Polar research vehicle

  • India’s plans to acquire a ₹ 1,000-crore polar research vehicle (PRV) — a ship that can cut through ice sheets and glaciers — may see fresh delays.
  • Though a Spanish ship-building company was roped in, in early 2015, the contract fell through, primarily due to escalated costs.
  • The new ‘Make in India’ policy gives Indian companies an edge in bagging these contracts, which are open to international and local bidders.
  • The government had authorised the Goa-based National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), a facility that comes under the Earth Sciences Ministry, to acquire a Polar Research Vehicle (PRV) in 2014.
  • The ‘ice-breaker,’ as these ships are colloquially called, can cut through a 1.5-metre thick wall of ice. With a lifespan of 30 years, the ship is expected to be central to India’s ambitions in the Arctic and Antarctica in coming years.
  • India has announced plans to rebuild Maitri, its research station in Antarctica, and make it impervious to its harsh environment for at least 25 years.

About NCAOR:

  • The National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) is an Indian research and development institution, situated in Vasco, Goa.
  • It is an autonomous Institution of the Department of Ocean Development (DOD), Government of India which is responsible for administering the Indian Antarctic Program and maintains the Indian government’s Antarctic research station, Maitri. NCAOR was established on 25 May 1998.
  • At present, NCAOR is an agency working under Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India since 2006, by the notification of the President of India.
  • NCAOR complex is a home to a special low-temperature laboratory and is setting up a National Antarctic Data Centre and a Polar Museum.

Source: TH & Wiki

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