U.K. and India begin negotiations on civil nuclear pact

The United Kingdom and India started negotiations on Tuesday on a civil nuclear pact that would facilitate the entry of British companies into India's emerging atomic power sector.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made the announcement of the proposed pact after delegation-level talks with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron. During the talks, both sides reviewed the bilateral relationships between the two countries. India and the U.K. also forged an agreement on non-proliferation and security issues, PTI reports.

"In recognition of the threat posed by terrorists gaining access to WMD materials, India and the U.K. agreed to conclude a memorandum of understanding on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security," India and the U.K. said in a joint statement, according to PTI.

India previously signed civil nuclear agreements with multiple other countries, including Canada, Mongolia, South Korea, Kazakhstan, France and the United States.

Cameron said that the U.K. will make cutting edge British technology, both civil and military, available to India. The two leaders agreed to actively work together to achieve India's ambitions to join major export control regimes such as the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group, the Missile Technology Control Group and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

India currently has a nuclear power capacity of 4,780 megawatts. It plans to reach a nuclear power capacity of 63,000 megawatts by 2032, PTI reports.