'India will sign IAEA deal on Feb 2'

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Vienna, Jan 30: Indian Ambassador to UN IAEA, Saurabh Kumar said that India will sign an inspection agreement with IAEA on Monday, Feb 2. The inspection deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is a precondition of a United States-led agreement allowing nuclear nations to supply India with nuclear material and technology for its domestic power sector.

Kumar said, "We have set some time aside for this on Monday." But he refused to divulge more details of the agreement, which must be ratified by Delhi before it can come into effect.

The draft agreement proposed in July said that India would be required to make its declared civilian reactors, 14 out of 22, subject to regular IAEA non-proliferation inspections. The agency hopes to have the reactors under inspection by 2014.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the IAEA Director General in Aug hailed the draft as a positive step after it was approved by the IAEA board of governors.

In Sep, 2008 the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) comprising 45 nations agreed to lift a three-decade global ban on nuclear trade with India, paving way for the fuel and technology deal. India was banned in 1974, after it carried out first nuclear test explosion.

It was the Bush administration which pushed hard to get the required approvals for the controversial pact from the NSG, IAEA and the US Congress, which approved the deal in last Oct. However some nations did raised reservations and criticised the deal because India has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which is meant to stop the spread and production of nuclear weapons and mandate gradual disarmament, and a companion test ban pact.

OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)

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