The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved the continuation of the project 'Polar Science: Expedition to Antarctica during the XI Five Year Plan period at an estimated cost of INR 230.01 crores. The objectives of this programme are to continue the long-term scientific pursuits undertaken to understand the global processes and phenomena some of which are directly pertinent to our needs having potential applications. The scientific expeditions which started in 1981 have contributed substantially to the growth of polar science in the country. Experiments mounted by Indian Scientists in disciplines such as atmospheric sciences & meteorology, earth sciences and glaciology, biology and environmental sciences have also contributed directly to global experiments mounted under the aegis of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).
The Indian Antarctic research base 'Maitri' (70o 45' 56.9''S : 11o 44' 08.62″E) is one of the few active permanent research stations in the Central Donning Maudland (CDML) of East Antarctica from where systematic scientific experiments are conducted on a year-round basis. The facilities available at this research base include a weather observatory, geomagnetic station; a permanent seismological observatory, GPS station, ice-core drilling facilities and laboratories for environmental, human health and communication research. The entire activities related to the planning, coordination and implementation of the Indian Antarctic Programme is managed by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) through the National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa, an autonomous institute under the Ministry, established in 1998.