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India Needs to Ratify N-damage Accord

Published: 04th February 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2015 03:55 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI:The government is all set to unveil parts of the Indo-US ‘memorandum of understanding’ on the nuclear deal within a month in the form of FAQs, Express has learnt.

Now that the fervour over the optics of the Modi-Obama summit has cooled down a bit, officials are doubling down to bridge the last mile in clearing the policy roadblocks to implement the India-US civil nuclear deal.

In March, an international seminar will be organised by the General Insurance Company to discuss the best practices for setting up a nuclear insurance pool, based on the experience of their counterparts who are operating 26 other similar pools.

After handing over the memorandum and the publication of the FAQ, the other important step that the Indian government has to complete is the ratification of the 1997 Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) for Nuclear Damage. India has signed CSC, but not ratified it so far despite commitment to do it within a year of the original agreement with US.

Officials said that they will be moving the Cabinet to approve the ratification of CSC as early as possible.

Another part of the ‘breakthrough’ were the administrative arrangements, which is code for tracking and flagging of American nuclear material. US agreed not to impose another bilateral layer of inspections in addition to IAEA safeguards.

Renewed focus by US for phased entry into international arms control group, including the Nuclear Suppliers group was the last piece of the puzzle.

While the dialogue had been going on for five months starting just before the PM’s visit, the mandate of the contact group focussed on the talks. The contact group was set up following Modi’s visit to implement the milestone 2008 bilateral civil nuclear pact. The first meeting in Delhi dealt with largely “conceptual” issues, while the second meeting was more focussed on exploring the actual concerns by both sides.

At the third meeting, the Indian delegation was ready with a list of questions and answers, which ticked off the issues one by one - providing the political leadership to finally announce that the deal was done on January 25.

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