The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave an in-principle approval to the LIGO-India mega science proposal for research on gravitational waves.

The proposal, piloted by the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology, will establish a state-of-the-art gravitational wave observatory in India in collaboration with the LIGO Laboratory in the US run by Caltech and MIT.

“The approval coincides with the historic detection of gravitational waves a few days ago that opened up of a new window on the universe to unravel some of its greatest mysteries,” said an official release, adding that it will provide new opportunities to scientists and engineers.

The Cabinet also approved nomination of Chief Executive Officer of the NITI Aayog as part-time member of the Telecom Commission in place of Secretary of the erstwhile Planning Commission. “The participation of Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog in the meetings of Telecom Commission will lend value to the deliberations of the Commission,” said another release.

Approval for MoUs Meanwhile, the Cabinet also gave its ex-post facto approval for memoranda of understanding between India and various countries for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

The pacts signed with 13 countries – The Netherlands, Nepal, Cyprus, Israel, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Tanzania, Surinam, Zambia, Syria, Bhutan, Chile and Mauritius – are expected to help in capacity building and exchange of knowledge and genetic resources.

The Cabinet also gave the go-ahead for another agreement for collaborative activities on traditional medicine between the Ministry of AYUSH and the World Health Organization for benchmarking in training in Yoga and practice in Ayurveda, Unani medicine, and Panchakarma.

Pact with Singapore It also gave ex-post facto approval for and MoU between India and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise, for cooperation in urban planning and governance. The pact was signed on November 24, 2015.

The Cabinet was also briefed about signing of BRICS MoU for cooperation in science, technology and innovation.

Delimitation Act amendment Following the exchange of 51 Bangladeshi enclaves and 111 Indian enclaves, the Union Cabinet also approved amendments to Section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002 and Section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.

“It will enable the Election Commission to carry out limited delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in the Cooch Behar District of West Bengal,” said an official statement.