Draft Arctic Policy of India

The Government of India recently released the Draft Arctic Policy.

What is the main objective of the Policy?

The policy ensures that the Arctic resources are explored and used sustainable. Under its policy, India will make sure the it abides by rules and regulations of Arctic Council. India became the observer of Arctic Council in 2013 and its membership as an observer was renewed in 2018 for another five years.

What are the five main pillars of Arctic Policy?

The main five pillars of Arctic Policy are as follows:

  • Science and Research
  • Economic and Human Development
  • Transportation and Connectivity
  • National Capacity building
  • Governance and International Cooperation

Who is to implement the Arctic Policy?

The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research that operates under the Ministry of Earth Sciences will serve as the nodal agency in implementing the Arctic Policy.

How does Arctic Policy connect India and Arctic region?

The policy envisages to connect the Arctic residents, especially the indigenous communities with those living in the Himalayan regions. The policy aims to create opportunities where the Indian enterprises can be involved to become part of the international commerce businesses and promote traditional indigenous knowledge.

India and Arctic Research

  • India signed the Svalbard Treaty in Paris. The treaty allowed free access to the Arctic region along with the commitment of not militarizing it.
  • India launched its first scientific expedition to Arctic in 2007.
  • In 2008, India established a research base called Himadri at Ny Alesund, Svalbard, Norway.
  • In 2014, India deployed IndArc. It is a multisensory observatory in Kongsfjorden.
  • In 2016, India set up Gruvebadet Atmponsheric Laboratry at Ny Alesund, Svalbard.

How will Arctic Policy help India achieve its SDGs?

The Arctic Policy has been synchronised and adapted to the Goal 11 of Sustainable Development Goals. The Goal 11 of SDG is “Sustainable cities and Communities”.

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