India today became the 43rd member of the Australia Group (AG), an elite club of countries formed to stop the spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons, Times of India has reported.
This is the third non-proliferation regime that India has been admitted to. Apart from AG, India is also a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA). India had joined MTCR in June last year and gained the membership of WA in December.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is the only non-proliferation regime of which India is not a part, mostly due to China’s objection to India’s bid. China maintains that Pakistan’s bid for NSG membership should be considered along with India, despite Islamabad’s poor non-proliferation record.
India’s entry into the group will help it make a case for its NSG membership. However, India can’t a member of the NSG until all members, including China, approve its bid.