GS Paper III- Science and Technology.

India becomes Associate member of CERN

What’s Happening-
India became an Associate member of CERN on Monday with the Indian government completing its internal approval procedures in respect of the agreement it had signed with CERN on November 21, 2016.

Benefits of joining as Associate CERN:

  • As an Associate member India will have full access to all data generated at CERN. As there are many experiments in CERN, there will be plenty of information available.
  • When we were not an Associate member, India could data only from those experiments where we were participating.
  • India can participate in all experiments.
  • We may have to pay additional charges for participating in the experiments.
  • We can choose the experiments where India wants to participate.
  • Whenever any CERN facilities get upgraded and go through maintenance, it will provide opportunities for Indian industries to participate.
  • Indian industry will be entitled to bid for CERN contracts, which will allow it to work in areas of advanced technology.
  • So the “Make in India” will get a boost due to CERN.
  • “India will definitely be more competitive than others.”
  • Since Indian scientists will become eligible for staff appointments, it will enhance the participation of young scientists and engineers in operation and maintenance of various CERN projects.
  • Indian scientists and engineers working in CERN will learn how to operate and maintain the facilities.
  • “Indian physicists, engineers and technicians have made substantial contributions to the construction of the LHC accelerator and to the ALICE and CMS experiments, accelerator R&D projects.

Economy:
India has to pay about Rs 40 crore a year as an Associate member.
According to him, it is a small fee compared to the huge scientific and commercial benefits that India will stand to gain.

Background-
India’s involvement in CERN began in the 1960s with researchers from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai participating in experiments at CERN.
In the 1990s scientists from Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore too got involved in CERN experiment.
In 1991, India and CERN signed a Cooperation Agreement, setting priorities for scientific and technical cooperation. India and CERN have signed several other protocols since then.

Sources- The Indian Express,The Hindu. Page 3

GS Paper III-  Science and Technology.

India was not isolated before colliding with Eurasian plate claim scientists

What’s Happening-
Throwing fresh light on how India gradually drifted away from Africa and Madagascar and collided with the Eurasian plate, scientists now report India was by no means as isolated as we thought during its journey.

Proof / valid points to new theory:

  • Using tiny midges encased in amber, paleontologists from University of Bonn in Germany found that there must have been a connection between the apparently cut off India and Europe and Asia around 54 million years ago that enabled the creatures to move around.
  • India harbours many unique species of flora and fauna that only occur in this form on the subcontinent. The scientist mined for amber in seams of coal near Surat.
  • Small midges, among other things, were encased in tree resin 54 million years ago and preserved as fossils. The tiny insects, which are often not even a millimetre large, are “biting midges”.
  • Their descendants can still be found today in Germany in meadows and forests – where the little beasts attack you in swarms and suck your blood.
  • There was significant conformity with biting midges in amber from the Baltic and Fushun in north-east China.

Background-
It was common belief among researchers that before it collided with the Eurasian plate, India was largely isolated for at least 30 million years during its migration.

Sources- The Indian Express,The Hindu. Page 3