India has announced plans to build its third permanent research station in Antarctica.
Construction is under way on the icy continent's eastern coast and the station, dubbed "Bharati, is slated to be up and running by next year, reports the Deccan Herald, an Indian newspaper.
"The new station will have modern facilities and connectivity like a regular living space," Kapil Sibal, India's science minister, told the Herald after remotely unveiling the Bharati's foundation stone at a function in India.
The station can accommodate up to 70 scientists at a time, and 35 researchers will live at the base year-round , Sibal said in a statement.
Scientists will conduct multidisciplinary research and observational studies on the biology, geology, chemistry and meteorology of the region.
The newly-built station will also receive and process satellite data. Currently, Indian scientists receive satellite images at a base station in Svalbard in Norway's Arctic region.
India signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1983 and was granted consultative status. Work began on its first Antarctic research station the same year. India added a second research base in 1988.
Many other nations also have research facilities in Antarctica, including the United States, United Kingdom, Russia and Australia.