News Excerpt
The government will set around 21 Neutrino Observatories across the country.

Pre-Connect
•    Neutrino is a subatomic particle that is very similar to an electron, but has no electrical charge and a very small mass, which might even be zero.
•    Neutrinos are one of the most abundant particles in the universe. Because they have very little interaction with matter, however, they are incredibly difficult to detect.
•    The Sun, the stars and the atmosphere produce millions of neutrinos every second.  
•    Most of the neutrinos pass through our body and we do not realize it.
•    They can even pass through the earth and come out on the other side. The reason they can do this is because they interact very less with anything that come in their path.
•    In simple words, an interaction is something that changes the property of the particle like its speed, direction etc. e.g., light rays from a torch cannot penetrate a wall because particles of the light interact with the wall and get scattered before they can get to the other side of the wall.
•    Since neutrinos interact very weakly, they are harmless. Neutrinos can also be made artificially. They are produced in radioactive decays and in nuclear reactors.

Highlights
    The observation will help researchers understand more about the properties of neutrino particles, whose main source is the Sun and the Earth's atmosphere.
    India based Neutrino observatory (INO) will observe neutrinos produced in the atmosphere of the Earth.
    The neutrino detector will be a magnetized iron calorimeter, which will be the heaviest one made by any country.
    The present site identified is in Bodi West Hills, in Theni district, Tamil Nadu.


State-wise number of observatories are as follows:
o    Karnataka -   Six Astronomical observatories.
o    Uttarakhand- Four Observatories for study of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Atmospheric Studies.
Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) operates strategically located Magnetic Observatories across the country as follows:
o    Andhra Pradesh - One
o    Tamil Nadu - One
o    Assam - One
o    Meghalaya - One
o    Gujarat - One
o    Maharashtra - One
o    Rajasthan - One
o    Jammu & Kashmir – One
o    Uttar Pradesh – One
o    Andaman & Nicobar Island (UT) – One
o    Puducherry (UT) – One.

Benefits
    Education and Research:INO will be a boon to the student community with its active research outreach programs not only for students in and around the laboratory but also for students from all over the country. It allows interactions with international scientists. It will provide an exciting environment for pursuing projects in science and technology.
    No occupation of forest land: The tunnel entrance is expected to be located outside the forest boundary and hence there will be no overground occupation of forest land. The tunnel and the cavern will be deep under the forest land. Hence no disturbance to the ¬flora and fauna is expected.
    Employment Opportunities: During the construction period, there is scope for employment in services and labor. During the operation phase, apart from qualified scientists and engineers, job opportunities exist in administration service and maintenance of the laboratories for suitably qualified people.
    No displacement of people: INO does not need large tracts of land. As there is no local habitation in the site identified for INO, there is no displacement or relocation of people. There will be minimal disturbance to the people living in the nearby villages during construction phase and no disturbance during the operation phase.
    No degradation of resources: INO will not release any harmful radiation, toxic wastes or effluents. Therefore, there will be no degradation of water and air quality. INO will not have any adverse effect on agricultural, forest or any other lands.