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KARNATAKA Indian Institute of Science
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (Deemed University)

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Indian Institute of Science Official logo of Indian Institute of Science - Karnataka
Established in Year: 1958

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was conceived as a 'Research Institute' or 'University of Research' by Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, in the twilight years of the 19th century. A long period of almost thirteen years was to elapse from the initial conception in 1896 to the birth of the Institute on May 27, 1909. The early history of the Institute is a fascinating chapter in the story of higher education and scientific research in India. The cast of characters in the drama that led to the establishment of the Institute includes, in addition to its charismatic and generous founder J.N. Tata, figures from the pages of Indian history. There is Swami Vivekananda, whom J.N. Tata befriended on his famous voyage to the United States, the Maharaja of Mysore, Shri Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and his mother then acting on his behalf, and Lord Curzon the Viceroy of India, whose first task on arrival on December 31, 1898 was to receive a draft proposal prepared by the Provisional Committee set up to plan the establishment of the Institute.

The plan was shepherded through many difficult years by Burjorji Padshah, a close associate of J.N. Tata. Unfortunately, J.N. Tata died in 1904 unaware that his vision would indeed be realized a few years later. When the British Government finally issued the Vesting Order in 1909, an unmatched experiment in higher education and research was launched in India. IISc is truly the first example of a public-private partnership in this country; an institution, whose evolution over a century is testimony to the robustness of its foundations. The Institute occupies nearly 400 acres of prime land in Bangalore, generously donated bythe Maharaja of Mysore in March 1907. Indeed, the contribution from the princely state of Mysore was the decisive element in determining the location of J.N. Tata's proposed institution. Remarkably, in a gesture unmatched in the annals of private philanthropy in India, Tata did not wish his name to be associated with the Institute. His dream was to create an institution that would contribute to the development of India. The name, Indian Institute of Science, which was finally chosen, reflects in every way the wishes of J.N. Tata. Visitors to Bangalore who seek out IISc still have to ask local residents for directions to the 'Tata Institute', a clear recognition that Jamsetji Tata's act of generosity has remained undimmed in public memory, despite the passage of a century.

The Institute began with only two departments: General and Applied Chemistry and Electro-Technology. The first Director, Morris W Travers began the task of organizing the Institute shortly after his arrival in India at the end of 1906. Travers began the construction of the main building, which is one of Bangalore's landmarks today. The Departments of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry together with the Library were among the earliest to be established. The Physics department came into being in 1933, when C.V. Raman became the first Indian Director of the Institute. In the century that has passed since its inception, IISc has grown to become India's premier centre for research and postgraduate education in science and engineering. The evolution of the Institute over the past one hundred years has mirrored the development of science and technology in India. A long history, a strong tradition of academic research and an ambience that favours scholarly activity have been important elements in making the Institute a most attractive place for students and faculty.

As the Institute has grown, several new areas of research have been established, many of them for the first time in India. The Institute's departments in fields ranging from Biochemistry to Aerospace Engineering have served to nucleate research and development in both the public and private sectors. The faculty and alumni of the Institute have been responsible for establishing and spearheading many new institutions and programs across the country, reflecting in a real sense, a major contribution of this centre of learning to national growth and development. Homi Bhabha conceived the idea of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and an Atomic Energy Program while working in the Department of Physics. Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of India's space program was an alumnus. Following his premature death, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was built by the farsighted leadership of Satish Dhawan, who simultaneously held the position of the Director of the Institute with the greatest distinction. The first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Kharagpur was established by J.C.Ghosh, who was the Director of IISc in the critical period 1939-48, during which much of the activity in engineering was initiated at the Institute.

