IAEA will not interfere in Indian military affairs

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The IAEA will maintain an inventory of items subject to the agreement and the UN agency will send a copy of the inventory it maintains with respect to such information to India every 12 months and also at any other times specified by India in a request communicated to the agency at least two weeks in advance. Safeguards with respect to nuclear material may be suspended while the material is transferred, under an arrangement or agreement approved by the IAEA, for the purpose of processing, reprocessing, testing, research or development within India or to any other member state or to an international organisation, provided that the quantity of the items do not exceed limits specified in the pact.

The provision about not interfering with aspects of India's nuclear programme other than safeguarded nuclear facilities is significant in the context of apprehensions from various quarters, including political parties and some scientists, that the country's military programme could be affected by the pact.

The Left parties had attacked the government for not so far releasing the text of the agreement and questioned whether it was hiding anything that could compromise the country's nuclear sovereignty.

The draft agreement, which is to be approved by the IAEA Board of Governors, envisages support for Indian effort to develop a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel for safeguarded facilities to guard against any disruption of supply over the life time of India's reactors.

India may take corrective measures to ensure uninterrupted operation of its civilian nuclear reactors in the event of disruption of foreign fuel supplies, it says without elaborating.

The agreement recognises India's commitment to the full development of its national three-stage nuclear programme to meet the twin challenges of energy security and protection of the environment.

It also recognises India's inalienable right to carry out research and development activities for the welfare of its people and other peaceful purposes.

Under the agreement, the IAEA recognises India as a state with advanced nuclear technology which wishes to expand to civil nuclear cooperation for its development.

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