?India has been putting efforts to design, develop and utilise various types of electron and proton accelerators for scientific, industrial and societal use,? said Sekhar Basu, Secretary, Atomic Energy. ?Becoming Associate Member of CERN will enhance participation of young scientists and engineers in various CERN projects and bring back knowledge for deployment in the domestic programmes. It will also provide opportunities to Indian industries to participate directly in CERN Projects.?
?For over 50 years, India has been a strong partner in CERN?s scientific activities,? said Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director General. ?Indian physicists, engineers and technicians have made substantial contributions to the construction of the LHC accelerator and to the ALICE and CMS experiments, as well as to accelerator R&D projects.?
Associate Membership will allow India to take part in meetings of the CERN Council and its committees (Finance Committee and Scientific Policy Committee). It will also make Indian scientists eligible for staff appointments. Once the Agreement enters into force, Indian industry will be entitled to bid for CERN contracts, which will open up opportunities for industrial collaboration in areas of advanced technology.
India?s relationship with the Organization dates back to 1960s, initially through cooperation with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, whose high-energy physicists have been actively participating in experiments at CERN. They were later joined by scientists from the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore, in the 1990s. These and other institutes built components for the LEP accelerator and the L3, WA93 and WA89 detectors. Their scientists participated in important physics analyses and publications throughout the years.
In 1991, India and CERN signed a Cooperation Agreement, setting priorities for scientific and technical cooperation, followed by the signature of several Protocols.
All these developments paved the way, in 1996, for the Indian AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) to agree to take part in the construction of the LHC, and to contribute to the CMS and ALICE experiments and to the LHC Computing Grid with Tier-2 centres in Mumbai and Kolkata.