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Recently, the Ministry of Earth Science has unveiled India's Arctic Policy, titled 'India and the Arctic: building a partnership for sustainable development'.


  • India's engagement with the Arctic began when it signed the Svalbard Treaty in 1920 between Norway, the US, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Ireland, and the British overseas Dominions and Sweden.
  • India initiated its Arctic research program in 2007 with a focus on climate change in the region.
  • India holds one of the 13 positions as the Observer in the Arctic Council.
  • Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, part of Norway, in the Arctic Ocean.
  • The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental body that promotes research and facilitates cooperation among Arctic countries on issues related to the environmental protection and sustainable development of the Arctic region.
  • India also focuses on conducting research on the dynamics and mass budget of Arctic glaciers and sea-level changes, carrying out an assessment of the flora and fauna of the Arctic.                                                                                                                           Major Provisions of India's Arctic Policy
  • Science and research.
  • Environmental protection.
  • Economic and human development.
  • Transportation and connectivity.
  • Governance and international cooperation.
  • National capacity building.


  • It aims to strengthen national capabilities and competencies in science and exploration, climate and environmental protection, maritime and economic cooperation with the Arctic region.
  • It seeks to strengthen institutional and human resource capacities within the government and academic, research and business institutions through inter-ministerial coordination in pursuit of India’s interests in the Arctic.
  • It seeks to enhance understanding of the impact of climate change in the Arctic region on India’s climate, economic and energy security.
  • It aims to promote better analysis, prediction and coordinated policymaking on the implications of ice melting in the Arctic on India’s economic, military and strategic interests related to global shipping routes, energy security and exploitation of mineral wealth.