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41st Scientific Expedition to Antarctica

  • IASbaba
  • November 16, 2021
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41st Scientific Expedition to Antarctica

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – International relations 

In News: India has successfully launched the 41st Scientific Expedition to Antarctica with the arrival of the first batch of its contingent at the southern white continent.

  • The first program encompasses geological exploration of the Amery ice shelf at Bharati station. This will help explore the link between India and Antarctica in the past.
  • The second program involves reconnaissance surveys and preparatory work for drilling of 500 meters of ice core near Maitri. It will help in improving the understanding of Antarctic climate, westerly winds, sea-ice and greenhouse gases from a single climate archive for past 10,000 years. The ice core drilling will be done in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey and the Norwegian Polar Institute. In addition to accomplishing scientific programs, it will replenish the annual supplies of food, fuel, provisions, and spares for operations and maintenance of life support systems at Maitri and Bharati.

The Indian Antarctic program

Began in 1981, and has completed 40 scientific expeditions, and built three permanent research base stations in Antarctica, named DakshinGangotri (1983), Maitri (1988) and Bharati (2012). As of today, Maitri and Bharati are fully operational. 

  • The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa—an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences—manages the entire Indian Antarctic program.
  • Dakshin Gangotri: First Indian scientific research base station established in Antarctica
  • Maitri: India’s second permanent research station in Antarctica. It is situated on the rocky mountainous region called Schirmacher Oasis. India also built a freshwater lake around Maitri known as Lake Priyadarshini.
  • Bharti: India’s latest research station operation since 2012. It is India’s first committed research facility.
  • Sagar Nidhi: In 2008, India commissioned the Sagar Nidhi, for research. An ice-class vessel, it can cut through the thin ice of 40 cm depth and is the first Indian vessel to navigate Antarctic waters.

News Source: PIB

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