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Indian delegation visits Hawaii to discuss progress of TMT

IndiaIndian delegation visits Hawaii to discuss progress of TMT

Indian Delegation, Led by Professor Abhay Karandikar, Explores Progress of Thirty Meter Telescope Project in Hawaii

An esteemed Indian delegation, spearheaded by Professor Abhay Karandikar, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), embarked on a recent visit to Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The primary purpose of the visit was to engage in pivotal discussions concerning the advancement of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project. The TMT, a revolutionary 30-meter diameter primary mirror optical and infrared telescope, promises to unveil new frontiers in optical and infrared astronomy.

India, a founding member-partner in the TMT project since its approval by the Union Cabinet in 2014, continues to play a crucial role in its development. The delegation, comprised of five members, held key discussions with prominent figures such as Professor Henry Yang, Chairman of the TMT International Observatory (TIO) Board, Professor Robert Kirshner, Executive Director of TIO, and TMT Project Managers on January 9, 2024.

The focal points of these discussions included the current status of the TMT, with specific emphasis on the Mauna Kea site, the initiation of civil construction, funding availability, progress in providing in-kind contributions for the project, and the anticipated timelines considering the prevailing circumstances.

In addition to engaging with TMT leaders, the Indian delegation conducted separate meetings with local authorities. These meetings involved discussions with Scott Saiki, Speaker of the House, Hawaii State Legislature, John Komeiji, Chairman of Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority, Mitch Roth, Mayor of Hawaii County, and other influential figures. The agenda during these interactions spanned the initiation of processes to incorporate native Hawaiians in decision-making and outlining the strategic direction for the project amidst current challenges.

The collaborative efforts between the Indian delegation and their Hawaiian counterparts underscore the commitment to fostering a cooperative and inclusive approach in steering the TMT project toward its successful realization. The discussions held pave the way for continued collaboration and progress in this groundbreaking astronomical endeavor.

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