‘40th Indian scientific expedition to Antarctica launched’

Context

India launched the 40th Indian scientific expedition to Antarctica.

About

  • The 40th scientific expeditionto Antarctica, marks four decades of country's scientific endeavour to the southern white continent.
  • The focus is to support the ongoing scientific projects on climate change, geology, ocean observation, electric and magnetic flux measurements, environmental monitoring, resupplying of food, fuel, provisions and spare and accomplishing the return of the winter crew.

India’s Antarctica Programme

  • The Indian Antarctic expeditions began in 1981.
  • The Indian Antarctic programme has now been credited to have built three permanent research base stations in Antarctica—named Dakshin Gangotri, Maitri, and Bharati. 
  • As of today, India has two operational research stations on the polar continent of Antarctica — Maitri and Bharati.
  • These stations are operated under the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.

About NCOPR

  • National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) is India’s premier R&D institution responsible for the country’s research activities in the polar and Southern Ocean realms.
  • It manages the Indian Antarctic Research Bases “Maitri” and “Bharati”,  and the Indian Arctic base “Himadri”.

Why polar expeditions to Antarctica assume significance?

  • Antarctica is uninhabited except for those manning the nearly 60 permanent stations established by several countries, including India, for carrying out scientific research.
  • The importance of Antarctica as a pedestal for front-ranking scientific research was recognized by Indian way back in 1981 itself, when the first Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica was launched.
  • Since then, India has made great strides in initiating scientific projects of both national and global relevance as well as in catering to the entire gamut of complex logistics operations called for, in the Annual Expeditions to Antarctica. 

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