The approval was given by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an official release said here.
The vehicle, which is an ice-breaker and research-cum-supply vessel, will be acquired within 34 months by the ministry of earth sciences.
The ministry felt it necessary to have the country’s own polar research vessel considering the need to sustain two Indian research bases in Antarctica, and dovetail research initiatives in the Southern Ocean domain with those in the proximal regions of the Antarctic continent, the release said.
Such a vessel, it is envisaged, can perform not only dual functions, research and logistics, in the polar region but also serve as a platform for scientists to undertake research in the ocean realm, including the Southern Ocean.
Indian Antarctic expeditions have been undertaken every year onboard ice-class vessels and ice-breakers chartered from the international market.