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India’s Arctic Policy can lead to shipbuilding cooperation with Russia but curiously ignores private space companies
India published its finalised Arctic Policy document on March 17. The document casts a wide net and explains India’s priorities, objectives and course of action for the Arctic in impressive clarity. A thorough examination reveals that the policy has benefited from the Government of India publishing a draft and inviting comments in January 2021. A clear imprint of similar publications from around the globe, most recently by the European Union (EU) is also visible.
In objective terms, the policy has almost all the elements of a good strategic publication, with largely no unaddressed areas of relevance to India’s national interest in the Arctic region except when it comes to encouraging private space sector companies. As the policy lays out, India’s interest in the Arctic is primarily scientific and meteorological, pursuits, which have direct implications for India’s development goals, economy, agriculture and food security.