Pakistan is joining CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) next month but India still not joining the world’s largest particle physics laboratory is a mistake, said its chief in Kolkata on the sidelines of a meet.
The Pakistani government which has applied long ago will be issued a notification by next month on the country’s associate membership of the organisation, CERN director general Rolf Dieter Heuer said.
“I think India is in the last iteration of applying… I expect the application very soon. How soon I cannot say. I hope it comes in soon,” he said at a discussion on India’s international collaborations in physical sciences organised by eminent physicist Bikash Sinha.
Heuer said India, which has observer status, would be committing a mistake if it did not bid for CERN’s associate membership, which will be done at an additional payment of $11 million annually.
“I think India is a nation which is now really high up and it would be a very good move for India to connect with high technology and international brains,” Heuer said.
Pakistan went ahead last month to sign a deal with CERN for an associate membership subject to ratification by its government, which is due soon.
CERN reportedly discovered the Higgs Boson or the God’s particle at its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) facility, a tunnel beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva.
Currently, CERN has 21 member states, and Romania is a candidate to become a member. Serbia is an associate member, while Pakistan will be the only Asian member, if its government ratifies the deal, which Heuer said he is expecting by March.
Observer status allows non-member states to attend council meetings and to receive council documents but they are not entitled to take part in the decision-making procedures of the organisation.
“With an AM (associated membership), India could be part of mega science experiments and this will allow more Indian scientists to get involved. It will also allow industries to participate in bids for CERN contracts. It is high time,” Heuer said.