IISER Pune has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) to jointly establish a Centre for Gravitational Physics and Astronomy (CGPA).
This field has become a major active frontier of physical science and an attractive portal for young researchers to enter scientific research. The MoU between the two institutions will capitalize on their geographical proximity to bring together the complementary attributes of a specialised research institution like IUCAA and the capacity of a broad research and education institution like IISER Pune.
The Centre will have the dual goals of creating collaborative research and teaching activity, and exposing talented young researchers to challenges in the area of Gravitational Physics and Astronomy. The rigorous training provided to students under the Centre’s aegis will contribute to the development of human resources in this field. The CGPA will identify focus areas and appoint complementary research faculty with shared infrastructure and an extensive mentorship programme. Each institution will appoint a Faculty Coordinator and there will be a Joint Oversight Committee to oversee activities and advise on addition or amendments of focus programmes, allocation of resources, etc.
The CGPA will have some Core Members who will conduct intensive research and teaching programmes with well defined, specific goals. There will also be some Associate Members who will participate in collaborative programmes in the broad area of gravitational physics and astronomy through elective courses, student mentorship, seminars and workshops.
In the first year, the CGPA will have a single Focus Area – Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy. This is in view of the global impetus in this field following the discovery of gravitational waves, and the expected scientific opportunities and challenges associated with the planned Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LlGO) in India. To be able to claim a major share and visible leadership in the frontier research expected to take place at LIGO India, high-skill Human Resources Development at different levels of expertise is imperative. The CGPA will contribute to creation of a sizable force of highly skilled techno-scientific manpower in India, towards this end.
We hope that this MoU will mark the beginning of a successful and fruitful joint endeavour for the two institutions.
IISER Pune and IUCAA signed a Memorandum of Understanding for setting up a new Centre for Gravitational Physics and Astronomy. The news was covered by the Times of India and Indian Express. August 2, 2017