The Antarctic is the region around the Earth’s South Pole, opposite the Arctic region around the North Pole. The Antarctic comprises the continent of Antarctica and the ice shelves, waters and island territories in the Southern Ocean situated south of the Antarctic Convergence.The region covers some 20% of the Southern Hemisphere, of which 5.5% (14 million km2) is the surface area of the continent itself.
The Indian Antarctic Program comes under the control of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. This is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program initiated in 1981 with the first Indian expedition to Antarctica which was led by S.Z. Qasim. India signed the Antarctic Treaty on September 12, 1983. India constructed its first research base Dakshin Gangotri Antarctic research base in 1983. It was followed by Maitri base from 1990.