Mumbai, Nov 22: India yesterday became the associate member of CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), which is the world's largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory.
The agreement was signed between CERN Director General Dr Fabiola Gianotti at the DAE's office and Sekhar Basu, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
The Union Cabinet gave a nod to the proposal for India officially entering the Geneva-based body. Following this, the CERN Council accepted the country as an associate member. In September this year, the CERN Council adopted a resolution to this effect.
Meanwhile, Gianotti said, "There are three major activities going on in our laboratory-- accelerators, detectors and computing. Indian scientist fraternity is good at all the three areas; hence we have taken decision to upgrade the status."
Advantages of being a CERN associate member
- Becoming the Associate Member of CERN will enhance participation of young scientists and engineers in various CERN projects
- Indian industries can also participate in it directly
- Industries can now directly bag contracts for specific requirements of CERN. Earlier, the raw materials were in the form of kind. But now, the companies can directly bag the contracts.
- India will have to contribute certain amount of money to research activities
Meanwhile, Gianotti said, "This would involve annual contribution of 11.5 million swiss frank from Indian government to CERN."
Presently, CERN has 22 members, four associate member states and the observer status is given to four states and three International Organizations. A number of national institutes and universities from India have worked together in forming an active collaboration with CERN.