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First GSI survey of the Siachen

In News : June-August 2023 marks the sapphire jubilee of a very important event in the history of the exploration of the Siachen glacier.....

In News : June-August 2023 marks the sapphire jubilee of a very important event in the history of the exploration of the Siachen glacier. The first Geological Survey of India expedition happened on Siachen glacier.

  • The grid reference point NJ 9842 is the last mutually demarcated point between India and Pakistan as per the Karachi ceasefire agreement of 1949 and also the point where the Line of Control of the Simla Agreement ends.
  • 25 yrs later, Pakistan extended Line of Control from NJ 9842 to Karakoram Pass, setting off a chain of events leading to India’s occupation of Saltoro Heights in 1984. 
  • This event is of historical and geostrategic significance as it puts to rest all myths to the effect that Pakistan was in control of the glacier since the beginning.
What is a Geological survey?
  • Geological survey examines an area to determine its rock masses, mineral resources, and formation, often conducted by a governmental bureau.
What is the Siachen glacier?
  • Siachen Glacier is the longest glacier in the Karakoram range, measuring 78 km in length.
  • It is the second longest glacier in the world’s non-polar regions.
  • The glacier is located northeast of Point NJ9842, which marks the end of the Line of Control between India and Pakistan.
  • Since 1984, Siachen has been a major point of contention between India and Pakistan.
  • The Indian Army initiated Operation Meghdoot to gain control over the entire Siachen Glacier.
  • The melting waters of the glacier are the primary source of the Nubra River in the Indian region of Ladakh.
  • The Nubra River flows into the Shyok River, which eventually joins the Indus River in Pakistan.
  • India has constructed the world’s highest helipad, known as Point Sonam, at an elevation of 21,000 ft (6,400 m) to support its troops on the glacier.
  • Additionally, India has set up the world’s highest telephone booth on the Siachen Glacier.
  • The Siachen Glacier is a glacier located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas.
  • It is just northeast of the point NJ9842 where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends.
  • It is the longest glacier in Karakoram and second-longest in the world’s non-polar areas.
  • It falls from an altitude of 5,753 mabove sea level at its head at Indira Col on the India–China border.
Reason behind Pakistan not asserting its claims
  • During the period of the Survey, Pakistan did not protest or show interest despite the Indian presence.
  • This could be because of two reasons.
  • Karachi ceasefire agreement of 1949: Both countries were following the terms of the Karachi ceasefire agreement of 1949, which clearly outlined the ceasefire line, including up to the glaciers, and agreed to mutually demarcate it.
  • While the region beyond NJ 9842 was awaiting mutual demarcation, it was clear that if the agreed line extended north to the glaciers as intended, that region would still be part of Indian territory.
  • No threat from Scientific exploration: As explorations and scientific visits did not pose a threat or indicate a breach of the agreement by either side, they were not given significant importance.
FAQs Related First GSI survey of the Siachen
Ques 1: What is the significance of the first Geological Survey of India (GSI) survey of Siachen?

Answer: The first GSI survey of Siachen, a disputed region between India and Pakistan, holds importance in understanding the geology, mineral resources, and environmental aspects of the area.

Ques 2: What were the objectives of the GSI survey of Siachen?

Answer: The primary objectives of the GSI survey of Siachen were to assess the geological formations, study glacial dynamics, evaluate potential mineral resources, and provide valuable information for strategic and environmental purposes.

Ques 3: What are the potential benefits of the GSI survey of Siachen?

Answer: The GSI survey can contribute to the scientific understanding of the Siachen region, aid in resource exploration and management, support strategic decision-making, and facilitate environmental conservation efforts in the area.

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