Friday, July 04, 2008
India inaugurated a permanent base near the North Pole to enable scientists to carry out research, especially on climate change. The research base named ‘Himadri’ was equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and was situated on the west coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago of Norway.Himadri will be managed by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR),an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.India has become the 10th country to have established its full-fledged research station in the region. Other countries that have already set up their stations include Norway, Germany, Britain, France, Japan, South Korea and China. Indian Arctic Programme that started in August 2007 as a small contingent of five scientists has expanded to become a full fledged research station in less than a year.A heritage building that was once a school for the children of coal miners in the town of Ny-Alesund, on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, has turned into India’s first Arctic research base.Indian team includes scientists from the Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleobotany, Lucknow, the Snow and Avalanche Establishment, the NCAOR and a university in Bhopal. Scientists from the Geological Survey of India and the National Physical Laboratory will fly there later this month.