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'Embarrassing if Pakistan beats India to CERN membership'
Tuesday June 11, 2013 7:00 PM, IANS

Eminent Indian physicist Bikash Sinha Tuesday said it would be "very embarrassing" if Pakistan steers ahead of India and becomes an associate member at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), the world's largest particle physics laboratory.

"Yes, it would be very embarrassing if Pakistan gets the associate membership (AM) first," Sinha told reporters while briefing reporters about the soon-to-be-opened Tagore Centre of Natural Sciences & Philosophy.

To be an associate member, India will have to pay an amount close to 10 million Swiss francs (approx $10.7 million) annually.

The status of associate member is also the pre-stage to full membership.

As an associate member, India will be entitled to attend open and restricted sessions of the organisation's council meetings and can also get access to CERN's Finance Committee deliberations.

"In India everything is tangled in bureaucratic process. The proposal is with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), hopefully it will be through in the next six months," said Sinha.

"The implications are huge if Pakistan gets there early," he added.

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