India has taken the decision to replace its Maitri research station in Antarctica with a new one in the next three to four years.
India is poised to expand its research activity in the coldest continent and a new ship, with a special ice-cutting facility, will be procured for the purpose.
India is also drafting its own laws to safeguard its interest in Antarctica, as it is currently governed by international laws.
The Indian Antarctic Program is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program under the control of National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.
It was initiated in 1981 with the first Indian expedition to Antarctica.
The program gained global acceptance with India’s signing of the Antarctic Treaty and subsequent construction of the Dakshin Gangotri Antarctic research base in 1983.
Gangotri base was superseded by the Maitri research station from 1990.
Bharati is the newest base that was commissioned in 2015, constructed out of 134 shipping containers.
India has carried out over 30 scientific expeditions to the Antarctic as of 14 October 2010.Maitri: Know More
- Maitri is India’s second permanent research station in Antarctica as part of the Indian Antarctic Programme.
- The name was suggested by the then PM Mrs Indira Gandhi
- The expedition left the shores of India on 03 Dec 1984.
- Work on the station was first started by the Indian Expedition which landed there in end Dec 1984, the team was led by Dr. B B Bhattacharya.
- It was built and finished in 1989, shortly before the first station Dakshin Gangotri was buried in ice and abandoned in 1990–91.
- Maitri is situated on the rocky mountainous region called Schirmacher Oasis.
- It is only 5 km away from Russian Novolazarevskaya Station.