The Government has given ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) in India. The LIGO-India project will establish a state-of-the-art gravitational wave observatory on the Indian soil in collaboration with the LIGO Laboratory in the U.S. run by Caltech and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The project will bring unprecedented opportunities for our scientists and engineers to dig deeper into the realm of gravitational wave and take global leadership in this new astronomical frontier. LIGO-India will also bring considerable opportunities in cutting edge technology for the Indian industry which will be engaged in the construction of eight kilometre long beam tube at ultra-high vacuum on a levelled terrain. The LIGO-India project will be jointly coordinated and executed by three premier Indian lead institutions viz., the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, the Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar and the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore. Some of the Universities in the country will also participate in the 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 DAE’s share would be Rupees 50 crore. No financial sanction has been issued so far for the project.