India has applied to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) at Geneva in Switzerland for associate membership.

This was stated by CERN official Rudiger Voss on Wednesday.

He was talking to journalists on the sidelines of a two-day conference, “Frontiers of Science,” which began here on Wednesday.

Mr. Voss said if India was granted associate membership, Indian researchers would be eligible for jobs at the CERN. Currently, researchers of institutes that collaborate with the CERN can only be deputed there for short periods of time. It will also open the gates for the private sector to the international research organisation.

The CERN was established in 1954 by 12 European countries. At present, it has 20 member-States.

According to a CERN press release issued in December 2010, at a meeting of the CERN Council in June last, discussions were held on opening the membership to countries beyond Europe and allowing the organisation to participate in future projects beyond Europe.

“As of now, any country may apply for Membership or Associate Membership of CERN,” it said.

Under the scheme, associate membership is an essential pre-requisite for membership to the organisation. Thus countries may apply for associate membership alone, or apply to become associate members on the route to becoming members of the organisation, it added.

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