U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns begins talks in New Delhi Friday on a civilian nuclear deal offered to India by President Bush during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's July visit to Washington.

Under the deal, the United States would help India's civilian nuclear program to boost growth in Asia's third-largest economy. In return, India promised to separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities and place the civilian ones under international safeguards.

Speaking at the Asia Society in New York before his departure for New Delhi, Mr. Burns said India must draft a plan to separate civil and military nuclear sectors so Washington can keep its side of the agreement.

Several U.S. lawmakers have expressed concern about the deal, saying it goes against the nuclear non-proliferation regime.