Dr Jitendra informs Lok Sabha about Indian Scientists reaching Antarctica

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh speaking in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh speaking in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Excelsior Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Dec 1 : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today informed the Lok Sabha that the first batch of 23 Indian scientists and support staff reached the Maitri station on November 10, 2021 as a part of the 41st Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA) launched recently.
In reply to a question related to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Dr Jitendra Singh stated that the Expedition will carry out various scientific activities in Antarctica, besides maintaining India’s two research stations, that is, Maitri and Bharati.
The Minister stated that the 41st expedition has two major objectives. The first encompasses geological exploration of the Amery ice shelf at Bharati station to understand the geological link between India and Antarctica in the past. The second goal involves ice core drilling work near the Maitri station, focusing primarily towards improving the understanding of Antarctic climate, westerly winds, sea ice and greenhouse gases. Apart from these, other long-term observations in the field of geology, glaciology, ocean observations, and upper atmospheric sciences are continuing.
The major thrust areas of the scientific projects being taken up in Antarctica are focused on furthering the existing knowledge under various themes such as Climate Process & Linkages to change, Crustal Evolution, Environmental Processes & Conservation, Ecosystem of Terrestrial & Nearshore, Observational Research. Institute and universities from all over the country participate in the Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA) with the operational support provided by NCPOR.
In reply to another question related to the Ministry of Science & Technology which is also under his charge, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Department of Science and Technology (DST) had already initiated a special programme during 2019-2020 for holistic development of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) Communities through systemic interventions by establishing Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Hubs in different regions of the country.
Seven STI Hubs for ST were already established in different regions of the country, he informed.
The Minister further informed The STI Hubs will develop, nurture and ensure the delivery of appropriate and relevant technologies for inclusive socio-economic development through creation of sustainable livelihoods for the ST population in tune to their growing aspirations with the following objectives namely (i) Address the weakest linkages in the predominant livelihood systems through Science & Technology (S&T) interventions.(ii) Creation of social enterprises based on the strengths in livelihood systems.(iii) Improve the Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) through inputs of S&T for strengthening the livelihoods.