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Science & Technology

PACER Scheme

  • 29 Mar 2022
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: India’s Antarctic and Arctic Missions, PACER Scheme, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), IndARC, Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART) ACROSS Scheme

For Mains: Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology, Polar research

Why in News?

Recently, the Polar Science and Cryosphere (PACER) scheme has been approved for continuation by the Union Cabinet from 2021 to 2026.

What is PACER Scheme?

  • PACER encompasses the following six components.
  • It is implemented through the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR).

What are the Major Works under this Scheme?

What is the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR)?

  • It is an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • Its responsibilities include:
    • Management and upkeep of the Indian Antarctic Research Bases “Maitri” and “Bharati”, and the Indian Arctic base “Himadri”.
    • Management of the Ministry’s research vessel Ocean Research Vehicle (ORV) Sagar Kanya as well as the other research vessels chartered by the Ministry.
      • The ORV Sagar Kanya is a versatile ocean observing platform equipped with technologically advanced scientific equipment and related facilities.
    • Playing a facilitatory role in the scientific research activities being undertaken by several national institutions and organisations in Antarctica, the Arctic and in the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean.
    • Playing a lead role in the geoscientific surveys of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and its extended continental shelf beyond 200m, deep-sea drilling in the Arabian Sea basin through the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), exploration for ocean non-living resources such as gas hydrates and multi-metal sulphides in mid-ocean ridges.
  • It is located in the state of Goa.

What are Other Major Initiatives of the Ministry of Earth Sciences?

What are India’s Arctic Missions?

  • India launched its first scientific expedition to the Arctic Ocean in 2007.
  • India opened a research base named “Himadri” in Svalbard, Norway in July 2008 to carry out studies in disciplines like Glaciology, Atmospheric sciences & Biological sciences.

What are India’s Antarctic Missions?

  • India officially acceded to the Antarctic Treaty System on 1st August 1983.
  • On 12th September 1983, India became the fifteenth Consultative Member of the Antarctic Treaty.
  • India is expanding its infrastructure development in Antarctica.
  • The newest base commissioned in 2015 is Bharati.
  • India is rebuilding its station, Maitri, to make it bigger and last for at least 30 more years.
  • Dakshin Gangotri, the first Indian base established in 1984, has weakened and become just a supply base.
  • Sagar Nidhi: In 2008, India commissioned the Sagar Nidhi, for research.
    • It is an ice-class vessel, it can cut through the thin ice of 40 cm depth and is the first Indian vessel to navigate Antarctic waters.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. Consider the following countries: (2014)

  1. Denmark
  2. Japan
  3. Russian Federation
  4. United Kingdom
  5. United States of America

Which of the above are the members of the ‘Arctic Council’?

(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1, 4 and 5
(d) 1, 3 and 5

Ans: (d)


  • The Arctic Council includes Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States as its members.

Source: PIB

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