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India to join CERN, as an associate member

India became an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). It would cost India Rs. 78 crore annually. Associate members pay about 10 per cent what full members pay.

The agreement was signed by Sekhar Basu, chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), and CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti in Mumbai.

How it will benefit India?

  1. It allows Indian companies to bid for lucrative engineering contracts
  2. Indians can now apply for staff positions at the organization.

CERN and Indian timeline

  • India was inducted as an ‘Observer’ at CERN in 2004
  • India was invited to be member of CERN at least two years ago
  • India will formally become a member around January, 2017 after depositing an instrument of ratification.
  • India can choose to apply for full membership after two years

Indian contribution to CERN

  • India was actively involved in the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in the areas of design, development and supply of hardware accelerator components/systems and its commissioning and software development and deployment in the machine.
  • Indian scientists have played a significant role in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, one of the two large experiments that led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson.

CERN

  • It was established in 1954
  • It is based in a northwest suburb of Genevaon the Franco–Swiss border
  • It has 22 member states and four associate member states and other associate members transitioning to full member status.
  • Israelis the only non-European country granted full membership.
  • Its main function is to provide the particle acceleratorsand other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research – as a result, numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN as a result of international collaborations
  • It is the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory and best known as operator of the Large Hadron Collider, which found the elusive Higgs boson in 2012.
  • Pakistan became an associate member of the body in 2014.
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