India unveils Arctic policy, eyes S&T research in resource-rich region

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India on Thursday unveiled its Arctic policy which aims to deepen the country’s partnership with the resource-rich region.

The policy, titled “India and the Arctic: Establishing a partnership for sustainable development”, sets out six pillars: strengthening scientific research and cooperation, climate and environmental protection, economic development and human resources, transport and connectivity, governance and international cooperation, and national capacity. building in arctic region.

The policy was unveiled by the Minister of Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh.

India is one of 13 countries holding observer status in the Arctic Council, a high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses issues facing Arctic governments and indigenous peoples in the region.

The region is of immense geopolitical importance as the Arctic is expected to be ice-free by 2050 and world powers are racing to exploit the resource-rich region.

Apart from metals and minerals, the region is also known for its huge oil reserves and is expected to become a key shipping route in the future.

India maintains that all human activity in the region must be sustainable, accountable, transparent and based on respect for international laws.

The Arctic policy aims to strengthen national capacities and skills in the fields of science and exploration, climate and environmental protection, maritime and economic cooperation with the Arctic region.

It aims to build institutional and human resource capacity in government and academic, research and business institutions through inter-ministerial coordination in pursuit of India’s interests in the Arctic.

It also aims to improve understanding of the impact of climate change in the Arctic region on India’s climate, economic and energy security.

The policy also seeks to promote better analysis, forecasting and coordinated policy-making on the implications of melting ice in the Arctic on India’s economic, military and strategic interests related to global shipping routes, energy security and exploitation of mineral wealth.

It also aims to study the links between the polar regions and the Himalayas and to deepen cooperation between India and the countries of the Arctic region through various Arctic forums, drawing on scientific and traditional knowledge.

The policy also aims to increase India’s participation in the Arctic Council and improve understanding of the complex governance structures in the Arctic, relevant international laws and geopolitics of the region.

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