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Europe nuke club pitches for associate member status to India

Move will open many doors for Indian scientists, says Rolf-Dieter Heur

Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director-General, CERN (Geneva), delivering his lecture during the Homi Bhabha session on ‘Mega Science and India’ at the centenary celebrations of the Indian Science Congress in Kolkata on Saturday.— A. Roy Chowdhury

The Director-General of CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), Rolf-Dieter Heur on Saturday pitched for India becoming an associate member of the organisation.

CERN was instrumental in the discovery of the so-called ‘God particle’ – an elementary particle believed to exist in physics — in July last year.


“This is the right time for India to be an associate member of CERN,” Heur said here on the sidelines of a session organised by the Indian Science Congress, adding that the matter has also been taken up with Union Minister for Science and Technology S. Jaipal Reddy.

The associate membership of CERN will not only open the doors of mega science experiments for Indian scientists but also help them participate in training and education programmes held at the laboratory, he said.

India, currently, enjoys an observer status and needs to make a payment of nearly 10 million Swiss Francs to CERN for associate membership.


A proposal in this regard was sent by Indian scientists to the Centre and is awaiting approval.

According to Bikash Sinha, eminent scientist and Homi Bhabha Professor of the Department of Atomic Energy, the proposal to make India an associate member is awaiting clearance from the Prime Minister’s office (PMO).

“We hope to get the necessary clearances from the PMO soon,” Sinha said.

According to him, associate membership of CERN will allow Indian industry to participate in bids for CERN contracts across various sectors, including in niche areas like developing equipment for crucial experiments.


Meanwhile, eminent nuclear scientist, Anil Kakodkar said on Saturday that apprehensions over the usage of nuclear power might lead to a non-utilisation of available resources.

“We must have as many power plants, including nuclear power, as possible. I think we are not doing enough to use resources, which we are going to regret in the future,” he said on the sidelines of the Plenary Session of the 100{+t} {+h} Science Congress.

According to Kakodkar, demand for power is likely to go up in the future and failure to utilise available resources might lead to energy shortages.

“Power requisition will grow. We must use as many energy resources as possible,” he said.

January 6, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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