India and the UK on Tuesday decided to start negotiations on a civil nuclear pact to facilitate entry of British companies into the emerging Indian atomic power sector.
India and the UK on Tuesday decided to start negotiations on a civil nuclear pact to facilitate entry of British companies into the emerging Indian atomic power sector. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after his delegation-level talks with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron during which both sides reviewed entire expanse of bilateral relations.
Thanking Cameron for UK's support for India's full membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other multilateral export-control regimes, Singh said, "We have also decided to commence negotiations on a bilateral civil nuclear agreement."
India has already signed civil nuclear pacts with a number of countries including the United States, France, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Mongolia and Canada. Cameron said Britain was in favour of transferring high-technology to India.
India has planned to reach a nuclear power capacity of 63,000MW in 2032 against its current installed capacity of 4,780MW and a number of countries have been vying to get a share of India's lucrative atomic energy market. Singh and Cameron also expressed their commitment to working towards a world free of nuclear weapons and agreed to hold regular consultations on disarmament and non- proliferation issues.
"In recognition of the threat posed by terrorists gaining access to WMD materials, India and the UK agreed to conclude a memorandum of understanding on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security," a joint statement said.
Noting that India and the UK's civil nuclear cooperation has gone from strength to strength since the Joint Declaration in 2010, the statement said it now includes innovative nuclear research projects and the export of advanced civil nuclear technology and exchanges between scientific institutions.
Cameron committed that the UK will make available to India cutting edge British technology, civil and military, that it currently shares with its top international partners, in accordance with international obligations. The leaders also agreed to work actively together to achieve India's ambitions to join the major export control regimes (Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Group; Australia Group; Wassenaar Arrangement).