In a significant development, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)-India on Technology Day. The ceremony took place in the presence of several dignitaries and scientists from India and the United States.
PM Modi will also dedicate to the nation a Rare Earth Permanent Magnet Plant at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre campus at Visakhapatnam and a Fission Moly-99 Production Facility in Mumbai, to produce the radioisotope used in more than 85 per cent of imaging procedures for early detection of cancer and heart disease.
The LIGO-India is set to become the third observatory in the world, after the United States and Italy, to detect gravitational waves. These waves are ripples in the fabric of spacetime that are generated by violent cosmic events such as the collision of black holes and the explosion of supernovae.
The project is a collaboration between the Indian government’s Department of Atomic Energy and the United States’ National Science Foundation. The observatory is being built in a 40-acre plot of land in the Hingoli district of Maharashtra at a cost of Rs. 1,200 crores. Total series of projects to cost above 5800 crores.
The projects whose foundation stone would be laid include Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory – India (LIGO-India), Hingoli; Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jatni, Odisha; and Platinum Jubilee Block of Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Prime Minister hailed the project as a landmark in India’s scientific progress and a testimony to the country’s prowess in technology. He said that the observatory would help India’s scientific community to explore the universe and its mysteries.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the benefits of the project to India’s technological and economic growth. He said that the project would create a skilled workforce in the country and contribute to the development of the local economy.
The LIGO-India project is expected to provide a major boost to India’s scientific capabilities. It will allow scientists to study the universe in a completely new way and provide insights into some of the most fundamental questions about the nature of space and time.
The project is also expected to create new opportunities for collaboration between Indian and American scientists, helping to strengthen ties between the two countries.