LIGO: In the Parliament of India

There were earlier reports in the media that the LIGO India budget is Rs. 1,200 crores. The following information emerged from recent Q&A activity in the Indian Parliament. Contrary to the we’re-all-systems-go impression projected in the media by Indian LIGO leaders, it appears that no moneys have actually been released. So there is still time to stop this rampant foolishness. The Government of India could ask NSF on record if there are any scientific/technical issues why India should not proceed with LIGO at this time.

LIGO Q&A IN THE INDIAN PARLIAMENT (LOK SABHA, House of the People) 10 AUGUST 2016

Detection of Gravitational Waves

… The international LIGO Science collaboration consisting of about 1000 scientists from universities and research institutes from about 15 countries, including India, announced the first detection on February 05, 2016 and second one on June 15, 2016.

… There are 37 authors from 9 Indian Institutions in the scientific publication presenting the first discovery of Gravitational waves published in the Physical Review letters by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration. There were 39 authors from the same 9 Indian institutions in the publication for the detection of the second black hole merger event.

…Specific contributions by Indian researchers include the development of a signal processing method called Matched Filtering a key analysis technique needed for this detection, (pioneered at IUCAA) the estimation of black hole binary parameters, in improving the estimation accuracy of black hole spins, efficient methods for handling instrumental artefacts, … India is also committed to the mega science LIGO-India project, to build and operate an advanced gravitational wave observatory on Indian soil.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

LIGO Q&A IN THE INDIAN PARLIAMENT (RAJYA SABHA, Council of States) 11 AUGUST 2016

Funds for LIGO-India Project

… Under the Mega Science Projects, an amount of Rupees105 crore has been made in XII Plan outlay by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)-Department of Science & Technology (DST) towards LIGO-India. Out of which, the share of contribution of DST will be Rupees 55 crore including 50% of seed-funding amount of Rupees 9.70 crore and DAEs share would be Rupees 50 crore. No financial sanction has been issued so far for the project.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

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