Many of India's most distinguished scientists have been associated with the Institute as students or faculty. Notable among them are G.N. Ramachandran, Harish Chandra, S. Ramaseshan, Brahm Prakash, A. Ramachandran, C.N.R. Rao and R. Narasimha. Alumni of the Institute head many major organizations in India and abroad. The Institute offers a variety of Master's degree programs in Engineering, an integrated (post-B.Sc.) program in sciences and Ph.D. programs in a wide spectrum of disciplines in science and engineering. The research laboratories at the Institute are well equipped. Many national facilities are housed at the Institute. The library and computational facilities at the Institute are amongst the best in India. A major program for modernizing laboratories is underway, catalyzed by a special grant provided by the Government of India in 2006. The Institute hosts hundreds of visitors from India and abroad every year and is the venue for many major national and international academic events.

The face of science and engineering research has been changing very rapidly over the past few years. In approaching the second century of the Institute many new activities have been initiated. Notable among them are the interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs in Mathematical Sciences, Chemical Biology, Earth System Science, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering for Integrated Systems. These programs are intended to blur the traditional boundaries between disciplines, thereby promoting cross-disciplinary research. An M.Tech. program in Climate Science has also been introduced. A new Centre for Earth Sciences has been established and two new centres in the areas of Neuroscience and Climate Change are expected to begin activities in the near future. The Institute hopes to foster collaborative and interdisciplinary research in a vigorous fashion in the years to come. The Institute is also committed to promoting post-doctoral research in the areas of science and engineering. The Institute engages in interactions with society and industry through a variety of outreach programs. The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Consultancy (CSIC) and the Society for Innovation and Development (SID) promote collaborative interactions with industry, while the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) provides an opportunity for working scientists and engineers to enrich themselves academically. The Institute actively promotes programs that encourage bright young school and undergraduate students to undertake research careers. The Institute's Young Fellowships Program in Science and Engineering seeks to bring young students to the campus in summer. The Institute also administers the Kishore Vaigyanik ProtsahanYojana (KVPY) program of the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The Institute's commitment to socially relevant research is specifically emphasized by the activities undertaken at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST), together with the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST), which is housed on the campus.

To live and work at the Institute is a special privilege. Anniversaries are an occasion for both celebration and introspection. In reflecting on the past, present and future of the Institute, in this Centenary Year, an exchange between Morris Travers, the first Director, and Lord Willingdon, the then Viceroy, is worth recounting. Willingdon went around the Institute in June 1914 and said: "I had no idea that there was anything like this in India". Travers responded: "There is nothing like it in India; and nothing better in Great Britain". In ensuring that this sentiment is true, a great deal of work remains to be done.

May 27, 2008

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Faculty Structure - Science

The Faculty of Science comprises of three divisions consisting of Departments and Centres which include Biochemistry, Microbiology & Cell Biology, Molecular Biophysics, Inorganic & Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Solid State & Structural Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics including Astronomy & Astrophysics, Ecological Sciences and High Energy Physics. Academic programmes leading to Ph.D and M.Sc. (Engineering) by research are offered in the above departments.

The Integrated Ph.D. programme is designed to offer exciting opportunities to motivted and talented B.Sc. graduates with a keen sense of scientific enquiry for pursuing advanced research in frontier areas of Biological, Chemical and Physical Sciences leading to the Ph.D degree of the Institute.

The research students constitute the largest group(50%) on the campus and the Institute awards about 200 Ph.D and M.Sc.(Engg) degrees each year, which is probably the largest in any institution in India. The annual intake of research students is approximately 250 with several candidates sponsored from institutions and industries.

Admission to the research programmes of the Institute is based on career analysis and campus interview. Candidates are called for interview based on the entrance test of the Institute or any other test recognised by the Institute.

Faculty Structure - Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering consists of Departments of Aerospace, Civil, Chemical, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Management Studies, Centre for Atomospheric and Ocean Sciences, Electrical, Electrical Communication, Computer Science & Automation, Centre for Electronic Design Technology, and Supercomputer Education & Research Centre.

