The Union Cabinet has approved the LIGO-India project (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory in India) proposal for research on gravitational waves.
The approval coincides with the historic first time detection of gravitational waves that had opened up of a new window on the universe to unravel some of its greatest mysteries.
- LIGO-India project is piloted by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST). It will give impetus to scientific research in the country.
- It will establish a state-of-the-art Gravitational Wave Observatory in India in collaboration with the US based LIGO Laboratory run by Caltech and MIT.
- The project will help Indian scientists and engineers to take global leadership in this new astronomical frontier by doing research into the realm of gravitational wave.
- It will also bring considerable opportunities in cutting edge technology in India’s scientific industry as domestic players will engaged in the construction of 8 kilometre long beam tube at ultra-high vacuum of observatory on a levelled terrain.
- The proposal for LIGO-India project was made under the India-United States cooperation agreement US LIGO lab and US National Science Foundation (NSF) in October 2011 for locating an interferometer in India.
- Formal proposal in this regard was submitted to the DAE and DST by the Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations (IndiGO) Consortium (formed in 2009).
- Under this proposal, US was going to provide all the hardware and technology required for project and India’s responsibility will be to construct and operate it.