US, India sign LIGO Project After Modi Meets Scientists

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Washington, DC – The United States on Thursday (March 31) signed an agreement with India to build a state-of-the-art Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) project in India during the first day of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit here.

The agreement was inked between the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Modi witnessed the exchange of the agreement which was signed earlier in the day by France Cordova, Director, US NSF, and Sekhar Basu, Secretary, DAE, India.

Modi also met scientists from LIGO which got global attention recently after its scientists proved the gravitational waves theory. Among them were Rana Adhikari, Karan Jani and Nancy Agarwal, according to Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup who highlighted that Karan was a Gujarati himself, referring to Modi being a Gujarati.

Swarup added that others were Director Cordova; Fleming Crim, Assistant Director Mathematical and Physical Sciences NSF; Rebecca Kaiser, Head, Office of International Science and Engineering NSF; David Retitze, Caltech.

The prime minister also met Indian student scientists associated with the LIGO project, Swarup said.

The scientists of NSF, DAE and DST are scheduled to form a Joint Oversight Group (JOG) for better coordination of the project. They will hold a meeting on April 10 to discuss and decide the project site for setting up the laboratory.

Modi is here to attend the fourth and final edition of the Nuclear Security Summit being held on March 31 and April 1.

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