I must say that India has been quite patient with Uncle Sam in waiting for him to reverse the nuclear isolation of India led by the ban on high-end technology exports, particularly in defense and space research areas.
During his recent visit to New Delhi, the US President Obama had announced his resolution to ease unilateral export control issues with India, in a step aimed to deepen co-operation on nuclear, defense and other high-end spectrum.
Thus, the long pending commitment of Barack Obama of removing export sanctions on trade with Indian defense agencies like the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), finally, seems to be gathering momentum on the US shores.
The United States had imposed these trade curbs following India’s nuclear tests in 1998 and is on the sanction list for more than 12 years in the US Bureau of Industry and Security’s blacklist.
A report says that a formal notification to lift ban on high-profile Indian defense entities, by the US Department of Commerce, is in advanced stage of meeting regulatory amendments commensurate with India’s non-proliferation record and commitment to abide by multilateral export control standards.
In fact, with Indo – US relationship attaining new heights over the last couple of years, it makes little sense to keep vital research organizations like ISRO and DRDO out of the loop. Moreover, ISRO – associated with space programs including development of satellites, launch vehicles, Sounding Rockets and associated ground systems – has been actively involved in co-ordination with the US agencies.
On a longer thought, it makes me realize that this strategic move could be to make it easier for the US companies to trade with Indian institutions.
Secondly, this announcement has come at a time when India is ripe to liberalize its FDI policy in the defense sector, going forward. We all know as to how large defense deals have often come to the rescue of the world’s largest democracy in times of sagging US economic scenario.
Nevertheless, this move of removing government research agencies from the banned list would still be welcomed by Indians as it would allow greater trade and import of components from US suppliers in civilian space and defense and other bilateral high-tech trade.
Do you feel India could still do without lifting of US restrictions? Our Centres have already been managing it for the past 12 years without US components, isn’t it?