Prelims level : International Relations. Mains level : GS-II Regional and Global Groupings & Agreements Involving India and / or Affecting India’s Interest’s
No Set Found with this ID

Why in News?

  • India and Sweden are likely to sign their first maritime cooperation agreement, Cooperation in Polar Science.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is being prepared, encompassing cooperation in both Arctic and Antarctic regions. India and Sweden have arrived at a Tentative Agreement.

Polar Science:

  • The world’s Polar Regions and their contiguous oceans are attracting more interest than ever before. Once regarded as barren, inhospitable places, the north and south Polar Regions have been transformed into high profile sites of scientific research.
  • Polar science has the potential to benefit humanity, help sustainable use of resources, and protect the planet and generate economic and social impact. Research in the Polar Regions is important and relevant to present-day needs.
  • The Polar Regions may be at the ends of the Earth but what happens there affects us all. Understanding how the Earth works, and in particular how it is responding to ever-increasing human pressure, is one of the greatest challenges of science.
  • Be it in understanding the role of the polar realm in modulating the global climate or for studying the ecosystem adaptability and survival under extreme conditions, there has been an increasing interest in the science of the polar realm, over the past two decades.
  • Major research areas in polar science include Geology, atmospheric sciences, Meteorology, Snow study, Geomagnetism, Environmental Sciences, Wildlife biology, Oceanography, Ozone depletion, Climate change, etc.


  • In the past few years, India has signed a series of maritime information exchanges as well as military logistics support agreements, extending the reach of its armed forces.
  • The pact with Russia, in advanced stages of discussion, will give India access to Russian bases in the Arctic for logistics and operational turnaround. However, the agreement with Sweden is scientific in nature.

India’s Role in Polar Science:

  • Realizing the importance of polar science as a pedestal for scientific research and to cater to the requirements of the Indian scientists in both the Polar Regions, two stations “Maitri” and “Himadri” have been established to serve as living-cum-research bases in the Antarctic and the Arctic respectively.
  • Another permanent Indian research base “Bharati” in Antarctica was commissioned.
  • India commenced Arctic research by establishing its Arctic research station in 2008.
  • India’s Arctic programme aims to contribute to the development, consolidation and dissemination of the current understanding of climate change, its impacts and adaptations in the Norwegian Arctic, Svalbard.
  • The focus areas of scientific studies in the Arctic and the Antarctic have been largely confined to earth, atmospheric and biological sciences.
  • Considering the significance of the polar ice cap and the sea ice in the Polar Regions in modulating, if not driving the global climate, it is proposed to initiate a major national mission of cryospheric studies of both the Polar Regions.

National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR):

  • The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, (NCPOR) formerly known as the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) is an Indian research and development institution, situated in Vasco, Goa.
  • It is India’s premier R&D institution responsible for the country’s research activities in the polar and Southern Ocean realms.
  • It is an autonomous Institution of the Department of Ocean Development (DOD), Government of India which is responsible for administering the Indian Antarctic Programme and maintains the Indian government’s Antarctic research station, Maitri.
  • At present, NCPOR is an agency working under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India since 2006, by the notification of the President of India.
Share Socially