India will not miss its annual Antarctic expedition despite Covid-19 situation

NEW DELHI: India will not miss its expedition, scheduled for November/December, in the Covid-19 situation. However, the will will be reduced in terms of scientific and logistical activities due to the pandemic.

We will have the next expedition as usual. But it will happen with small members, said Madhavan Rajeevan, secretary of the ministry of (MoES).

Meanwhile, the country is trying to bring back 28 Indian investigators from last year's expedition (39) who are currently trapped.

When asked about the stranded investigators, Rajeevan said: The people who returned from Antarctica are still in Cape Town. We are trying to bring them back. However, they are safe there.

The 28 researchers, who returned to India after conducting their research in Antarctica, arrived in South Africa in April. However, they had to be quarantined at a hotel in Cape Town due to their trip.

The National Polar and Ocean Research Center (NCPOR), India's leading research and development institution responsible for the country's research activities in the Polar and Southern Ocean kingdoms, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have coordinated with the Ministry of External Affairs for the return of investigators to India.

Although the country still has time to prepare for its 40th Antarctic expedition, the NCPOR had to cancel the Arctic expedition this year, as it would be launched in batches starting in April. The researchers generally go there in eight to 10 batches during the period April to October.

India launched its first scientific expedition to Ny-Alesund on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in August 2007 to mark the beginning of research in the Arctic region. The Arctic Expedition has been developed to complement the country's work in Antarctica with the aim of contributing to global research. India has a research station, Himadri, in the Arctic region.

The Indian Antarctic Expedition is launched annually (once a year), in which there are between 100 and 120 members, including scientists, engineers, doctors and support personnel.

they are shipped in batches between November and January of the following calendar year.

Currently, more than 40 permanent stations throughout the year are operated by 30 nations.

India currently has two research stations in Antarctica, namely Maitri and Bharati. Its Maitri station works all year.

Currently, about 50 people are deployed at the station. The Maitri station occupies a strategic location in the Central Dronning Maud Land region to offer various opportunities for scientific research in disciplines such as Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology; Earth Sciences including, Geomagnetism; Human physiology and medicine; Microbiology and.