India on 16 January 2017 became an Associate Member State of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) after the Union Government completed its internal approval procedures for the membership.
Earlier in November 2016, India signed an agreement with the organisation in this regard. The agreement was signed by Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Sekhar Basu and CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti in Mumbai.
As an Associate member of CERN, India will have full access to all data generated at CERN. Moreover, it can now participate in all the experiments conducted at CERN by paying additional charges. Indian industry will also be entitled to bid for CERN contracts.
From now onwards, India will be required to pay around Rs 40 crore every year as an Associate member.
• India-CERN relations date back to 1991 when both the sides signed a Cooperation Agreement setting priorities for scientific and technical cooperation, followed by the signature of several Protocols.
• However, India's Tata Institute of Fundamental Research had already been working with CERN since the 1960s. The physicists of the institute were actively participating in experiments at CERN.
• These physicists were later joined by scientists from the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology in the 1990s.
• These institutes built components for the LEP accelerator and the L3, WA93 and WA89 detectors.
• All these developments by Indian scientists paved the way for the Indian AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) to take part in the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and to contribute to the CMS and ALICE experiments in 1996.
• In recognition of these contributions, India was granted the Observer status to the CERN Council in 2002.
• Indian scientists were also involved in ISOLDE, a high-tech particle detector and electronics research and n-TOF experiments of CERN.