Himansh Current Affairs

Himansh, India’s remote, high-altitude station opens in Himalayas

A high altitude glaciological research station in Himalaya called Himansh (meaning a slice of ice) began functioning above 13,500 ft (4000 m) in a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.

Researchers will use this station as a base for undertaking surveys that would digitize the glacier motion and snow cover variations with exceptional precision.

Key Facts

  • Himansh station will provide much needed fillip to the scientific research on Himalayan glaciers and its hydrological contribution.
  • The research lab has been established by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) in Spiti Valley, one of the most uninhabited parts of the country
  • The station houses instruments to quantify glacier melting and its relation to changing climate.
  • Some of the instruments available at this research facility include automatic weather stations, ground penetrating radars, geodetic GPS systems and other sophisticated facilities.
  • It will also serve as the base for Terrestrial Laser Scanners (TLS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for undertaking surveys.

Significance

  • The Himalayan region has the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar caps. It is called the “Water Tower of Asia”.
  • It is source of 10 major river systems that provide irrigation, drinking water and power for over 700 million people (10% of world’s population) living in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Thus, understanding behaviour of these Himalayan glaciers and their contribution to sustainable supply of water for mankind and agriculture is one of grand challenges of Indian scientific community.

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