123 Agreement will not hamper indigenous programme

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Kochi, Oct 9 (UNI) Even as political tempers are on the rise over the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Union government R Chidambaram today said the 123 Agreement will not 'decelerate' India's indigenous nuclear programme.

''There will be no impact or deceleration of the three-stage nuclear programme on which India's nuclear energy is based,'' Dr Chidambaram told mediapersons on the sidelines of the week-long 'Swashraya Bharat 2007' event here.

Any international collabortion would only act as an additional to the indigenous programme, he said.

''We need such collaboration only for a short term, while other countries need us for the long term,'' he added.

However, he declined to say whether India would utilise the ongoing visit of Mr Mohd ElBaradei, the Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to approach the UN nuclear watchdog for a safeguard agreement.

''You will have to ask the Atomic Energy Commission Chairman about that,'' he said.

Earlier, in his inaugural address at the 'Swashraya Bharat 2007', Dr Chidambaram stressed that ''no one can overwhelm India in the fields of science and technology and industry.'' However, in today's context, self-reliance need not mean self-sufficiency. It meant that the country should have the capability to produce a technology denied to it, he said.

He also underscored the need for India to develop its nuclear energy programme in view of the country's burgeoning demand for energy and concerns about global warming.

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