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Updated December 16th, 2023 at 20:40 IST

India to launch its maiden winter expedition to the Arctic on Dec 18. Here's all about it

The expedition will be flagged off by Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju at 9:30 am on December 18, the Ministry of Earth Sciences revealed.

Digital Desk
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The expedition will be flagged off by Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju at 9:30 am. | Image:shutterstock
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In a first, India will launch its maiden winter science expedition to the Arctic region on December 18 as part of efforts to maintain a year-long presence at its research station Himadri at Svalbard in Norway.

The expedition will be flagged off by Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju at 9:30 am. This maiden winter Expedition will comprise of four scientists who will visit the Arctic region to make atmospheric observations during the night, carry out auroral studies and changes in sea ice.

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A Historic Arctic Feat!

Hon’ble Union Minister, @moesgoi Shri @KirenRijiju ji, will launch the 1st Indian Winter Expedition to the Arctic 2023 on December 18, 2023. 

Distinguished guests at this momentous occasion:

✅Secretary MoES, Dr @Ravi_MoES

(1/2) pic.twitter.com/EjZFO9YI30

— MoES GoI (@moesgoi) December 16, 2023

"This is the first winter expedition to the Arctic. The team of scientists will stay at the research station at NyAlesund for 30 to 45 days and then will be replaced by another team," a senior official said per PTI.

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The official also said that India will now have a year-long presence at the research station in the Arctic region, as it has in the Antarctic, near the South Pole.

“The landmark expedition elevates India’s presence in the Arctic and expanding knowledge & scientific cooperation,” the Ministry of Earth Sciences said in a statement. 

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It was in 2007 when India launched its Arctic research programme with a focus on climate change in the region. The programme also had the objectives of studying connections between Arctic climate and Indian monsoon.

In March last year, the government had unveiled the Arctic Policy, sharing plans to have more research stations and satellite ground stations in the region.

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At the release of the policy, Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science, reflected on India’s engagement with the Arctic that dates back to a century when Svalbard Treaty was signed in February 1920 in Paris. 

The MoS also underscored India's active involvement in studies related to the Arctic oceanography, atmosphere, pollution and microbiology.

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Published December 16th, 2023 at 20:40 IST

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