PIB Press Releases

Indian delegation visits Hawaii to discuss progress of TMT

An Indian delegation led by Secretary Department of Science and Technology (DST) Professor Abhay Karandikar visited Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA and discussed challenges in the progress of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project and ways to overcome them.

Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) is a 30-meter diameter primary mirror optical and infrared telescope being established at Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA. India is a Founder-Member Partner in this project which aims to open new windows to the universe through optical and infrared astronomy. Indian participation in this project was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2014.

A five-member Indian Delegation led by Prof. Abhay Karandikar met with Prof. Henry Yang, Chairman, of Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) International Observatory (TIO) Board, Prof. Robert Kirshner, Executive Director, TIO and TMT Project Managers at Hawaii on 9th January 2024.

The discussions centred on TMT’s present status, particularly regarding the Mauna Kea site, the start of civil construction, the present funding situation, progress made so far towards in-kind deliverables for the project and expected timelines in the present scenario.

Separate meetings were also held with Mr Scott Saiki, Speaker of the House, Hawaii State Legislature, Mr. John Komeiji, Chairman, Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority, Mr. Mitch Roth, Mayor of Hawaii County, Ms. Kaiu Kimura, native Hawaiian and Executive Director of Imiloa Astronomy Center, Mr Toby Taniguchi, President of KTA Superstores, Mr Pua Ishibashi, native Hawaiian and State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Dr Kimo Alameda, native Hawaiian and Hawaii County Mayoral candidate 2024.

The issues discussed included the initiation of the process for the inclusion of native Hawaiians in decision-making and the way forward for the project in the present circumstances.

The Indian delegation was apprised of each aspect of the project, inclusion of native Hawaiians, funding availability and prospects, civil construction of the facility as well as in-kind deliverables developmental activities for establishing the TMT.

Disclaimer: This is an official press release by Pib.

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