Academic programmes leading to M.E. or M.Tech by course work and Ph.D. and M.Sc.(Engg.) by research are available in almost all the departments. An unique feature of the ME/M.Tech. programmes at the institute is the credit system which allows a student to tailor the courses to suit his/her aptitude and interest. Every ME/M.Tech. programme has a set of hard core courses specified as an essential requirement whereas the student can take rest of the credits from many courses available in his/her parent or other departments and also do a desertation work on the topic of his/her choice. These courses attract highly motivated accomplished students, in addition to several sponsored candidates from R & D labs./industries and also from educational institutions under the QIP programme. The flexible ME/M.Tech. programme has been recently introduced in a few departments which enables candidates from industry to take courses leading to ME/M.Tech. of the Institute, spread over a longer period than the regular programmes so that they can do ME/M.Tech. programmes while working at their industries.

Research programmes leading to M.Sc.(Engg.)/Ph.D. degrees are the main thrust in many departments. The programme has a limited amount of course work, essentially to prepare the student to carry out the research, but the main emphasis is on the thesis work. Excellent laboratory and computational facilities, an unique library, outstanding faculty with strong interests in both basic and applied sciences, make 'dream come true' kind of environment to students with strong interest and aptitude for research. These programmes attract students from all corners of the country, in addition to some international students.

External Registration programme leading to M.Sc.(Engg)/Ph.D. provide a most attractive mechanism through which candidates from industry/R&D can work with the faculty at the Institute under the joint guidance of Institute faculty and senior officers, Scientists in their parent organisation and acquire a research degree of the Institute with a minimal residential requirement. This has been one of the most successful programmes with nearly 30% research student enrolment in the Engineering faculty.

Faculty being highly qualified and exposed in specialised areas of national importance, attract a great deal of sponsored research and have the opportunity to participate at national and international levels in top level science and engineering meetings. This feature enables the faculty to respond rapidly to the changing scenario in science and technology and give initiations by introducing and nurturing new subjects. Thus every research effort becomes indeed a step in a new direction, providing exhilarating experience of learning/discovering in the ever changing scene of engineering and science.

In the 1997-98 session, the Institute has introduced three new courses viz. 1) ME Programme in Microelectronics, 2)ME Programme in Signal Processing and 3) perhaps the most innovative of programme of its type, the M.Des. Programme in Product Engineering and Design.

To keep up with the changing scenario of science and technology development in the country, more Masters Degree courses are introduced from the 1999-2000 session, viz. (1) MBA programme (which replaces the existing M Tech programme) in the department of Management Studies and (2) M Tech (Computational Science) programme in the Supercomputer Education and Research Centre.

Division of Biological Sciences

The Division of Biological Sciences at the Institute is engaged in frontline research at the frontiers of modern biology. It encompasses three major departments,four smaller Centres and three facilities and has on its rolls more than fifty faculty members and about 300 research scholars and post doctoral fellows. The scientists in the Division deal with almost all aspects of modern biology: molecular biology,structural biology, immunology, enzymology,reproductive and developmental biology,ecological and environmental studies and so on. The methods employed in these investigations include genetic engineering, immunological techniques, PCR, spectroscopy, X-ray Crystallography, electron-microscopy, bioinformatics and computer modeling.

The Biological sciences Division at the Institute has been for decades known as an internationally recognized Centre for fundamental modern biological rch. In recent years, useful applications of the research is receiving increased attention. The general current strategy is to carry out excellent fundamental research and to vigorously pursue the applications that flow from it. Currently, the scientists in the Division are in the process of collectively orchestrating most of their efforts under the following three broad areas with considerable application potential. They are:

  • Infectious Diseases

  • Drug and Molecular Design

  • Gene Targetting, Genetic Disorders and Genetic Diversity

Through these efforts, the scientists in the Division are committed to continue to carry out excellent biological research and also address real life problems such as those involving tuberculosis, malaria, diarrhoeal diseases, and disorders of various kinds.

