India’s draft Arctic Policy – UPSC GS1

Indian Government has presented the draft Arctic policy.
Pillars of the Policy: India’s Arctic policy will rest on five pillars:
  • Science and research
  • Economic and human development cooperation
  • Transportation and connectivity
  • Governance and international cooperation
  • National capacity building
Key Objectives:
  • To better understand the scientific and climate-related linkages between the Arctic and the Indian monsoons.
  • To promote domestic scientific research capacities by expanding earth sciences, biological sciences, geosciences, climate change and space-related programmes, dove-tailed with Arctic imperatives in Indian Universities.
  • To put in place Arctic-related programmes for mineral/oil and gas exploration in petroleum research institutes. It also aimed at encouraging tourism and hospitality sectors to engage with Arctic enterprises.
Significance of Arctic Policy
  • Other than the benefits related to oil and exploration, the Arctic influences tropical climate also. It has an impact on the atmospheric, oceanographic and biogeochemical cycles of the earth’s ecosystem.
  • Loss of Ice-Caps at the Arctic will lower the Ocean salinity and increase the temperature differential between land and oceans in the tropical regions.
  • The Study on the Arctic will also be helpful in studying melting rates of the third pole — the Himalayan glaciers.
History of India And The Arctic:
  • India’s engagement with the Arctic began in 1920 when it signed the Svalbard Treaty in Paris.
  • In 2007, India launched its first scientific expedition to the Arctic.
  • In 2008, India had set up a research station ‘Himadri’ in the international Arctic research base at Ny-Ålesund in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway. Himadri is manned for about 180 days a year.
  • IndArc, the country’s first multi-sensor moored observatory was deployed in Kongsfjorden in 2014. In 2016, India’s northernmost atmospheric laboratory was established at Gruvebadet.
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