With neighbour Pakistan becoming the first and the only Asian country to be an associate member of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, it is time for India to enroll itself for the same, a top physicist said.

"I think it’s time for India….And that will be great with both the countries becoming associate members of CERN," Director General of CERN, Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer said.

In December, in presence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad, Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Ansar Parvez and Heuer signed on the dotted lines which would admit Pakistan to CERN’s Associate Membership, subject to ratification by the government of Pakistan.

India, however, was yet to send its application for the associate membership of the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, Heuer said.

"No, the application (from India) has not reached us yet but I never lose my optimism…and I expect the application papers this year.

"Procedures are different in different countries. Some take more time while some take less. But as I have said I am optimistic and I also have confidence and I am looking forward to that (the application)… I have still 10 months 25 days to go in my mandate as DG… May be that (would be of) help (to) you (India)," Heuer pointed out.

"…..Today in the global road it does not matter whether you are a small or a big country. You have to interact, you have to network internationally. And by having all different types of people at CERN" you are into international club, the CERN Director-General said.

He was in the city to participate in the seventh ‘International Conference on Physics and Astro-Physics of Quark Gluon Plasma’ (ICPA-QGP). .