The Indian Antarctic Program is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program under the control of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. It was initiated in 1981 with the first Indian expedition to Antarctica. The program gained global acceptance with India's signing of the Antarctic Treaty and subsequent construction of the Dakshin Gangotri Antarctic research base in 1983, superseded by the Maitri base from 1990. Under the program, atmospheric, biological, earth, chemical, and medical sciences are studied by India, which has carried out 30 scientific expeditions to the Antarctic as of 14 October 2010 and is currently planning to build an additional research station in the region named Bharathi and thus India is all set to join the elite group of nine countries which have multiple bases in Antarctica.
India’s Research stations
In 1981 the Indian flag unfurled for the first time in Antarctica, marking the start of Southern Ocean expeditions under the environmental protocol of the Antarctic Treaty (1959).
Dakshin Gangotri was the first scientific base station of India situated in Antarctica, part of the Indian Antarctic Program. It is located at a distance of 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) from the South Pole.
It was established during the third Indian expedition to Antarctica in 1983-84. This was the first time an Indian team spent a winter in Antarctica to carry out scientific works. The station was built in eight weeks by an 81- member team.Construction was completed late into January 1984 with help from the Indian army and Indian Republic Day was celebrated at the station along with the Soviets and East Germans
Maitri is India's second permanent research station in Antarctica. It was built and finished in 1989, shortly before the first station Dakshin Gangotri was buried in ice and abandoned in 1990–91.Maitri is situated on the rocky mountainous region called Schirmacher Oasis.It is only 5 km away from Russian Novolazarevskaya Station.
Bharati is the name of an Antarctic research station commissioned by India. It is India's third Antarctic research facility and one of two active Indian research stations, alongside Maitri. India's first committed research facility, Dakshin Gangotri, is currently being used as a supply base. India has demarcated an area beside Larsemann Hills at 69°S, 76°E for construction. The research station has been operational since March 18, 2012, though its still being run on trial basis and formal launch is awaited.Since its completion, India became one of nine nations to have multiple stations within the Antarctic Circle. Bharati's research mandate focuses on oceanographic studies and the phenomenon of continental breakup. Additionally, it also facilitates research to refine the current understanding of the Indian subcontinent's geological history. News sources have referred to the station variously as "Bharathi", "Bharti"and "Bharati".