Signature of a polar biology agreement in India

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The DBT and the MoES have signed an interministerial cooperation agreement in the field of polar biology.

An agreement (MoU) was signed Wednesday between the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for cooperation in the field of polar biology. The agreement envisions mutual collaboration to explore the possibility of cooperation, convergence and synergy to bring out the expertise and services of both organizations under one roof and work hand in hand to answer relevant questions in the field of polar biology, said a statement released by the Ministry of Science and Technology said.

In particular, biotechnological applications of polar microbes could be the focal point of this collaboration between MoES and DBT, he added.

“The MoU will be implemented with the aim of collaborating in mutually agreed areas of research in the field of polar science,” the statement said.

Efforts by the Ministry of Earth Sciences

As a first step, these efforts would be taken up by collaborative proposals from researchers from the MoES institutes, using its facilities currently available in the polar regions. The MoES has research stations in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. In order to strengthen this association and accelerate research in the polar region, joint laboratories will be set up in MoES stations, according to the press release.

This will allow researchers to conduct experiments at the site without the need to transport samples to parent laboratories in India, and generate valuable information and new products from these unique environments. This flagship synergistic approach would be taken up on a mission mode through networking with the country’s elite institutions. Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh, Senior Science Advisor K VijayRaghavan and secretaries of science-related ministries or departments were present on the occasion.

The polar region encompassing the Antarctic and Arctic regions, the Southern Ocean and the Himalayas, being a unique ecosystem, generates enormous interest due to its extreme climate compared to the rest of the world. Although researchers from all over the world have contributed to different areas of research, the polar region is known as an unexplored ecosystem.

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