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INDIA’S ARCTIC INITIATIVE



  Apr 20, 2024

INDIA’S ARCTIC INITIATIVE



1. Why has India started winter expeditions to the Arctic?

India began its first winter expedition to the Arctic due to emerging scientific data indicating that the Arctic is warming at a faster rate than previously understood. This data links significant climatic changes in India, including those affecting the monsoon and Himalayan glaciers, to Arctic conditions.

2. What are the strategic reasons for India’s interest in the Arctic?

India’s Arctic engagement is also driven by strategic concerns, including the potential benefits of the Northern Sea Route for trade, which could reduce shipping costs and time. Additionally, geopolitical tensions and the activities of other nations like China in the Arctic have prompted India to increase its presence and influence in the region.

3. What has been India’s historical involvement in the Arctic?

India’s involvement in the Arctic dates back to 1920 with the signing of the Svalbard Treaty. India established its first Arctic research base in 2008 and has been actively participating in Arctic research, focusing on climate, atmospheric sciences, and geology. India was granted observer status in the Arctic Council in 2013.

4. What are the concerns of Indian policymakers and academics regarding Arctic engagement?

There is a divide within India regarding its Arctic policies. Some advocate for the economic opportunities, such as oil, gas exploration, and mining, citing potential economic benefits. Others caution against the environmental impacts of such activities and call for a balanced approach that considers the ecological risks.

5. How does India plan to collaborate with Arctic nations?

India aims to collaborate with Arctic countries on sustainable development initiatives, including green energy and clean technologies. Partnerships with countries like Norway are focused on scientific research and addressing climate change impacts. These collaborations aim to bolster India’s role as a responsible stakeholder in the Arctic.

6. What potential collaborations could be significant for India in the Arctic?

Collaborations with Norway could be particularly significant, potentially enhancing India’s role in the Arctic Council’s working groups. Such partnerships could focus on issues like the blue economy, maritime transportation, and sustainable resource development, aligning with India’s strategic interests and environmental responsibilities.

7. How does the geopolitical landscape affect India’s Arctic policy?

The growing geopolitical tensions in the Arctic, especially with the activities of global powers like Russia and China, influence India’s Arctic policy. India seeks to maintain and enhance its strategic ties while promoting stability and sustainable development in the region.



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