The Wassenaar Arrangement : India’s membership

  • Elite export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) has decided to admit India as its new member.
  • Since its civil nuclear deal with US, India has been trying to get into export control regimes such as Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement that regulate the conventional, nuclear, biological and chemicals weapons and technologies. In June 2016, India had joined Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), another key export control regime, as a full member.
Significance of membership:
  • India’s membership to WA will provide it access to high technology, which will help address the demands of Indian space and defence sectors.
  • This will help India to enhance its credentials in the field of non-proliferation despite not being signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • The WA membership is also expected to build up strong case for India’s entry into the 48-member NSG.
  • Further, it will help energy starved India to secure the supply of nuclear fuel more easily, since it has low reserves of uranium required for its civil nuclear energy programmes.
  • It will also facilitate high technology tie-ups with Indian industry and ease access to high-tech items for our defence and space programmes.
  • It will also create grounds for realignment of India in export control policy framework of other WA members, including eligibility for certain licensing exceptions.

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