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We at Seth Anandram Jaipuria school, had a special Assembly today and the guest invitee was Dr. Sanjeeva Nayaka, Principal Scientist Lichenology Laboratory at CSIR Lucknow. DR. Nayaka has the distinction of having travelled to the Antarctica twice to study lichens.

It was a fascinating one hour session, where Antarctica, its geography, topography, climate, flora and fauna came out of the books and became a living reality. He shared the data about its terrain, the harsh and hostile living conditions, its sparse population, why it is the coldest, driest and windiest continent. Who discovered Antarctica and when, whom, does it belong to what is the Antarctica treaty, how many stations does it have, why do people go to Antarctica and what is the reason to study Science in that remote continent-all facets we had no clue about. Dr. Nayaka took us through amazing visuals of unique phenomenon like Sun pillars, Sun halos, out of the world cloud formations, Aurora and the biodiversity typical to that region. He elaborated about India’s first expedition to the Antarctica, a program driven by our late Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi. He told us how scientists are selected for these expeditions, what kind of training they undergo and what kind of life styles they lead for two to three months stay at this isolated white continent. It was an enriching experience and we are indebted to Dr. Nayaka for this wonderful session.

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