October 10, 2015

India a step closer to elite anti-missile grouping membership

India's application to enter the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) has been accepted and well received at the plenary meeting of the coveted club that ended in Norway on Friday and Delhi is hopeful of a positive outcome soon, ending decades of isolation from acquiring advanced technology.  India had applied for membership to the 34-member group last June and the plenary discussed the application to Delhi's satisfaction. "Our application was well received at the group's  plenary meeting and we are pleased with the response of the members.
 We understand that there is broad support for India's case. The membership is under consideration and we are hopeful of a positive decision in the coming months," an official told ET. The membership could even come before the next plenary of MTCR, officials hoped. However, they refused to speculate if there was any opposition by any member to India's case at the meet in Oslo. Membership of MTCR would bring India closer to technology control regimes that it had fought and worked around for decades to build its missile and space programmes. India's space and missile programmes will mainly gain from MTCR membership since it will get access to world-class technology.
MTCR will also allow it to export its own technology including missile to friendly countries.  Last month, America had supported India's entry into MTCR in no uncertain terms. "The US side affirms its support for India's membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime at its upcoming plenary, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and in the other global nonproliferation export control regimes," said a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue on September 22. Many other MTCR members have in the past few years also supported India's willingness to join the regime. MTCR was formed in 1987 and, through informal understanding between members, it maintains a tight control over trade in missile and rocket components.


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