CANBERRA – In recent times India has repeatedly affirmed its responsible behavior as a nuclear-armed state and sought membership of key nuclear governance bodies on that basis. Many others too are also keen to help India integrate into the global nuclear order. One possible point of intersection to facilitate the twin objectives is to draw India into the web of stations that can monitor nuclear test explosions, as a prelude to India’s signature and eventual ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
In 1968, when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was negotiated, India condemned it for basing the global nuclear order on nuclear apartheid that divided the world into nuclear haves and have-nots, and refused to sign the treaty. In response to India’s 1974 disingenuously labeled “peaceful nuclear explosion,” the world established the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to regulate the export of nuclear materials and technology and restrict them to NPT signatories only. In 2008 the NSG granted India a unique exemption from its stringent export criteria without requiring NPT accession.