The Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and the indigenous people of the Arctic.
There are members and Observer states. India is one of the observer states along with China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Only states with territory in the Arctic can be members of the Council.
It has eight member countries: Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.
The criteria for admission of observers are requirement of applicants to "recognize Arctic States’ sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the Arctic" and "recognize that an extensive legal framework applies to the Arctic Ocean including, notably, the Law of the Sea, and that this framework provides a solid foundation for responsible management of this ocean".