MGU to Participate in Nation’s First Winter Arctic Expedition

Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU) will partake in India’s inaugural winter Arctic Expedition, which commenced in December 2023. Dr. K.R.Baiju, the Dean of the Faculty of the School of Environmental Sciences, will represent MGU in the fourth expedition team, departing from Mumbai on February 27. He will also serve as the Arctic station leader for this team.
Indian scientific expeditions to the Arctic during the winter months offer a unique opportunity for researchers to conduct groundbreaking scientific observations during polar nights, characterised by nearly 24 hours of darkness and sub-zero temperatures (as low as -15 degrees Celsius). This endeavour aims to deepen understanding of the Arctic, particularly in realms such as climate change, space weather, sea-ice and ocean circulation dynamics, ecosystem adaptations, etc., which have far-reaching implications for weather and climate in the tropics, including monsoons.
Since 2008, India has operated a research base in the Arctic named Himadri, primarily accommodating scientists during the summer season (April to October).
The School of Environmental Studies at MGU has been actively engaged in studies related to India’s polar expeditions since 2013. The International Centre for Polar Studies (ICPS) at the University serves as a collaborative hub for both scientific and social sciences research.
Comprising the School of Environmental Sciences, the School of International Relations and Politics, and the Inter-University Centre for Social Science Research and Extension, ICPS embodies an interdisciplinary approach. It delves into both scientific and socially significant aspects of polar studies, advocating for a multilevel strategic approach towards environmentally and socially responsible development. Additionally, the Centre provides consultancy services on geopolitical policies and human ecological aspects to the Government of India.
The University’s focus extends to studying the impact of pollution caused by chemical waste and materials such as microplastics in polar regions. Vice Chancellor Dr. C.T. AravindaKumar and Director of the School of Environmental Sciences, Dr. Mahesh Mohan, lead this project.