Division of Chemical Sciences

Chemistry is central science impinging on almost all aspects of our daily lives.The Division of Chemical has a long and rich tradition of research right from the inception of the Institute and has played a major role in the advancement of Chemical Sciences and Technology in the country for many decades. The Division consists of four Departments and a Centre of Excellence supported by CSIR and a Sophisticated Instruments Facility which houses high-field NMR spectrometers and an electron microscope. The research activities of the Division encompass all aspects of modern inorganic, organic, physical, theoretical and solidstate chemistry as well as materials science. The Division has on its roll more than 45 faculty members and more than 180 research scholars and post-doctoral fellows. Annually more than 150 research papers are published by the faculty.

Pioneering work has been carried out by the faculty of the Division on Surface Chemistry,Synthesis and Physical Properties of Novel Inorganic Solids, Nonometal Chemistry, Coordination and Organometallic Chemistry, Organic Photochemistry, Natural Products, Macromolecular Chemistry and Experimental and Theroretical Electrochemistry. The Division has the best Surface Science Laboratory in the country and has facilities to carry out photoelectron spectroscopy, Auger spectroscopy, Electron energy loss spectroscopy and X-ray spectroscopy. Close interactions between experimental and theoretical activities have enriched both and have resulted in understanding of several molecular and solid state phenomena.

In addition to significant contributions to fundamental research, important contributions have emerged in a number of applied areas leading to transfer of technologies such as manufacture of electronic-grde silicon and silicon-based materials, luminescent phosphors and ceramics for electronics and design og drug molecules.

Current research activity is focussed on several frontier and interdisciplenary areas such as Laser Spectroscopy, Chemical Dynamics, Organometallics, Functional Polymers, Supramolecular Chemistry, Smart Materials and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Fundamental investigations in these areas would enable the faculty of the Division not only to be at the forefront of international arena in these emerging areas but also to generate projects which have considerable application potential.

Division of Electrical Sciences

The Division of Electrical Sciences represents pioneering activity by the Institute from its beginning years. The activity started with a single department, the Department of Electrical Technology in 1911 and has now expanded to four departments and a centre. For many years, the Institute was the sole institution providing advanced instruction and research facilities in the field. The Division continues to maintain leadership in a wide spectrum of research areas as well as in postgraduate education. The Division has over 500 students working towards Master's and Ph.D degrees and has nearly 100 faculty members involved in research and teaching activities.

The Division is broadly concerned with Computer Science and Engineering, Power Engineering, Communication Engineering and Electronics. The areas of interest include Computer Systems and Software, Intelligent Systems, Theoretical Computer Science, Systems Science, Optical, Microwave, Mobile and Computer Communication, Signal Processing, Bioengineering, Microelectronics, Power Systems, Power Electronics, Electrical Breakdown Studies, Lighting Phenomena, Photovoltaics, Packaging and Production of Electronic Equipment, Electromagnetic Compatibility, Industrial Design.

The Division is carrying our sponsored research projects of interest to many agencies such as DST, DOE, MHRD, DRDO. Some of these are the following:

  • Image Processing and Feature Extraction

  • Micropricessor based Arrhythmia System

  • Retinal Neural Networks

  • Diffraction Tomography for Imaging in Oceans

  • Education and Research in Computer Networking

  • Keyword Spotting in continuous speech

  • Computer-aided Rapid Prototyping

  • Reliability of Automated Manufacturing Systems

  • Assessment of Lightning-Aircraft Interaction

The Division has close links with the industry and is involved in design and development which is of interest to Power Systems and Utilities, Communications, Computer Software and the Electronics Industry. Consultancy projects in all these areas are in progress. Laboratory facilities exist in the Division for investigations in several areas. Some of these are the following:

  • Computer-controlled multimachine power system

  • Interactive digital image processing

  • Adaptive signal processing

  • Speech processing

  • Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence

  • Thick and thin film hybrid circuits

  • Computer communication networks

  • Integrated optics

  • Printed circuit boards

  • Electromagnetic interference

  • High voltage engineering

Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

The Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences is one of the six divisions of the Institute. It comprises of the Department of Physics, Department of Instrumentation, Department of Mathematics, Centre for High Energy Physics, Centre for Contemporary Studies, and Centre for Cryogenic Technology.

