Mira Kamdar, a fellow at Asia Society, New York, writes in the Washington Post that the deal in the process will undermine the very international system that India so ardently seeks to join. Kamdar said that while India needs energy, "this foolish, risky deal is not the way to get any of these things. India's democracy has already paid a crippling price, and now the planet may too."
The 40 member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on Saturday, Sep 6 approved the Indo-US nuclear co-operation agreement at a meeting in Vienna. However, it still has to find US congressional approval.
The deal, Kamdar argues, risks triggering a new arms race in Asia.
If it passes, a "miffed and unstable Pakistan will seek nuclear parity with India, and China will fume at a transparent US ploy to balance Beijing's rise by building up India as a counterweight next door," the Daily Times quoted Kamdar, as saying.
The pact will gut global efforts to contain the spread of nuclear materials and encourage other countries to flout the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that India is now being rewarded for failing to sign.
In Kamdar's view the deal will divert billions of dollars away from India's real development needs in sustainable agriculture, education, health care, housing, sanitation and roads. It will also distract the nation from developing clean energy sources, such as wind and solar power, and from reducing emissions from its many coal plants, she added.
Instead, the pact will focus the nation's efforts on an energy source that will contribute only to a mere 8 percent of India's total energy needs - and that will not happened until 2030, Kamdar said.
The deal will generate billions of dollars in lucrative contracts for major Indian and US companies as well as help resuscitate the US nuclear power industry.
France and Russia, both of which support the deal, will reap huge profits in India. According to one estimate, the deal will generate more than 100 billion dollars in business over the next 20 years, as well as a large number of jobs in India and the United States.