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Post at: Apr 21 2022

PACER Program

Why in news

  • In march 2022, The Polar Science and Cryosphere (PACER) scheme has been approved for continuation during 2021-2026.

What is the Cryosphere?

  • The cryosphere is the frozen water part of the Earth system. 
  • The largest parts of the cryosphere includes the continental ice sheets found in Greenland and Antarctica, as well as ice caps, glaciers, and areas of snow and permafrost.
  • These are places on Earth that are so cold that water is frozen solid. These areas of snow or ice, which are subject to temperatures below 0°C 32°F for at least part of the year.

PACER encompasses the following six components-

  1. Construction of polar research vessel
  2. Construction of the third research base in Antarctica
  3. Indian scientific endeavours in the Arctic
  4. Polar expeditions-Antarctica
  5. Replacement of Maitri station
  6. Southern Ocean

Some of achievments under this scheme-

  • Field-based studies were conducted in the lakes of Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica for the understanding of biogeochemical processes in supraglacial environments.
  • The IndARC mooring system along with the Hydrophone system was successfully retrieved and deployed in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard.
  • Analysis of ice cores were carried out to understand dissolved organic carbon pathways and long-term climate variability over Antarctica.
  • Glaciological field campaigns were carried out in six benchmark glaciers in Chandra basin of Lahaul-Spiti region of Western Himalaya.
  • Two new Automatic Weather Station (AWS) systems were installed at Baralacha La, a high elevation site in the arid Spiti region to strengthen infrastructure across the Chandra basin.
  • The 41st Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica is currently ongoing.

India at Antartica

  • India officially acceded to the Antarctic Treaty System on 1st August 1983. On 12 September 1983, India became the fifteenth Consultative Member of the Antarctic Treaty.
  • 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.
  • Since then india has established three research stations and one research facility as follow-
  • Dakshin Gangotri- Established during the third Indian expedition to Antarctica in 1983/84.
  • Maitri- It was built and finished in 1989.
  • Bharti- India’s latest research station operation since 2012.
  • Research facility- In 2008, India commissioned the Sagar Nidhi, for research.It is an ice-class vessel.

India at Arctic-

  • India launched its first scientific expedition to the Arctic Ocean in 2007.
  • India opened a research base named “Himadri” at the International Arctic Research Base at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, Norway in July 2008.


  • It is an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • It is responsible for management and maintenance of the research Bases "Maitri" and "Bharati," as well as the Indian Arctic Research Base "Himadri."
  • It has also management over the Ministry's research vessel Ocean Research Vehicle (ORV) Sagar Kanya, as well as the Ministry's other research vessels, chartered.
  • Institute facilitates the scientific research activities carried out by several national institutions and organizations in Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Indian Ocean area of the Southern Ocean.
  • It is situated in the state of Goa.

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