Model Question and Answers for APSC | Why is India taking keen interest in the Arctic region?
Ans : Climate change was a decisive factor in India rethinking priorities. Sea ice in the Arctic has been melting rapidly — the fastest in this century. That means several spots, rich in hydrocarbon reserves, will be more accessible through the year via alternative shipping routes.
Reasons for India’s keen interest in the Arctic region
1.The Arctic region holds oil and natural gas resources which can boost India’s energy security and diversify its energy imports especially when West Asia is under geopolitical turmoil.
2. As global climate warms up and polar ice recedes, new paths between Asia, Europe and North America become open which can reduce cost of transportation for India’s exports and imports.
3.Melting of ice on a large scale can make India’s coastal cities more vulnerable to sea level rise.
4.Joint research with countries like Norway can help India in better research on issues related to aerosol radiation, space weather, glacier cycles which are also mandated by the Himadri Research Station.
5.While a treaty for the Arctic, a global common, is being negotiated, it is a strategic necessity to mould it in India’s favour. Also, India needs to make investments to match Chinese investments in the Arctic.
6. A big worry for India is the impact of melting sea ice on the monsoon. So research is required to understand the connection.