The US Senate approved the legislation on the deal four days after the US House of Representatives passed the agreement by a clear majority (298-117 votes). The Senate's decision came just ahead of an expected trip to India this weekend by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The Senate rejected the 'killer amendments' introduced by Democratic Senators Byron Dorgan and Jeff Bingaman to ensure that the US nuclear exports to India do not help boost New Delhi's nuclear weapons programme.
The Indo-US civil nuclear deal is now ready for signing between the two countries.
Condoleezza Rice, who was earlier scheduled to arrive in New Delhi on Thursday, Oct 2 to sign the 123 civilian nuclear agreement, is now expected to arrive on Saturday, Oct 4.
During her visit, Rice will hold talks with India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on bilateral and regional issues, and also on ways to take the bilateral strategic partnership further.
Earlier, the agreement was expected to be signed by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and US President George W Bush during the former's recent visit to Washington.
The critics of the deal believe that passing N-deal does grave damage to global efforts to contain the spread of nuclear weapons, by letting India import nuclear fuel and technology even though it has tested nuclear weapons and never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).