Breaking New Ice: India, the US, and the Arctic Breaking New Ice: India, the US, and the Arctic
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University of Alaska Fairbanks, in partnership with the East-West Center in Washington, presents

Breaking New Ice: India, the US, and the Arctic

An event in the series: "The Indo-Pacific and the Arctic: Opportunities and Challenges for US Partners"

A conversation with:

Captain Anurag Bisen

Senior Fellow

Vivekananda International Foundation

Kanagavalli Suryanarayanan, LLM

Polar law expert, practicing advocate, consultant

Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD) on Arctic issues.

Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick (Moderator)

Senior Research Scientist, China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division

Center for Naval Analyses

This series of five expert dialogues examines US collaboration with Indo-Pacific partners in sustainable resource development and governance in the Arctic, in the context of concern over deepening Sino-Russian collaboration in resource governance and trade. The third dialogue in our series examines perspectives from two practitioners from India, both of whom are actively involved in their country's polar policy, who will discuss their country's interests in and contribution to the Arctic region, as well as how the Arctic is connected to India. 

Kanagavalli Suryanarayanan will discuss India's involvement in the Arctic, its presence, activities, and contributions towards Arctic governance. She will also address India's response to the disruption of the Arctic Council that has resulted in the end to Arctic exceptionalism and the potential for greater US-India cooperation due to the increasing Russia-China engagement in the Arctic.


Captain Bisen will discuss the opportunities and challenges the Arctic presents for India given the increased tensions between Russia, the US and other Arctic states and the interruption of the normal functioning of the Arctic Council. He will discuss India's perspective on the potential for Russia to create alternative regional structures and the need for greater Indian engagement with Russia to offset its deepening partnership with China.


The dialogue will conclude with a discussion of the potential for US engagement with India in the Arctic.


SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES

Anurag Bisen is a veteran submariner of the Indian Navy with over 35 years of service, including the command of Sindhughosh (Kilo) Class missile submarine. Captain Bisen tenanted an 8-year tenure in the National Security Council Secretariat where as a Senior Defence Specialist he worked on a range of maritime subjects including maritime boundary and international maritime law matters, Indo-Pacific, Indian Ocean Region, Maritime and Coastal Security and Polar Issues. He was instrumental in drafting and coordinating the approval process of India’s Arctic Policy, released by the Government in March 2022. Captain Anurag Bisen is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College Wellington, holding master’s degrees in Defence & Strategic Studies and Telecommunication & Electronic Warfare. He is also a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a diploma in Russian Language from Arkhangelsk State University, Russia. Captain Bisen has also qualified UGC-NET in Defence & Strategic Studies and is currently pursuing his PhD in National Security Studies from Jawaharlal University, New Delhi. Anurag has been nominated as a permanent expert on the panel of the International Expert Group of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Marine Research Centre, Russia. He is also Honorary Adjunct Faculty at the National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi. Before joining VIF as a Senior Fellow, Captain Bisen was a Research Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

Kanagavalli Suryanarayanan is a practicing Advocate and the first Indian to specialize in Polar law. She holds a Master’s degree (LLM) in Polar law from the University of Akureyri, Iceland, and a Bachelor’s degree in law, where she graduated as a Gold Medallist specializing in international law, Legislative drafting, and Intellectual Property rights.

She is a policy consultant to the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD) on Arctic issues. She is a member of the International Arctic Science Committee’s (IASC): ICARP IV on Scientific Cooperation and Diplomacy. Recently, she served as the official Rapporteur for the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM-46) held in Kochi, India. She was part of the official delegation of India at the Arctic Circle Assembly in 2022 and 2023.

She has contributed extensively to increasing India-Arctic cooperation and advises on Polar-related policy matters. Her research interests include Arctic, Antarctic, Third Pole law and Policy, Indigenous law, and decolonial comparative law. Her expertise and commitment continue to strengthen India’s role in global polar governance and policy development.

Elizabeth Wishnick (moderator) is a Senior Research Scientist in the China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division at the Center for Naval Analyses, on leave from her position as Professor of Political Science at Montclair State University. Since 2002, she has been a research scholar at WEAI. She previously taught undergraduate and graduate courses in international relations, Chinese politics, and Chinese foreign policy at Barnard College, Columbia College, and SIPA. Dr. Wishnick has dual regional expertise on China and Russia and is an expert on Chinese foreign policy, Sino- Russian relations, Northeast Asian and Central Asian security, and Arctic geopolitics. Her book project, China’s Risk China’s Risk: Energy, Water, Food and Regional Security (forthcoming Columbia University Press) addresses the security consequences of energy, water and food risks in China for its Eurasian neighbors, a topic she explores in a related policy blog, www.chinasresourcerisks.com. She received a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, an MA in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University, and a BA from Barnard College. She speaks Mandarin, Russian, and French.

Logos for University of Alaska Fairbanks and East-West Center

The views expressed by this event's participants do not necessarily reflect those of the East-West Center.

