India is expected to play a key role in building the world's largest telescope. The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), a US$ 1.2 billion project, is expected to be completed by 2022 at Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Institutes from India, Canada, Japan, China, and the universities in the USA have already signed the master partnership agreement to build and operate the world's largest optical and infrared telescope. India's contribution to this project is estimated at around 10 per cent, valued at around INR 800 crore (US$ 125 million) of which almost 70 per cent would be by providing spare parts.
The design of the telescope is complete. The TMT is expected to begin construction in April 2014 and the observatory is expected to be operational by 2021-22. The TMT can be expected to improve the current understanding of the nature of dark energy that is responsible for accelerated expansion of the universe. It is significant that India is part of this world science project.