Kolkata: India is set to become an associate member of CERN -- the world's biggest laboratory of particle physics -- in the next few months, a Department of Science and Technology (DST) official said on Tuesday. "India's application for associate membership has been approved by the CERN Council in September and after formalities and signing of papers, it will be become an associate member of CERN," a top DST official told IANS. He said the formalities would be completed in the next few months. Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan had recently tweeted about the development. "India to become Associate Member of @CERN Great Opportunities for Indian Industry to bid for contracts in advanced technologies @IndiaDST," he had tweeted. CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) operates the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator. It is associated with the discovery of the Higgs Boson (popularly known as the God particle). The facility lies in a tunnel beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. India currently holds "observer" status that allows non-member states to attend council meetings and to receive council documents without taking part in the decision-making procedures of the organisation. As an Associate Member, India would be entitled to attend open and restricted sessions of the organisation.