About the Programme: The 41st expedition has two major programmes.
- The first programme encompasses geological exploration of the Amery iceshelf 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.
- Antarctica is the fifth-largest continent in terms of total area. Antarctica is a unique continent in that it does not have a native population. Several nations including New Zealand, Australia, France, Norway, the United Kingdom, Chile and Argentina claim different parts of it.
- Use of Antarctica for scientific studies and for other activities is governed by the Antarctic Treaty that was signed on 1 December 1959 by the twelve nation countries. The treaty applies to all land and ice-shelves south of 60-degree South Latitude.
- It promotes the peaceful research and prohibits military activities, nuclear tests and the disposal of nuclear wastes. India became the member of the Treaty in the year
Indian Antarctic Program:
- The Indian Antarctic program began in 1981. So far, it has completed 40 scientific expeditions and built three permanent research base stations in Antarctica, named Dakshin Gangotri (1983), Maitri (1988) and Bharati (2012).
- As of today, Maitri and Bharati are fully operational. Dakshin Gangotri, the first Indian Scientific research base station in Antarctica acts only as a supply base.
- These are being operated under the National Center for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) under Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Source: The mint