NEW DELHI: India on Monday joined an exclusive club of countries controlling the export of missile technology.

According to media reports, the Indian foreign secretary on Monday signed onto the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), aimed at preventing the unchecked proliferation of missiles and their delivery systems.

The foreign ministry thanked the other 34 members of the MTCR group for supporting its inclusion.

Inclusion in the MTCR was seen as a next step for India in legitimizing its nuclear energy and missile programs after it conducted atomic tests in 1974 that alarmed the international community and occasioned the formation of the Nuclear Supply Group, another club of nations seeking to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Admission to the MTCR would open the way for India to buy high-end missile technology, also making its aspiration to buy surveillance drones such as the Predator more realistic.

Membership of the MTCR requires India to comply with rules such as a maximum missile range of 300 km (186 miles) that seek to prevent an arms races from developing.