The 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics has been conferred to three scientists namely Rainer Weiss, Barry C Barish & Kip S Thorne under the LIGO Project for their discovery of gravitational waves. The discovery has been made 100 years after Einstein's General Relativity predicted it.
The direct detection of Gravitational waves arrives from the merger two large Black holes in a distant galaxy a Billion of light years away. Gravitational waves carry information about their dramatic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained. This is a new vista in Astronomy since Gravitational Waves are an entirely new way of observing the most violent events in space.
This is a proud moment for India also, since the discovery paper has 39 Indian authors/scientists from nine institutions. Indian scientists have made seminal contributions to this field which contributed towards the principles behind the LIGO Detector.
An opportunity for India taking leadership in this field has opened up with the LIGO-India mega-science project that was granted ‘in principle’ approval by the Union Cabinet on Feb 17 2016. LIGO-India brings forth a real possibility of Indian scientists and technologists stepping forward, with strong international cooperation, into the frontier of an emergent area of high visibility and promise presented by the recent GW detections and the high promise of a new window of gravitational-wave astronomy to probe the universe. LIGO-India is being jointly funded by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST).