India’s Arctic Circles



India is a credible player in Antarctic science, says David Scott, executive director of the Canadian Polar Commission, on a recent visit to New Delhi. “Which is why Canada and other countries are eager to work with India in the Arctic.”

Scott and Louis Fortier, scientific director of ArcticNet, were in India to explain the new Northern Strategy of Canada and Ottawa’s interest in roping New Delhi into this new formulation — albeit as a minor player.

Canada launched the Northern Strategy following Russia’s planting of one of their flags on the Arctic seabed and as global warming has prematurely brought about a viable “Northern Passage” — a melting of the icepack significant enough to allow commercial and warships to go back forth from the north Atlantic to the north Pacific.

Scott and Fortier stressed that a key part of the Northern Strategy was in the area of science. The idea, they said, was to “ensure Canada remains a global leader in Arctic science.” And, unspoken, helping legitimising Ottawa’s desired ambition to one of the three or four main guardians of the northern polar areas. As Scott noted, “sovereignty” was one of the key underpinnings of the strategy.

Over the next six years, Canada has committed to spending close to a quarter of a billion dollars on making it clear that if knowledge is power, they intend to be the main power of the Arctic. As Fortier, whose ArcticNet brings together 155 researchers in 30 universities, notes, “the members hope to provide a scientific bearing on police decisions.”

And there are no shortage of unmade decisions regarding the Arctic Sea. There’s the issue of jurisdiction and sovereignty as this former frozen desolation suddenly begins to become both habitable and a lot more navigable. There’s the scope and membership of the Arctic Council. Canada, say Indian officials, has signalled an interest in India joining the council but fears pressure to then let in China — which it is a little bit warier of. Then there’s all the nonpolitical stuff like climate change and so on.

Is there anything in India in all of this, some would ask. India is already struggling to keep a presence in areas like the South China Sea. Wouldn’t the Arctic be a waste of already stretched resources.

Not quite. First, the science is important. As Fortier notes, “What is happening in the Arctic and elsewhere is climate telekinesis.” A butterfly effect where developments in the Arctic have surprisingly strong impact on faraway places. We know now, he points out, that a warming planet creates atmospheric pressure poles that effect the jetstream — “and this effects the monsoon.”

Second, for all its subtropical existence India has developed a depth of scientific knowledge of the polar regions. Scott points out that India has kept a presence in the Antarctic for 30 years and a station in Norway for seven years. “Universities here have capacity in polar sciences,” he says. And, as mentioned, the monsoon and even Himalayan glaciers are being linked to polar science.

Third, India may actually find the opening of a Northern Passage of economic importance. Say both scientists, climate change is impacting the Arctic much more rapidly than expected and ice-free summers at the North Pole are conceivable in 20 years. Though India is not expecting to benefit directly — look at the map and know why geography tends against that — if, say, global natural gas shipping becomes cheaper through the Arctic the net effect on global gas prices will be a positive for India.

Canada has ensured the bulk of its Northern Strategy budget is spent on helping its own Inuit people. No doubt this helps dilute any political opposition to this sort of expenditure, but is a reminder that the great polar game will be played out in as polite language as possible and through the veil of science.

India is contemplating observer status at the Arctic Council. It should consider even sending a naval ship through the northwest passage. And it needs to throw its scientific weight behind attempts to find out climate links to the monsoon and other South Asian pecularities.

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  • Gt12563

    If Rajeev Gandhi would have lived longer he may have done lot of good things for India.I do not think he was corrupt all these bofor talks are just to defame him.Since he is dead know we should leave him alone and let us pray peace for his soul.

