Antarctica – UPSC Prelims

Antarctica:
  • Antarctica is uninhabited except for those manning the nearly 40 permanent stations established by several countries, including India, for carrying out scientific research.
  • India maintains two research stations on the continent: ‘Maitri’ (commissioned in 1989) at Schirmacher Hills and ‘Bharati’ (2012) at Larsemann Hills.
  • It has also launched 41 scientific expeditions every year thus far. Together with ‘Himadri’ station in Svalbard, above the Arctic circle, India is among an elite group of countries with multiple research in the polar regions.
  • Antarctica is Earth’s southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere.
  • At 14,000,000 square kilometers, it is the fifth-largest continent.
  • The Indian Antarctic Programme is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional programme under the control of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • India officially acceded to the Antarctic Treaty System in August 1983.