India has been showing an increasing interest in the Arctic region for various reasons. The Arctic region is believed to contain large reserves of oil, natural gas, and minerals, which are important resources for India’s energy security and economic growth. With West Asia facing geopolitical turmoil, India is looking for alternative sources to diversify its energy imports. Additionally, the Arctic region is opening up new shipping hubs and ports for low-cost trades, making it easier to transport oil from the Arctic reserves.
India has also been interested in the Arctic region for climate research and environmental monitoring. Due to climate change, the Arctic region is facing the loss of sea ice, ice caps, and warming of the ocean, which in turn impacts the global climate. Therefore, India is engaging in the Arctic region to study the teleconnections between Arctic climate and Indian monsoon, to characterize sea ice in the Arctic using satellite data, and to estimate the effect on global warming.
Moreover, India’s engagement in the Arctic region is not just limited to energy and environmental concerns. It is also looking for opportunities to expand its economic and strategic interests in the region. The depleting glaciers have created a new region for navigation, and for a country like India, it’s a big plus. The natural reserve in the Arctic region is also something that every country has an eye on.
India initiated its Arctic research program in 2007, with a focus on climate change in the region. The program’s objectives included studying teleconnections between Arctic climate and Indian monsoon, characterizing sea ice in the Arctic using satellite data, and estimating the effect on global warming. India’s engagement with the Arctic dates back nearly nine decades, to when it signed the Svalbard Treaty in 1920, which grants India certain rights to conduct research in the region.
In conclusion, India’s interest in the Arctic region is multifaceted, ranging from energy security, economic growth, climate research, environmental monitoring, to strategic and geopolitical concerns. India’s engagement in the Arctic region dates back several decades, and its interest in the region is likely to grow in the future as climate change and geopolitical factors continue to shape the region’s dynamics.