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  • Anonymous

    See the funny side of news at site satiresofindia

    [Reply]

  • Fact

    Sujatha, you of all people know very well that there no permanent friends or foes in politics. The Congis are skilled in this game. While you are happy about the alleged ‘clean chit’ for late ‘clean’ Rajiv Gandhi despite Mr Quattrochi, you are most reluctant to accord the same courtesy to Narendra Modi who has been found personally clean by an SC appointed SIT no less. Double standards to put it mildly. However I expect no better from an HT hack.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OHJK3TTRTRYEPDELSMR45CBEVI Raghavendra K

    sujata what did your great leader rajiv gandhi do when thousands of sikhs were murdered by die hard congressmen after indira gandhi’s assassination?
    rajiv gandhi becomes secular for people like you even if he quitely watched murder of sikhs in delhi and murder of muslims in bhagalpur.

    stop these blatant double standrads atleast now.
    i knwo your symathies always lie with congress party.

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  • Ramesh Kumar

    THE PROGRAMMES YOU SEE ,REFLECTS IN YOUR WRITING ALSO.BETTER READ SOME SERIOUS BOOKS,SO THAT YOU CAN MOVE BEYOND THRILLERS.MAY BE YOU HAVENOT YET REACHED THAT AGE.

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  • Anonymous

    If I may suggest, please do watch Person of Interest by Jonathan Nolan.

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  • Octaviasmith

    Basically India is want to be part in the arctic circle.

    http://www.prlog.org/12112705-6pm-coupon-code-save-up-to-75-grab-the-chance.html

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  • Scholastiquesmith

    I think that India is so very popular country for the Arctic circle.

    http://www.prlog.org/12113774-guitar-center-promo-code-save-up-to-10-off-snap-shortly.html

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  • NSG

    why stop drones? they are doing a great job!!!!!!!! do terrorists have human rights? the day they kill another human being they relinquish their right to humanity and thus any law authority has the right to put an end his wrthless life…………..

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  • Anonymous

    Zia my pal

    Give us also an article on how this Islamic shit has created havoc all over the world. They want the rule of Hafees saeed to prevail even over Lal qila. SO what is wrong with droning them?

    Remember Kandhahar. We had no solution to exterminate the scum. If Americans are doing our dirty work, you should celebrate and not cry.

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  • prashant saxena

    Zia,

    The awesome one (who refused to take Arabic lessons when he was a kid, and now we must all listen to his BS), as a moderate Muslim you probably agree that it is sad that innocents are being killed all over the world by Muslims who the moderates like you call terrorists. You will not and can not do anything to stop them.

    So, how can you ask for the US to stop it’s drone strikes, which admittedly and regeretably also have innocent victims?

    If you are indeed what you claim to be, launch a Jehad against terrorism. Clean your own house first, so called liberal.

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  • Faulitics

    Zia is fighting for the “human rights” of terrorists by protecting these terrorists while the drones are fighting for the human rights of the victims by attacking these fanatical Islamist terrorists. A drone is more humane and has a better understanding of justice than this Zia.

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  • Anonymous

    GOOD NEWS ! GOOD NEWS !! DRONES KILL TALIBAN LEADER !!!

    Even Pakistan celebrates as the leader of the scum called Taliban was killed by American drones. SO Zia , should you not celebrate?

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  • engricn

    94000 killed in syria in last 2 years also had mother and father.there was no blood from dead and on body of killer.he approached by mi15 few months back.

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  • engricn

    Tasleema Nasreen’s

    many indian respected writers tried to rape her also.this 5 times divorced women called tasleema nasreen is headache for society.if islam is bad become hindu.who stops this ***** to convert.she is tool in the hands of some foolish bengalees to defame islam.for them anybody writes some bad words for muslims or islam is HARDAY SAMRAT.u are unnatural people so always live on hate and lies.bloody idiots.

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  • engricn

    now americans are using drones in america on their own people.

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  • engricn

    believe me nothing can save them.

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  • Anonymous

    The big issue is what do the Taliban want?

    Is Obama carrying on the drone attacks because these people are Muslims or is it because these people have attacked the US, attacked India, attacked even sensible and liberal Pakistanis and their minorities.