University of Alaska Fairbanks, in partnership with the East-West Center in Washington, presents

Breaking New Ice: India, the US, and the Arctic

An event in the series: "The Indo-Pacific and the Arctic: Opportunities and Challenges for US Partners"

A conversation with:

Captain Anurag Bisen

Senior Fellow

Vivekananda International Foundation

Kanagavalli Suryanarayanan, LLM

Polar law expert, practicing advocate, consultant

Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD) on Arctic issues.

Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick (Moderator)

Senior Research Scientist, China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division

Center for Naval Analyses

This series of five expert dialogues examines US collaboration with Indo-Pacific partners in sustainable resource development and governance in the Arctic, in the context of concern over deepening Sino-Russian collaboration in resource governance and trade. The third dialogue in our series examines perspectives from two practitioners from India, both of whom are actively involved in their country's polar policy, who will discuss their country's interests in and contribution to the Arctic region, as well as how the Arctic is connected to India. 

Kanagavalli Suryanarayanan will discuss India's involvement in the Arctic, its presence, activities, and contributions towards Arctic governance. She will also address India's response to the disruption of the Arctic Council that has resulted in the end to Arctic exceptionalism and the potential for greater US-India cooperation due to the increasing Russia-China engagement in the Arctic.


Captain Bisen will discuss the opportunities and challenges the Arctic presents for India given the increased tensions between Russia, the US and other Arctic states and the interruption of the normal functioning of the Arctic Council. He will discuss India's perspective on the potential for Russia to create alternative regional structures and the need for greater Indian engagement with Russia to offset its deepening partnership with China.


The dialogue will conclude with a discussion of the potential for US engagement with India in the Arctic.


SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES

Anurag Bisen is a veteran submariner of the Indian Navy with over 35 years of service, including the command of Sindhughosh (Kilo) Class missile submarine. Captain Bisen tenanted an 8-year tenure in the National Security Council Secretariat where as a Senior Defence Specialist he worked on a range of maritime subjects including maritime boundary and international maritime law matters, Indo-Pacific, Indian Ocean Region, Maritime and Coastal Security and Polar Issues. He was instrumental in drafting and coordinating the approval process of India’s Arctic Policy, released by the Government in March 2022. Captain Anurag Bisen is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College Wellington, holding master’s degrees in Defence & Strategic Studies and Telecommunication & Electronic Warfare. He is also a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a diploma in Russian Language from Arkhangelsk State University, Russia. Captain Bisen has also qualified UGC-NET in Defence & Strategic Studies and is currently pursuing his PhD in National Security Studies from Jawaharlal University, New Delhi. Anurag has been nominated as a permanent expert on the panel of the International Expert Group of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Marine Research Centre, Russia. He is also Honorary Adjunct Faculty at the National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi. Before joining VIF as a Senior Fellow, Captain Bisen was a Research Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

Kanagavalli Suryanarayanan is a practicing Advocate and the first Indian to specialize in Polar law. She holds a Master’s degree (LLM) in Polar law from the University of Akureyri, Iceland, and a Bachelor’s degree in law, where she graduated as a Gold Medallist specializing in international law, Legislative drafting, and Intellectual Property rights.

She is a policy consultant to the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD) on Arctic issues. She is a member of the International Arctic Science Committee’s (IASC): ICARP IV on Scientific Cooperation and Diplomacy. Recently, she served as the official Rapporteur for the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM-46) held in Kochi, India. She was part of the official delegation of India at the Arctic Circle Assembly in 2022 and 2023.

She has contributed extensively to increasing India-Arctic cooperation and advises on Polar-related policy matters. Her research interests include Arctic, Antarctic, Third Pole law and Policy, Indigenous law, and decolonial comparative law. Her expertise and commitment continue to strengthen India’s role in global polar governance and policy development.

Elizabeth Wishnick (moderator) is a Senior Research Scientist in the China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division at the Center for Naval Analyses, on leave from her position as Professor of Political Science at Montclair State University. Since 2002, she has been a research scholar at WEAI. She previously taught undergraduate and graduate courses in international relations, Chinese politics, and Chinese foreign policy at Barnard College, Columbia College, and SIPA. Dr. Wishnick has dual regional expertise on China and Russia and is an expert on Chinese foreign policy, Sino- Russian relations, Northeast Asian and Central Asian security, and Arctic geopolitics. Her book project, China’s Risk China’s Risk: Energy, Water, Food and Regional Security (forthcoming Columbia University Press) addresses the security consequences of energy, water and food risks in China for its Eurasian neighbors, a topic she explores in a related policy blog, www.chinasresourcerisks.com. She received a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, an MA in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University, and a BA from Barnard College. She speaks Mandarin, Russian, and French.

Logos for University of Alaska Fairbanks and East-West Center

The views expressed by this event's participants do not necessarily reflect those of the East-West Center.