New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) In keeping with his assurance in parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired Saturday a meeting of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and conferred with the country's top nuclear scientists to evolve a 'broad' consensus on the India-US civil nuclear deal.
Consultations with members of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the nuclear and scientific communities are expected to build a broad-based national consensus on this important issue.
Manmohan Singh's meeting with the AEC comes a week after his statement assuring parliamentarians, especially the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and Left parties in the Rajya Sabha, that India's nuclear interests and sovereignty will not be compromised.
In his speech, the prime minister said the nuclear deal was crucial for India to be accepted as part of the global nuclear community and to meet the country's growing energy needs.
Much before Singh's forceful speech in the Rajya Sabha, a group of former nuclear scientists had in a letter urged MPs to discuss the nuclear deal and arrive at a unanimous decision recognising the fundamental facts of India's indigenous nuclear science and technology achievements to date.
They wanted parliament to debate the ground rules for the India-US nuclear deal, as they believed the deal in the form approved by the US House of Representatives infringed on India's right to carry out research and development in nuclear science and technology.
Among those who had signed the appeal included former Atomic Energy Commission chiefs H.N. Sethna, M.R. Srinivasan, P.K. Iyengar and A. Gopalakrishnan.
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