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India joins multinational telescope project - SRK - 06-27-2010

Quote: India has joined the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) project, the next generation astronomical observatory that will be located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

This was announced by Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chauhan in California on Friday.

The observatory is scheduled to begin operations in 2018.
Observer status

India has been granted observer status on the TMT Board. This is the first step to becoming a full partner in TMT, which will mean participating in the development and scientific use of what will be the world's most advanced and capable astronomical observatory, according to the press release by the TMT project team.

“In about a year's time,” said Ajit Kembhavi, Director, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, “we expect this observer status to be converted into full partnership in the project.”

The proposal to join the TMT project was initiated by three Indian institutes engaged in astronomy: the IUCAA, the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore, and the Aryabhata Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital. “The government had regarded our proposal as a reasonable one and hence the decision,” Professor Kembhavi added.

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