India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has justified to parliament the country's recent civilian nuclear technology deal with the US.
Mr Singh said the deal would not limit or lead to any outside interference in the country's nuclear weapons.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling Congress party's Communist allies have voiced concerns about the landmark deal.
It was reached during Mr Singh's recent visit to the US.
Delhi had been anxious to strike a deal on ways to share nuclear technology to help meet its growing energy needs.
The deal was agreed despite India's continued refusal to sign an international nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), designed to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.
Mr Singh told the parliament that the basis of the agreement with the United States "was that India is a responsible nuclear power with an impeccable record on nuclear non-proliferation".
"Our strategic assets are a source of national security and will continue to be so and remain outside the scope of our discussions with any external interlocutors," he said.
He said the joint statement signed with US President George W Bush was "testimony" to India's rising stature in the world.
Mr Singh said there was nothing in the signed statement between India and US that inhibited India's "strategic nuclear programme or autonomous control".
He said ever since the liberalisation of India's economy in 1991, it had been able to work with the US on "equal terms" as the economy had been "stronger than ever".