CERN delegation discusses issues related to India's associate membership

A delegation from CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire), Geneva started its tour of India to report to the CERN Council about India's institutional and scientific strengths to become an associate member of this leading high energy physics laboratory.

The delegation started its governmental and scientific interactions in Delhi on Tuesday (22 February) by calling on the union minister of science and technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan, secretary, department of science and technology Prof Ashutosh Sharma and other senior officials and discussed details of the issue.

The delegation later met union minister of state for atomic energy, Dr Jitendra Singh, and apprised the minister about the long-standing collaboration between Indian institutions and CERN and the long history of India-CERN engagement. They said that CERN greatly valued this long-standing partnership.

Both Harshwardhan and Jitendra Singh also expressed the hope that the cooperation would get further deepened with India becoming an associate member, the approval for which had already been granted by the government of India last year.

Once India becomes an associate member, Indian industry will be able to bid for CERN contracts, thus opening up opportunities in areas of advanced technologies facilitating technology transfer. Indian scientists will be able to get appointments in CERN for longer periods and India will be able to participate in the scientific decision making to a greater degree.

Besides, Indian students and post-doctoral fellows will have much greater opportunities to participate in CERN's schools, workshops, summer programmes etc.

CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire , or European Council for Nuclear Research) is a provisional body founded in 1952 with the mandate of establishing a world-class fundamental physics research organisation in Europe. At that time, pure physics research concentrated on understanding the inside of the atom, hence the word "nuclear".

Later, the task force members also visited the Inter-University Accelerator Centre (IUAC) in New Delhi and interacted with university scientists. They also had a look at the accelerator development and allied research activities being carried out there. The task force left for Mumbai in the evening on the second leg of their India visit.