India Becomes Associate Member Of CERN

India has become the fourth associate member of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).
The Indian Ministry of Science and Technology recently issued a statement, saying that the South Asian country became an associate member of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research on November 21, twelve years after its induction as an ‘observer’ at CERN (in 2004). According to the statement, the membership will allow Indian companies to bid for rewarding engineering contracts. Now, Indians can also apply for staff positions at the Geneva-based 22-member organisation.
Secretary of India’s Atomic Energy Commission Arun Srivastava has welcomed CERN’s decision to accept India as its associate member, saying that although the membership would cost the country CHF 11.5 million per annum, it could not enjoy voting rights on decisions of the Council. “Most decisions of the Council proceed by consensus, but the most significant outcome is that our industry can bid for developing sophisticated equipment, software and instruments,” he stressed.
Srivastava also thanked the Narendra Modi government for clearing India’s participation in 2015, saying that India will formally become a member of CERN in January. He told the media: “We can choose to apply for full membership after two years or continue with this status for five years.”
Despite the fact that neighbouring Pakistan became an associate member of CERN in 2014, India’s association with CERN goes back decades. Indian scientists were actively involved in the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. They not only designed the LHC, but also developed the hardware accelerator components/systems, commissioned those systems and deployed the machine. Indian scientists further played an important role in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment and the discovery of the Higgs Boson.
On November 21, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) Sekhar Basu and CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti signed an agreement in the western Indian port city of Mumbai. After signing the accord, Gianotti said: “We already have met some industries in Bengaluru and talks were more related to computing. We will explore more in India and what can be contributing to CERN.” She also invited young Indian scientists and engineers to join in various CERN projects. Indian industries should explore opportunities to directly take part in major CERN projects, said the CERN director general.


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