Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory – India (LIGO-India) on Thursday, when the country celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Pokhran-II nuclear tests.
PM Modi will also dedicate to the nation a Rare Earth Permanent Magnet Plant at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre campus at Visakhapatnam and a Fission Moly-99 Production Facility in Mumbai, to produce the radioisotope used in more than 85 per cent of imaging procedures for early detection of cancer and heart disease.
May 11 marks the 25th anniversary of the 1998 nuclear tests carried out at Pokhran test range, including its first test of a thermonuclear device, which has since been celebrated as the National Technology Day to honour scientists, engineers and technologists who made the tests possible.
The prime minister will lay the foundation stone and dedicate to the nation multiple projects related to scientific and technological advancement in the country, worth more than ? 5,800 crore, an official statement said.
The projects whose foundation stone would be laid include Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory – India (LIGO-India), Hingoli; Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jatni, Odisha; and Platinum Jubilee Block of Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.
Last month, the Union Cabinet gave its nod to a project to construct and set up a LIGO-India at an estimated cost of ? 2,600 crore which is likely to be completed by 2030.
LIGO-India will be an advanced gravitational-wave observatory to be located in India as part of a worldwide network. It is envisaged as a collaborative project between a consortium of Indian research institutions and the LIGO Laboratory in the USA, along with its international partners.
LIGO-India had received the government’s in-principle approval in February 2016. Since then, the project reached several milestones towards selecting and acquiring a site and building the observatory.
The United States will provide key components for the lab worth USD 80 million, which amounts to ? 560 crore.
The LIGO-India project will be built by the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology, with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Science Foundation, the US, along with several national and international research and academic institutions.
LIGO-India will be an extremely sensitive interferometer of four km arm length capable of sensing gravitational waves generated during the merger of massive astrophysical objects such as black holes, and neutron stars, the statement said.
The projects that will be dedicated to the nation include Fission Molybdenum-99 Production Facility, Mumbai; Rare Earth Permanent Magnet Plant, Visakhapatnam; National Hadron Beam Therapy Facility, Navi Mumbai; Radiological Research Unit, Navi Mumbai; Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Visakhapatnam; and Women & Children Cancer Hospital Building, Navi Mumbai, it said.
Rare Earth Permanent Magnets production facility has been developed on the campus of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre at Visakhapatnam.
The facility will produce rare earth permanent magnets using indigenous Rare Earth material. India will join a select group of nations with capacity to produce such magnets, that have applications in the manufacture of computer hard disk drives, wind turbine generators and MRI machines.
The National Hadron Beam Therapy Facility of Tata Memorial Centre, Navi Mumbai works to undertake highly precise delivery of radiation to the tumour with minimal dose to the surrounding normal structures. The precise delivery of dose to target tissue reduces the early and delayed side effects of radiation therapy.
Fission Molybdenum-99 Production Facility located in Trombay Campus of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is expected to enable about 9 to 10 lakh patient scans per year, the statement said.
The laying of foundation stone and dedication of several cancer hospitals and facilities will decentralise and enhance provisioning of world class cancer care in different regions of the country, it added.This year’s National Technology Day celebrations have a special focus on Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and will showcase live tinkering sessions, engage in tinkering activities, and witness outstanding innovations and products by startups.