the same seat.
Keeping Dragon aside, the other signatory nations of NPT are also opposing India’s incorporation to the group. Those supporting an Indian membership are mainly doing so to meet their geopolitical objectives, which, at the end, would again contradict the idea of non-proliferation.
Incorporation into the group will be huge commercial and strategic gain for India. As a growing power, New Delhi has a huge potential to provide nuclear fuel- Thorium and nuclear technology in future. At the same time its membership would diminish Pakistan's prospects at the group.