India to conduct Radar Surveys of Himalayan Glaciers

India has planned to conduct the airborne radar surveys in order to estimate the thickness of Himalayan glaciers. Under the plan, the pilot study will be conducted in the Lahaul – Spiti basin of the Himachal Pradesh. This proposal was initiated by the “National Centre for Polar & Ocean Research (NCPOR)” under the Ministry of Earth Sciences”.

Highlights

After this pilot project is done, similar studies will also be conducted in the Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra sub-basins. This development is significant because of the importance of glaciers in the river systems of India and 500 million lives which the river sustains downstream in Indo-Gangetic plains. They are also significant from with respect to the energy security standpoint. The development is also strategically imperative.

Why this development was done?

This development has come in India because India is one of the most vulnerable country for extreme weather events. It has been ranked at the 20th position on Climate Risk Index (CRI). India also witnessed a human tragedy after several people lost their lives in February 2021 glacier bursts near the Raini village in Uttarakhand.

National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR)

It is formerly known as “National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR)’”. It is an Indian research and development institution which is located in the Vasco da Gama in Goa. The centre is an autonomous Institution under the Department of Ocean Development (DOD) of Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. The centre is responsible to administer the Indian Antarctic Programme. It also maintains the Antarctic research stations namely the Bharati & Maitri of India. It was established on May 25, 1998.  Dr. Prem Chand Pandey was the founding director of NCPOR.

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