India deserves access to dual use technology: Manmohan Singh

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington: As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in the US on a state visit he said as a responsible nuclear power, India should be given access to dual use technologies to help it grow.

Support TwoCircles

“We are a nuclear weapon state, but we are a responsible nuclear power,” he told CNN television in an interview telecast as he landed in Washington Sunday. “We have an impeccable record of not having contributed to unauthorised proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction.”

“So I think India does require greater consideration of the global community,” he said when asked if he was worried that President Barack Obama’s administration may be more restrictive in the transfer of nuclear technology to India under their landmark civil nuclear deal.

“India needs to operate on the frontiers of modern science and technology and therefore restrictions on dual use technology affect our growth,” Manmohan Singh said.

Noting that India “needs an annual growth rate of 8 to 9 percent to get rid of chronic poverty and disease that still afflict millions of people in our country, he said “In that context industrialisation and transfer of dual use technologies can play a very important role.

In another interview with Newsweek ahead of his Tuesday summit with Obama, Manmohan Singh said India would seek “a positive reaffirmation” of his administration to carry forward their landmark civil nuclear deal forged during the previous Bush administration.

India had no worries about the US honouring the consent agreement (for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel) under their “landmark and watershed” nuclear deal, “but we would like a positive reaffirmation of this administration to carry forward that process,” he said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])