India becomes member of Wassenaar Arrangement arms control regime

NEW DELHI (BERNAMA) - India has become a member of the Wassenaar Arrangement arms control regime, which may give it better access to the latest technologies and trade practices.

India will become its 42nd participating state as soon as the necessary procedural arrangements for joining are completed, the group said in a statement after its plenary meeting in Vienna on Thursday (Dec 7).

The Wassenaar Arrangement regulates trade in conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.

At their Vienna meeting, its members adopted new export controls in a number of areas, including military explosives and specific electronic components.

"Existing controls were further clarified regarding ground stations for spacecraft, submarine diesel engines, technology related to intrusion software, software for testing gas turbine engines, analog-to-digital converters, non-volatile memories and information security. Some controls were relaxed, such as for mechanical high-speed cameras and digital computers," the Wassenaar Arrangement said.

India sees its membership of multilateral arms control regimes as a sign of its growing stature as a manufacturer and exporter of military goods.

It joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June last year, but China has stalled India's entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which controls access to critical nuclear know-how.

China and some other members of the nuclear club maintain that the NSG should come out with clear guidelines to consider the entry of countries that are not signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

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