4 January 2021
India launched the 40th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. This marks four decades of country’s scientific endeavour to the Southern continent.
- The expedition has been launched by the Ministry of Earth Science.
- Ice class vessel MV Vasiliy Golovin has been deployed for the expedition.
- The expedition commenced from Mamugao Port Trust and will reach Anartica in 30- 40 days..
- Dakshin Gangotri, Bharti, Maitri the Indian Research Base Station in Antartica.
- National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research located in Goa manage the Indian research base stations in Antarctica.
- The Indian Antarctic program was launched in 1981 and India is signatory to Antartic Treaty.
- The Indian scientific expedition to Antarctica began in 1981.
Objectives of the expedition:
- The expectation will take a team of 43 members to Antarctica and return by April 2021.
- It will bring back 48 members who have been there for 15 months.
- It will mainly focus on ongoing scientific projects on ocean observations, climate change, electric and magnetic flux measurements, geology, Re supplying of food, environmental monitoring, fuel, and accomplish the return of the winter crew.
About Dakshin Gangotri ,Maitri and Bharati:
- Dakshin Gangotri was the first permanent settlement of India built in 1983. It was excavated in 1989 and is being used as supply base and transit camp
- Maitri was the second permanent settlement of India in Antarctica. The station is located close to Lake Priyadarshini. It accomplished the mission of geomorphological mapping of Schirmacher Oasis.
- Bharati was established in 2015. It will collect evidence of Continental break up to reveal the 120-million-year-old ancient history of Indian subcontinent.
- At present only Maitri and Bharati are operational.
What is Antarctic treaty?
The Treaty was signed in 1961. Currently there are 54 signatories to the Treaty. It is an arms control Treaty signed during cold war.