Paused by COVID-19,India's Arctic expedition to resume in June

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Panaji, Jan 4 (PTI) After a gap of a year due to COVID-19 pandemic, India's annual expedition to the Arctic will resume this year in the month of June, a senior Union government official said on Monday.

Talking to reporters in Vasco town, about 30 kms away from here, M Ravichandran, Director, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), said the annual expedition to the Arctic region will be held from June to October.

'Last year, the expedition was cancelled because of COVID-19 outbreak. This year, we are resuming the expedition.

It will be held from June to October,' he said.

He said about 150-200 crew from India would be participating in the expedition in the batches of 10 at a time.

India embarked upon the Arctic research by launching first scientific expedition to Arctic in the first week of August, 2007, using the international research facility in the Spitsbergen Island of Norway.

Subsequently, India has been sending scientific teams every summer and winter for carrying out studies in the Arctic, primarily in the fields of glaciology, hydrochemistry, microbiology, and atmospheric sciences.

Ravichandran said the crew will embark on the mission by flight.

'There's a science village in the Arctic where representatives of seven countries would stay together,' Ravichandran said.

He said the crew for the expedition will go in batches as the capacity of the Indian station in the Arctic is ten.

'Once ten people return, another batch of ten members will go,' he added.

Ravichandran and other senior officials of the NCPOR were in Vasco on Monday to give a send-off to India's scientific expedition to Antarctica. PTI RPS NSK NSK