DBT, MoES sign inter-ministerial MoU for cooperation in field of polar biology

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New Delhi, Jul 14 (PTI) A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) here on Wednesday for cooperation in the area of polar biology.

The MoU envisages mutual collaboration to explore the possibility of cooperation, convergence and synergy to bring out the expertise and services of both organisations under one roof and work hand-in-hand for addressing relevant questions in the field of polar biology, a statement issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology said.

Particularly, biotechnological applications of polar microbes could be the centre point of this collaboration between the MoES and the DBT, it added.

'The MoU will be implemented with the aim to collaborate in mutually agreed-upon thrust areas of research in the area of polar sciences,' the statement said.

Initially, these efforts would be taken up through collaborative proposals by the researchers at the MoES institutes, making use of its presently available set-ups in the polar regions.

The MoES has research stations in both the Arctic and the Antarctica regions.

In order to strengthen this association and expedite the research in the polar region, joint laboratories will be set up at the MoES stations, the statement said.

This will allow researchers to carry out experiments on the site without the need for transporting the samples to the parent laboratories in India, and generate valuable information and novel products from these unique environments.

This flagship synergistic approach would be taken up on a mission mode through networking with the country's elite institutions.

Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh, Principal Scientific Advisor K VijayRaghavan and secretaries of science-related ministries or departments were present on the occasion.

The polar region encompassing the Antarctic and Arctic regions, the Southern Ocean and the Himalayas, being a unique ecosystem, generates a huge amount of interest due to its extreme climate compared to the rest of the world.

Although researchers across the globe have contributed to different areas of research, the polar region is known as an unexplored ecosystem. PTI PR RC

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