In a major step towards realisingits nuclear energy ambitions, India is engaged in talks with the European Union to sign a civil nuclear cooperation agreement and the deal is expected to be inked by next year.
"An agreement is expected to be signed between the India's Department of Atomic Energy and Joint Research Centre of the European Union. It will mostly focus on areas of research and energy," EU's Ambassador to India Joao Cravinho told PTI at the sidelines of an event last week.
Cravinho said talks between the two sides are on and the agreement should be signed next year. He, however, did not give any specific time frame on when the agreement will be inked.
"There were concerns raised by few countries about signing an agreement because India is not a signatory of the Non- Proliferation Treaty, but there is a consensus on this now," he said.
Both the sides and countries within the EU are ironing out the differences over the "language" to be used in the draft.
"The countries are now discussing the language to be used in the draft. This should be resolved and the deal could be signed next year," Cravinho said.
India and the EU have been cooperating on various aspects like environment, sustainable development, renewable energy and clean technology.
The deal would provide a major boost to India's efforts in getting an entry to the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group, considering the clout of the EU on the global platform.
The technology transfer in various aspects related to nuclear sector, especially in the health sector, would benefit India, sources said.
After the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal, India has signed nuclear deals with Russia, Kazakhstan, United Kingdom, South Korea, Mongolia, and France.
It also signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Australia in September, paving way to import uranium for its reactors.