    The world will stop favouring drone attacks in case Taliban is replaced and dies a natural death and a liberal regime which allows all religions ot flourish takes over Afghanistan.

    I cannot figure out how the holy Koran has been interpreted to justify the haraam Taliban.

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    engricn Reply:

    see a documentary film coming on aljazeera

    AFGHANISTAN ,PRICE OF REVENGE.

    u will understand everything.

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  • engricn

    SAME I CAN HEAR A MILLION BANGLADESHI RAPE VICTIMS of 1971 war and ironically all the rapist were KHAN SENA

    nothing but bullshit.khans were running from village to village for shelter.i am in contact with mukti bahini leaders according to them,

    first mukti bahini and his supporters killed 150000 people which include lot of pak supporting hindus as well.then pak army killed around same numbers to maitian law.hindus suffered more in pak action.
    grand daughter of bisr has written a book lately on this after good research.this is factual not propaganda.read .

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  • Anonymous

    Islamists are a curse on humanity and a disease.

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  • junaid

    Islamophobia is a phobia in the minds of Muslims planted to make them feel that the world is after them.I quote from your letter. Is this not true? Look whenever, America and other western countries find, the christianity is in danger or something is possible, they will get together to do it in no time. Take for example South Sudan, an Island in Indonesia. They created states for christians in no time. Look why they are there in Afghanistan and Iraq. What are they doing to Pakistan, Yemen etc. Are not only the Muslims who are the target of their “kindness” Tell me if America is fighting against any other religious group except Muslims. The facts are facts.

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  • Ganapanty

    The same way Muslims fear BJP, the world fears Muslims.

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  • jumanji

    good reply. No need to post any more replies, you said it.

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  • Anonymous

    Muslims need to ask themselves what do they prize more ALLAH OR ISLAM.If it is ALLAH then that unholy book and its supplementary written 1000yrs after the original need to be junked. But the problem is muslims like islam and not really bothered about allah . Thus the BEARD , HEAD SCARVES , SNIPPED FORESKIN all external appearance , INTERNALLY VACCOUS.
    I can only speak of UK. Thus we see MUSLIMS PACKING UK JAILS and majority non terrorist offences. Thus muslims depend on all the modern inventions made by the non muslims for their amenities and even their survival for left to their own , they wont be able to extract a drop of oil.. THEY ARE IN SUCH A PITIABLE STATE TOTALLY AT THE MERCY OF THE WHITE CHRISTIANS. Now they need to ask why, the same civilization that built AL HAMBRA , and algebra (Al-jibra, as it was known).produced minds such as AlBiruni, and that book Al Muquaddama.
    For answer refer to 95 thesis pinned in front of a church. Thus began the chasm.
    OH YES THEY DID NOT HAVE LOW CASTE HINDU CONVERTS LIKE ZIA FULL OF MALCONTENT leading the muslims like the pied piper of hamlyn , another one being Zakir Naik another ANTAJA

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  • mumtaz mehnaz 90

    Stupid to write such a blog.

    Why dont you turn the gaze inwards Mr Zia. People like me who travel to France, UK and US know that Muslims are now identified with killers and bombmakers. On top of it all the male Muslims want to put us, the girls in a Chaddar or tent and flirt with the Hindu, Christian or white girls who are smarter just because they have more freedoms and are not bound down by a book. So the woman in the house is the dependable ruck sack and the woman outside — Non Muslim– is all glamour and fun.

    Have the Sharia in your house Mr Zia. Would you want your sister or daughter to be an unequal partner in matrimony? Or be bound down by the dictats of a 75 yr old Maulvi who himself lusts for child brides.

    Reform islam. Instead of trying to force us to become fundamantalists just becasue this column makes you popular with orthodox Muslims.

    PLEASE TELL ME WHICH VERSES IN KORAN ARE ADDRESSED TO WOMEN. WHY SHOULD I BE DICTATD BY A DISCOURSE AIMED AT MEN?

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