The Union Cabinet on Wednesday granted an "in-principle approval" to a proposal for establishing an observatory to study gravitational waves in India. It will be in collaboration with the United States-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO. The LIGO-India project will be headed by the Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science and Technology, IANS reported.
The project is expected to allow scientists and engineers to delve deeper into the field of gravitational waves and participate in global efforts to research it. The announcement comes after scientists confirmed the existence of gravitational waves earlier this month, a discovery that was regarded as the breakthrough of the century. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said he was “immensely proud that Indian scientists played an important role in this challenging quest”.
India is expected to play a significant role in the future detection of gravitational waves. The LIGO-India project proposal includes shifting one advanced LIGO detector from Hanford, Washington, to India. Studies have shown that adding a detector in India or Australia could increase the sensitivity of a network of detectors to gravitational waves.