Artha Vishwa
India, US sign MoU for setting up LIGO project
India and the US signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for setting up a new Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in India that will play significant role in carrying forward frontline research on various aspects of gravitational wave astronomy. The MoU comes about a month after the Union Cabinet approved the construction of the long-awaited third LIGO interferometer. Department of Atomic Energy Secretary Sekhar Basu and the US' National Science Foundation (NSF) France Cordova signed the MoU in this regard in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi, who was in the US to attend the two-day Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), met scientists of LIGO who recently proved gravitational waves theory. He also interacted with the Indian scientists who are part of the LIGO project. Prime Minister described the LIGO project as a great example of India-US scientific collaboration and said the success of this project could well inspire an entire young generation of Indian scientists. He urged the Indian scientists who are part of the LIGO project to interact with Indian students and visit Indian universities, as much as possible.
The Cabinet, he said, has already approved USD1200 crores for the project. "Now that India has decided to be part of the project, the possibility is that India would be central to the LIGO project, partly on account of the fact that geography favors us," External Ministry Spokesman Vikas Swarup told reporters. "It would come up hopefully in the next five to seven years," Swarup said. Cordova explained how India was extremely important for the future of the LIGO project. "Today is an exciting day because it offers the promise of deepening our understanding and opening an even wider window to our universe. This MOU is the first step toward an additional gravitational wave detector, located in India," Cordova said. "With this new commitment to collaboration, NSF's Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (better known as LIGO), and its hundreds of associated scientists worldwide, are positioned to take this nascent field of gravitational wave science to the next level," he said. "Once in place, a third detector would be able to 'triangulate' the source of gravitational waves and thus make other, more detailed observations," he added.
India, France Sign MoU for 6 Nuke Reactors
India and France have signed an MoU for the construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra. Development happened nearly two months after the two countries decided to conclude the negotiations for the project by the year end. According to sources, the pact was inked recently at the end of the two-day visit of a high-level delegation of Electricite de France (EDF - French public utility) to Mumbai for holding discussions with the National Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) on the construction of the plants. French Ambassador to India Francois Richier, who was present on the occasion, reiterated his country's commitment to work seamlessly with India through a collaborative approach to enable both sides to contribute collectively to the development of nuclear energy in India in the most economical manner. The EDF visit was a follow-up on the State Visit of French President Francois Hollande to India in January, during which France and India drew up a cooperation roadmap for concluding techno-commercial negotiations for the Jaitapur project by the end of 2016. It may be recalled that, on this occasion, Modi and Hollande welcomed the initialising of an updated MoU between EDF and NPCIL for the construction of six EPR units at Jaitapur. This updated MoU was formally signed by EDF and NPCIL on 22nd of March," the sources said.