NEW DELHI: A new proposal for polar research co-operation between Norway and India would "very soon" be announced, a senior Norwegian official today said.
"Very soon, the Norwegian Research Council and the Ministry of Earth Sciences in India will announce a new...proposal for polar research. This will further strengthen, we believe, the long-standing polar collaboration between the two countries," Minister Counsellor at the Norwegian Embassy here, Sigvald T Hauge said.
He was speaking on the opening day of the two-day 'Annual Maritime Power Conference 2015' with the focus this year being 'Asia and the Arctic: Opportunities and Challenges". The conference here is being hosted by New Delhi-based National Maritime Foundation.
Indian scientists are carrying out important researches at the 'Himadri' Arctic research station in Svalbard in Norway.
President Pranab Mukherjee had last October become the first Indian head of state to visit the Scandinavian country and thanked its government for the assistance and support extended to India in establishing its Polar Research Station in Svalbard.
"We are grateful for your endorsement of India's rightful claim to permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council and for your proactive efforts that helped India achieve Observer status in the Arctic Council," the president had said.
Hauge said that during Mukherjee's visit, "The Arctic was high on the agenda...And, he even communicated with the researchers through a video link."
"For Indo-Norwegian co-operation in the Arctic, science is the backbone," he added.
Outlining the Norway government's policy on the Arctic, he said it has accorded priority to five important segments in this area.
"The five areas are -- international co-operation, development of knowledge-based business sector, knowledge development, infrastructure, emergency preparedness and environment protection," he said.
Panelists drawn from Japan, China and South Korea, at one of the sessions, 'Asian Strategies and Policies in the Arctic", today also discussed the future scenario for the Arctic amid its growing geo-political importance.