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Panel Discussion

Arctic Research in India: What has been done so far, and what needs to be done further

4 February 2020

By Sulagna Chattopadhyay

Editor in Chief at Geography and You

India’s involvements in the Arctic region in terms of scientific research are through the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) where institutions from India have conducted several science projects.

In the Artic the fluidity of governance and presence of sub governance structures have paved way for foreign investments in research and development and studies on indigenous communities’ relation with the state. In the Artic governance structure the role of the sub state entities like the indigenous communities is important in terms of geopolitical diplomacy and science diplomacy. The research papers published by National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research and Norwegian Polar Institute from 2011 to 2019 indicate that biotechnology is an important domain researched by India in the Arctic. It was also observed that no papers published by NCPOR on Arctic melting had a focus on the impact on Indian monsoon in the same period.

Furthermore, to enhance India’s engagement with Arctic, Indian industrial groups and geopolitical experts should represent India in the Arctic meetings. India could also envision an Asian Arctic forum to bring together Russia, China and Kazakhstan. In conclusion, NIAS should undertake science diplomacy endeavours to develop an ‘Atlas’ for Arctic governance.’

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