Rafael Mariano Grossi, the former chair of NSG, has prepared a draft membership formula for countries like India and Pakistan, which are unwilling to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but want to join the NSG. The proposal, reportedly first obtained by Bloomberg, suggests several general commitments that non-NPT countries could fulfill to get the maximum benefits of nuclear trading.
The proposal is being opposed by a Washington-based think-tank, the Arms Control Association (ACA). It has especially opposed India's membership, a promise made to the Narendra Modi government by the outgoing President Barack Obama before his tenure ends on January 20, according to the Indian media.
Daryl G. Kimball of ACA says the formula could lower the bar as India fulfils all the given nine criteria mentioned. What is required is a strict and clear separation of future and current civilian nuclear facilities from the non-civilian facilities in non-NPT applicants.
Also, if India does not block Pakistan's membership, it amounts to accepting the Chinese formulation made over a year ago. Questions will be asked why the Indian Government wasted so much time if the end game was to agree to the Chinese proposal.
On the uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration's policies, Ashok Sharma, fellow at the University of Melbourne's Australia-India Institute says, "The India-US relationship is a trusted, strong and comprehensive strategic partnership. There is an influential Indian-American lobbying group that was reactivated during Modi's US visit."