the Department of Ocean Development (dod) is setting up an exclusive Antarc-tic Study Centre (asc). The centre will be first national polar research lab in India with the task of planning, and executing research and conducting expeditions to the icy continent. The asc would have a low temperature laboratory complex for the preservation and analysis of ice cores retrieved not only from Antarctic but also from the Himalayas, says the dod secretary, E Muthunayagam.
He says that the centre would also focus on studies to understand the past climatic and environmental conditions of the Earth. It will develop the latest facilities for employing advanced satellite technology to appreciate the global phenomenon which is controlled by Antarctica and its surrounding oceans.
The dod has already got the green signal and is in an advanced stage of having its own ocean-based satellite with the help of the Indian Space Research Organisation by the end of the year. Efforts are being made to develop a comprehensive data base repository on polar science and logistics, including a museum on polar activities. It would also coordinate with all international campaigns to be mounted under the aegis of environment protocol requirements.