Energy Crisis in India

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ENERGY CRISIS AND NUCLEAR ENERGY REQUIREMENT IN INDIA

1.The year 2005-06 is marked in the history of India – US relations as an important milestone in the mutual rediscovery of each other. It marks one of the most significant departure from long held relations. It is the biggest foreign policy challenge facing India after a gap of more than 30 years India and US agreed to resume cooperation in the field of nuclear energy. Until now , US viewed India as a nuclear weapon capable state as an outcaste, to be chastised for illegal possessor of nuclear weapons. India had been warned and advised repeatedly during the past and specially under President Clinton to roll back and terminate its nuclear programme.

2.On 18 Jul 2005, India and US agreed to reaffirmed the multifaceted relationship, encompassing issues as diverse as terrorism, agriculture, health, commerce, energy, science and technology and defence , as visualized in the joint statement of the day between the PM of India and President of US at Washington. A joint statement issued said that the US would work with “friends and allies to adjust international regimes to enable full civil nuclear energy and trade with India”. President Bush hailed India as a “responsible state”, deserving the “same benefits and advantages as other such states”. The signing of the US –India Framework Defence Agreement was the final prelude to the US bestowing de facto nuclear status to India.

3. India’s emergence as an economic power and its manifold increased requirement of energy; value of Indian democratic systems, common fight against international terrorism, influence of Indian progression in information technology and influence of Indian Diaspora in US politics are few important factors which led to the proposal for the said nuclear deal. These developments made US to engage India for a strategic dialogue. The Indian PM confirmed before the Parliament on civil nuclear energy cooperation with the US on Feb 2006: “The existence of our strategic programme is being acknowledged even while we are being invited to become a full partner in international civil nuclear energy cooperation”.

4. The deal has created a strategic discourse in India. Despite the vigorous debate following this agreement confusion prevails in regards to range of issues. The issue has occupied more space in the popular media in India than any other subject for more than a year now. There are some misgivings on the Indian side about how much giving in India would end up doing, while in the US, fears expressed at the Congressional hearings and by some non proliferation experts range from seeking enough concessions from India to the impact of the agreement on non-proliferation. The debate is being discussed critically by all political parties ,intellectuals, scientific community and think tanks of India on this alliance in India. A critical objective examination is being done to evolve a balanced perspective in the larger strategic relationship evolving between the two countries.

5.President George W. Bush of US finally signed the Henry J Hyde US-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006 at Washington. President said the civilian nuclear agreement which was translated in to law, was an “evidence of the growing bonds of trust” between the two countries and would strengthen bilateral relations further. “It is an important achievement for the whole world. After 30 years of the system, India will now operate its civilian nuclear energy programme under internationally accepted guidelines and the world is going to be safer as a result”. The bill markings an amendment to the 1954-US Atomic Energy Act was passed by congress. This will allow US to restore civilian nuclear relation with India, shaped after 1974 Nuclear tests by India. The deal will be made operational by a separate 123 agreement. India will also have to sign a safeguard agreement with...
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