New Delhi, March 17 Joining an elite group of countries working on various aspects of Arctic, India on Thursday released its Arctic policy “India and the Arctic: building a partnership for sustainable development”.

“India’s Arctic policy would play an essential role in preparing the country for a future where humankind’s biggest challenges, such as climate change, can be addressed through collective will and effort. India’s Arctic policy shall be implemented through an action plan, and an effective governance and review mechanism involving the interaministerial Empowered Arctic Policy Group,” Union Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh said while releasing the Policy document.

Implementing India’s Arctic policy will involve multiple stakeholders, including academia, the research community, business, and industry, he said.

India’s engagement with the Arctic dates back to a century when the Svalbard Treaty was signed in February 1920 in Paris. India is already undertaking several scientific studies and research in the Arctic region. “Indian researchers are monitoring Arctic glaciers for their mass balance and comparing them with glaciers in the Himalayan region. India has also been actively involved in studies related to the Arctic oceanography, atmosphere, pollution and microbiology,” Singh said.

Over 25 institutes and universities in India are currently involved in Arctic research and about a 100 peer-reviewed papers have been published on Arctic issues since 2007, a release from Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

In 2014 and 2016, India’s first multi-sensor moored observatory in Kongsfjorden and the northernmost atmospheric laboratory in Gruvebadet, Ny Alesund, were launched in the Arctic region. Until 2022, India has successfully conducted 13 expeditions to the Arctic, the release added.

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