Infosys Foundation has offered an investment of Rs 6.5 crore to the Inter-University Center of Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) through an endowment.
The investment is aimed at assisting IUCAA to build an instrument called Wide Area Linear Optical Polarimeter (WALOP).
The fund from the Foundation will also be used to boost support for international travel, post-doctorate fellowships and thematic workshops amongst researchers of IUCAA.
IUCAA is an autonomous institution set up by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India to promote the nucleation and growth of active groups in astronomy and astrophysics at Indian universities.
Infosys Foundation aims to provide impetus to IUCAA’s aim of developing advanced instruments for astronomy.
WALOP, the instrument that the endowment will support is currently at the design stage at IUCAA’s instrumentation laboratory. It will be used to measure polarization caused by interstellar dust and to map the distribution of dust in the Milky Way Galaxy. The instrument’s uniqueness is in the combined strengths of very wide field polarimetry, high sensitivity and single shot measurement ability.
“Through this endowment, we also aim to provide the stimulus to create a globally competitive scientific environment at IUCAA by enabling the researchers to engage with the best in the business at international meetings, colloquia and workshops,” said Sudha Murty, chairperson of Infosys Foundation.
Subsequent to funding from Infosys Foundation, IUCAA has garnered funding for the project from international organizations such as the National Science Foundation of USA, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation of Greece and National Research Foundation of South Africa.