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Indo-Norwegian Seminar: Issues Relating to Commerce, Governance and Policy in the Arctic Region Discussed
May 14, 2015

India and Norway recently discussed issues of co-operation in the Arctic region. A Norwegian delegation led by Eivind S. Homme, Ambassador of Norway to India attended a day-long seminar in New Delhi to kick start discussions on growing severity of climate change as perceived most in the Arctic. These issues are of special significance to the Indian subcontinent as several studies indicate an apparent link between the polar atmospheric processes and the Indian monsoon intensity. Geo-strategic and geo-economic imperatives of the region also came up for discussion.

Although India’s engagement with the Arctic dates back to nearly nine decades when it signed the Svalbard Treaty in February 1920, India’s focused scientific studies of the Svalbard region centered on the International Arctic Research facilities were initiated only around eight years back with the Indian station Himadri that was set up at Ny-Alesund.

  • Indian scientists have initiated several innovative programmes in such disciplines as Climate Change, Glaciology, Atmospheric sciences and Biological Sciences.

  • To date, over 125 researchers from nearly two-dozen national research institutions and Universities have visited Ny-Alesund for scientific data collection and the results have been published in over 60 peer-reviewed national and international journals.

  • India is a Member of International Arctic Science Committee and in May 2013, India along with some other Asian countries were given the permanent Observer’s status in the Arctic Council.

  • The success stories of India’s scientific endeavours in the Arctic are largely reflective of the synergy between the scientists of India and Norway.

  • Scientists from both India and Norway focused on climate change in the Arctic and its global consequences and also the importance of the Arctic as a platform for Indo-Norwegian scientific cooperation.

  • India’s premier think-tank, the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), now in its 50 years, along with three Norwegian research institutions Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI), the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) has been on the forefront in fostering Indo-Norwegian co-operation in the Arctic region from a geostrategic and governance perspective.


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