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India now an associate member of CERN

India has finally become an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory. There has been a lot of criticism after India vacillated for a long time before joining the project. The agreement was penned for India by Sekhar Basu, Chairman for the AEC and Secretary for Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and CERN DG, Dr. Fabiola Gianotti at the DAE’s office here. India was accepted as an associate member in September this year by the CERN Council after the Union Cabinet approved the participation of the nation in the project. India is now a member of the prestigious Geneva-based body.

India is an expert in all the tree aspects about the CERN experiment – accelerators, detectors, and computing. This has helped in upgrading the status of India from observer to associate member. Becoming an associate member will also give an opportunity for the nation’s young scientists to participate in the global venture. It will also provide an opportunity for the country’s industry to take part in the CERN project.

The industry will also get an opportunity to bag contracts for different requirements of CERN. Earlier the supply of various components for the CERN was made without any charge. However now the companies and enterprises can bag orders directly and provide services.

India which became an associate member will also contribute to the research activities. This will involve 11.5 million Swiss Franc to the CERN. Indian scientists have been involved with research activities at CERN way back in the early 1960s. In 1991 Department of Atomic Energy signed an agreement with CERN, and this agreement continues to this day. India obtained an observer status in 2003 and subsequently invited to join CERN as an associate member.