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PM to discusss nuclear deal with scientists today

The meeting assumes significance in the light of reservations expressed by eminent scientists on the Indo-US deal.

india Updated: Aug 16, 2006 10:08 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold a meeting on Wednesday with scientists in the nuclear field, apparently to finalise the government's response on the issue.

The meeting comes ahead of the Rajya Sabha discussion on the Indo-US nuclear agreement.

Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar would be among the nuclear scientists who would attend the meeting, official sources said.

The meeting assumes significance in the light of reservations expressed by eminent scientists on the Indo-US nuclear deal in the light of attempts by the US House and Senate committees to shift the goal posts to the detriment of India's interests.

The Government has already rejected the opposition demand for adopting a sense of Parliament resolution on the issue, but the matter would come up in the two Houses in the form of a short duration discussion -- on August 17 in the Rajya Sabha and next week in the Lok Sabha.

Singh is expected to make a reply in the two Houses.

The scientists who have voiced their concern include former AEC Chairmen HN Sethna, MR Srinivasan and PK Iyengar. Their objections relate to the infringement on indigenous research and development, perpetual safeguards and Parliament's right to decide the basic principles on which the deal would be implemented.