India on Monday became a full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), three days after it failed to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) following China’s opposition. This now formalises India’s role as an advanced and credible player and would enhance the country’s stature in the global governance of sensitive items.
Foreign secretary S Jaishankar received the MTCR papers in New Delhi at an official ceremony at the South Block which was attended by the ambassadors of Netherlands, Luxembourg and the ambassador-designate of France.
“The ‘MTCR Point of Contact in Paris’ has conveyed the decision regarding India’s accession to the regime through the embassy of France in New Delhi as well as the embassies of the Netherlands and Luxembourg. India’s entry into the regime as its thirty-fifth member would be mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives,” the ministry of external affairs said in a statement.
The MTCR restricts the proliferation of drones, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), missiles, rocket systems, besides systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), technology capable of carrying a 500 kg payload for at least 300 km. With the official induction in MTCR regime —would pave the way for India to form joint ventures with other countries for developing sophisticated missile technologies.
“India would like to thank each of the 34 MTCR Partners for their support for the membership,” the MEA added.
Speaking to FE on what does it mean for India on becoming an official member of MTCR, Dr Rajeswari Pillai
Rajagopalan, head, Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative, ORF says, “It puts India as a state in good standing globally. India’s accession to the MTCR is an important development for a variety of reasons. For one, many of the 38 MTCR members are also members of other regimes including Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG). Therefore, India’s ability to canvass and campaign for greater support and ensuring that every single participating government is far greater if India is already inside the tent.”
The senior fellow at ORF added, “India being a member has ensured a voice in framing rules and guidelines in the area of transfer of missiles and space components. Also India’s role in curbing ballistic missile proliferation has been limited because it is outside the regime. By becoming a member, it gains greater leeway in the area of rule making in this domain.”
India had strengthened its claim to MTCR by joining The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) earlier this month. “The HCoC is a voluntary, legally non-binding international confidence building and transparency measure that seeks to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction,” according to MEA statement.
Rahul Gangal, Partner (Aerospace & Defence) at Roland Berger India says, “India’s entry into the MTCR regime opens up significant avenues for India both on the procurement of sensitive technology side as well as a market for Indian products. It will benefit entities like BDL and the BrahMos JV substantially as well as ensure that engagement with global OEMS on the Missile component of other large programmes like FICV is extremely well regulated and easier.”