For all that they claim, when it came to the crunch, the only man standing was Manmohan Singh and his convictions. When history will be written, Manmohan Singh will be credited with 2 of the most path breaking changes in the history of India.
- Liberalizing the economy in the 90s as Finance Minister with Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao.
- Breaking the shackles of nuclear isolation in 2008
Its an envious stature for a person who was always mentioned as the “reluctant PM” unlike so many of his detractors and rivals who believe the PM’s post is god given for them.
Encyclopedias of data are around to stress either sides of the nuclear deal. Only time will tell who was right or wrong. As of now, let’s see how this deal will affect India.
The deal with the US entails India to continue with its dual path of nuclear technology; for both military as well as civilian uses (energy, medical, space etc). The nuclear reactors for civilian purposes will be open to IAEA inspections. The reactors meant for military purposes will be out of bounds for the IAEA. India can buy / tie-up for nuclear material and technology from any country. In fact, India has already signed a treaty with France that has given it unlimited access to technology as well as reprocessing of the spent fuel. A similar deal with Russia is expected to be signed when the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev visits India in December. India can still pursue its nuclear weapons technology without any hindrance. In short, the world now, has the 6th declared nuclear power in the form of India.
If India explodes a nuclear bomb (for testing purposes)
The US will stop all nuclear co-operation. India will have to return all the fuel given to it till then. There will be a one year cooling down period where both parties (India & USA) will talk, deliberate and break heads on how to go along or if not they should part. During this one year period, if they reach a deal, they continue or else its all over between them.
How does this affect India’s deal with France (already signed, details yet to be released) or Russia (details of which will be available only after the December signing), will be only known in some time to come.
India’s position on nuclear testing
Soon after the nuclear testing in 1998, the Vajpayee led BJP government declared a unilateral moratorium over further testing. The Vajpayee government assured the world, that it would keep its promise of keeping a lid on further testing. So, that demolishes all the opposition that BJP has over testing. The Congress government has merely reiterated what the BJP government had proclaimed in 1998. Its an accepted fact that India no longer needs any more testing (according to scientists and the party in power in 1998). Any more noise that the BJP makes over this issue is just plain politicking which can be ignored.
Economic benefits for India due to the nuclear deal
- The agreement could open up around $27 billion in investments in 18-20 nuclear plants over the next 15 years, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry.
- By 2030, the overall economic benefits that will accrue to India’s economy as a result of nuclear trade could touch $500 billion, says Imagindia Institute, an Indian lobby group.
- The deal is expected to double nuclear power’s share in India’s electricity supply to five to seven per cent in the next two decades.
- With nuclear fuel in short supply, India’s nuclear power plants are running at 55 per cent of their capacity of about 4,000 megawatts.
- India’s electricity supply, about 15 per cent short of demand in peak hours, will get a boost after the deal, but any new nuclear power plant may take a decade to be completed, leaving the country dependent of coal and liquid fuels.
- Indian media say the country’s monopoly Nuclear Power Corp has tentatively picked four suppliers, including US-based Westinghouse Electric and France’s Areva, for planned new projects. Westinghouse is a unit of Toshiba Corp. Areva said on Monday that it hoped to sign a contract with Indian authorities to deliver two advanced EPR reactors.
- India is also reported to be negotiating with General Electric, Hitachi and Russia’s atomic energy agency Rosatom.
- Russia is already building two 1,000 megawatt reactors at Kudankulam in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu as part of a deal signed in 1988. Indian officials say the two countries will begin discussions on a multi-billion dollar agreement to build four more nuclear reactors in Kudankulam which has been delayed because of international restrictions against New Delhi. Russian nuclear reactors cost up to $2 billion each but India could expect to get a hefty discount on such a major deal, as Russia competes with the United States for influence in India.
Above info courtesy: IBNlive
This is not to count the approximate generation capacity of 60,000 MW of power by nuclear means by the year 2030 and the billions of dollars of technology exchange between India and the other countries in Space technology, Medicine, Science and other high tech industries.
Why is the Left against the deal?
Simply because their masters in China have paid them to behave that way. The Left (CPI – CPM) never had any issues with China being a nuclear power or their nuclear testing. They sided with China during the 1962 war. Its just natural that the mongrel is being faithful to the master. The Commies have problems with everything US and when asked why they were not complaining against the Indian deal with France, they had no comments. That simply shows how hollow their ideology is. They love to oppose for the sake of opposing.
Why is BJP against the deal?
Because they just cant believe that a person who was so reluctant to be the Prime Minister has pulled off the deal. Its a known fact that the BJP was on the verge of signing the NPT deal and giving away the nuclear sovereignty on a platter. Even though the BJP was in power when the nuclear testing happened, its the Manmohan Singh government that has brought India out of a 34 year nuclear isolation. They simply can’t accept the fact that their Iron man (sic) LK Advani, the perennial PM in waiting couldn’t get a chance to negotiate the deal. Its a plain and simple case of the fox that didnt get the grapes and declared it sour.
Why the SP is in favour of this deal?
The Amar Singh – Mulayam Singh combo of Samajwadi Party needed someone to cling on to. The Mayawati government was hot on the heels of the SP duo in UP fostering cases of corruption against them, hence the temporary deal with Congress.
So, will the Congress win the elections on this issue?
NO. They wont. The Indian electorate still loves mandir, masjid, gurudwara, church, SC, ST, OBC, hindutva, swadeshi, sycophancy, religion, region, family kinda politics. And then they wonder why the country is so screwed up.
how long will it take for it to have effect on our energy supply and its cost ?
Years, if not decades. As long as our govt organisations are not building it, its should be faster.
Cost will be billions of dollars, but then the private sector will also take up the cost. Already Tata Power, L&T, Punj lloyd, BHEL, Reliance etc are talking to international partners.
Time to chuck IT and take up nuclear science in college 😉
Liju, Wonderfully written post. All aspects covered, all the necessary barbs fired.
I really liked the way you have written about the deal. A really intelligent take, I must say.
Thank you Manpreet ji 🙂
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