Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan unveils remote-controlled Polar vehicle
Chennai, 25 March 2015 Union Minister for Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan unveiled an indigenously developed vehicle for deployment in the extremely harsh Polar Regions and dedicated it to the nation NIOT in Chennai today. “It will go where no human being can dare to venture. It will be remotely operated by our scientists at our base in Antarctica.The results of its findings will contribute vastly to mankind’s understanding of climate besides enhancing our capability to predict the Monsoon,” the Minister said after a visit to the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), a part of the Earth System Sciences Organization (ESSO) of the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “We have taken the polar plunge. PROVe and its subsequent versions will enable us to understand the Polar influence on ocean currents affecting the movement of Monsoon winds on which much of our economy depends. Monsoon prediction and reading of pattern will become easier in the future thanks to PROVe. It will measure parameters like ocean currents, temperature and salinity in the Arctic. A moored ocean observatory has been set up in the Arctic in collaboration with the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) in 2014.” The Minister also said, “The ESSO-NIOT team that participated in the 34th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA) successfully deployed PROVe in the Priadarshini Lake located on the Schirmacher Oasis in Antarctica which is the source of water for Maitri, India’s second base in the icy continent.” He further added that PROVe’s systems have been integrated with Conductivity, Temperature, Dissoved Oxygen sensors and Irradiance meter. PROVe was later deployed near ice shelf from the ship at the India Bay in Antarctica at a depth of 62 metres. Further explorations and data analysis are in progress. The country is on track with the objective of developing reliable technology to solve the varied technology problems associated with harvesting living and non-living resources in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone which makes up about two-thirds of the land area of India. Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan interacted with scientists and technicians of ESSO-NIOT and he urged them to keep in mind environmental concerns. Dr.Sailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences and Dr.M.A.Atmanand, Director, NIOT, also participated in the event.