The 123 Agreement, also known as the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, is a pact between India and the United States that allows the transfer of nuclear technology, materials, and equipment to India for civilian use.
The agreement was signed between the two countries in 2008 after years of negotiations. The primary objective of the agreement was to enable India to access nuclear technology and materials to address its growing energy demands while also promoting nuclear non-proliferation.
Under the agreement, the United States committed to helping India develop its civil nuclear power program by providing advanced technologies, equipment, and materials. The agreement also requires India to separate its civil and military nuclear programs, and to allow international safeguards and inspections of its civilian nuclear facilities.
The 123 Agreement was a significant milestone in the relationship between India and the United States. For decades, the two countries had been at odds over India`s nuclear program, and the US had imposed sanctions on India following its nuclear tests in 1998. The agreement marked a historic shift in the US-India relationship and signaled a new era of cooperation between the two countries.
Since the agreement was signed, the US has been providing India with nuclear technology and materials, and a number of US companies have been involved in building nuclear power plants in India. The agreement has also helped India strengthen its energy security and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
However, the agreement has also faced criticism from some quarters. Critics argue that the agreement undermines the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and sets a dangerous precedent. They also point out that India has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and that the agreement allows India to continue its nuclear weapons program.
Despite the criticism, the 123 Agreement remains a significant milestone in the US-India relationship and has helped bring the two countries closer together. The agreement has enabled India to develop its civil nuclear power program and has strengthened the ties between the two countries in the areas of energy, security, and strategic partnership.