India's government is hailing the passage of a civil nuclear agreement in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The agreement, passed by House lawmakers on Saturday (by a 298 to 117 vote), would allow the U.S. to provide nuclear materials to India.
If approved by the Senate, the deal will end a three-decade ban on U.S. nuclear trade with India.
India's Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sabil says the House's passage of the pact is a historic step, adding that he is hopeful the U.S. Senate will approve it without alterations.
The deal offers India access to U.S. technology and atomic materials in exchange for international inspections of some of its nuclear facilities. India's leftist parties contend the agreement amounts to surrendering the country's sovereignty.
Both U.S. and Indian leaders hope the signatures can be put on the document during a visit to New Delhi later this week by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
International critics say the agreement undermines efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons by allowing sales of such technology to those who have not agreed to full safeguards.
India has refused to sign nonproliferation agreements and has faced a nuclear trade ban since 1974.
In an analysis Jaglul Ahmed Chowdury, a prominent journalist from Bangladesh says that if this deal is materialized, it will help in India's development because this will help solve India's fuel problem. He thinks that this is a very big achievement for Bus Administration and the Government of India's Manmohan Singh.