What Is Indian Antarctic Bill And Why Is It Important | Explained

It will play a big role in increasing the international visibility, and credibility of India in Polar governance leading to international collaboration and cooperation in scientific and logistics fields.

By Anushka Vats
Mon, 25 Jul 2022 03:37 PM IST
Minute Read
What Is Indian Antarctic Bill And Why Is It Important | Explained

Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022, which aims to provide a regulatory framework for India's research activities in the Antarctic and protect the Antarctic ecosystem.

The bill which was moved by the Union Minister of Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh, intends at having India's own national measures for protecting the Antarctic environment as also the dependent and associated ecosystem.

What Is Indian Antarctic Bill?

According to the Union Ministry, the main motive of the bill is to ensure the de-militarization of the region along with getting it rid of mining or illegal activities. It also aims that there should not be any nuclear test/explosion in the region.

It will play a big role in increasing the international visibility, and credibility of India in Polar governance leading to international collaboration and cooperation in scientific and logistics fields.

The Bill also proposed to set up Indian Antarctic Authority (IAA) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, which shall be the apex decision-making authority and shall facilitate programmes and activities permitted under the Bill. It shall provide a stable, transparent, and accountable process for the sponsorship and supervision of Antarctic research and expeditions; ensure the protection and preservation of the Antarctic environment, and shall ensure compliance by Indian citizens engaged in the Antarctic programs and activities with relevant rules and internationally agreed standards.

History:

The Antarctic Treaty was signed at Washington D.C. on the 1st December 1959 and was initially signed by 12 countries. Since then, 42 other countries have acceded to the Treaty. A total of fifty-four State Parties to the Treaty, twenty-nine countries have the status of Consultative Party with a right to vote in the Antarctic Consultative Meetings and twenty-five countries are Non-Consultative Parties having no right to vote. India signed the Antarctic Treaty on the 19th August, 1983 and received the consultative status on the 12th September, 1983.

(With agency inputs)

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