India to acquire first ever Polar Research Vessel

New Delhi/October 29 (NG News)
Indian government on Wednesday decided to acquire its first Polar Research Vessel to provide country’s scientists a research platform to undertake scientific research in the ocean realm including the Southern Ocean.

The decision was taken in the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs that was convened under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today.

“The Earth Sciences ministry has been given go ahead to acquire Polar Research Vessel (Ice-breaker, Research cum Supply Vessel) at a cost of Rs 1051.13 crore within a period of 34 months,” an Indian government spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that the polar research vessel would help in sustaining two Indian research bases in Antarctica (Maitri and Bharti) and dovetailing research initiatives in the Southern Ocean domain with those in the proximal regions of the Antarctic continent.

“It would also help in widening the thrust on Arctic research disciplines undertaken through Indian Station Himadri, provide a suitable research platform for other tropical sea programs,” he said.

“Such a vessel, it is envisaged, can not only perform dual functions, research and logistics, in the polar region but can also serve as a research platform for scientists to undertake scientific research in the ocean realm including the Southern Ocean,” he added.

In the context of India having expanded its scientific presence to the Arctic as well and the country`s growing strategic interests in the polar and ocean domain, a polar research vessel would certainly serve as the perfect vehicle for building up on India’s sustained presence and increased visibility in the ocean sector.