The Department of Physics was founded in 1933 by Professor C V Raman. It originally established itself as an international centre for research in Optics & Spectroscopy. It is now carrying out research in the broad areas of condensed matter physics and biocrystallography. It also has an inter-institutional programme in Astronomy and Astrophysics. It is recognized as a centre for advanced study.

The Department of Instrumentation specialises in electronic instrumentation, thin film devices and optical instrumentation. It has catered to the needs of industries in a large measures. The film coatings developed by the department have been used in defence, aircraft and even in tribological devices such as watches.

The Centre for Cryogenic Technology operates to provides liquid nitrogen and liquid helium to all users in the Institute and outside. The facility has a unique record of providing cryogenic support for superconducting magnets which have been kept in persistant mode for a record time in the country. It also has taken up technological projects such as transfer coupling for superconducting generator, development of cryogenic container etc.

The Centre for High Energy Physics came into existence in 2004. The members of this Centre carry out research on different areas in theoretical high energy physics, quantum field theory and mathematical physics. The faculty members teach courses as part of the Integrated Ph.D. programme (which is run jointly by the Physics Department and CHEP) and the regular Ph.D. programme.

The Centre for Contemporary Studies came into existence in 2004. By organizing a series of seminars, lectures and discussions and by maintaining a steady stream of visiting scholars, the Centre aims to provide opportunities to the scientific community on the campus to experience a sample of the best scholarship and creativity outside the traditional boundaries of natural science.

The Department of Mathematics carries out research & teaching in all areas of pure and applied mathematics such as Algebra, Topology, Nonlinear Systems, Fluid Dynamics, Functional Theory etc. It also conducts the Mathematics Olympiad Programme.

Division of Mechanical Sciences

The Division of Mechanical Sciences comprises of six Departments and two Centres and is the largest Division of the Indian Institute of Science. Several of the Units were established in the forties as an outcome of the perceptions of the needs of the Second World War. Thus the Department of Aerospace Engineering was established in 1942 and has had a symbiotic relationship with the aerospace laboratories and industries in Bangalore.

The Space Technology Cell forms an interface with the Indian Space Research Organization, while the Joint Advanced Technology Programme extends a bridge with the Defence Research and Development Organization. The Department of Materials Engineering, established in 1945, has grown to be a formidable Centre for research in metallurgical and materials engineering. The Departments of Mechanical Engineering , Chemical Engineering are renowned in their areas of specialisation. A new Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing came into being in 1998 by reengineering the Central Workshop.

Research highlights include:-

Wind tunnel studies, Aircraft structures, Computational Fluids Dynamics, Unsteady aerodynamics, Water resources management including multireservoirs, Permeability of fine grained soils, Quasibrittle building materials, Rapid prototyping for advanced manufacturing, Noise abatement in industries at the Centre for Techincal Acoustics, Bacterial leaching of gold, Modelling of newer methods of iron making, Dynamic materials modelling, Development of novel materials and composites, Studies of turbulence, Monsoon simulation, Template gel filling, Granular solids, Reactor modelling, Polymer processing, and Technology Management.

It will be noted that incisive engineering science principles are applied to practical problems of interest in the mechanics of structures. The gamut is all the way from nanoscale structures to components in automobiles, aircraft and missiles to large civil structures. The dynamics of fluid flow in the steel converter, blood vessels, atmosphere and oceans have been mapped.

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Indian Institute of Science

Central Exchange Contact
+91-80-2293 2004/2228/2001


+91-80-2360 0683/0085


Mailing Address
The Registrar
Indian Institute of Science
Bangalore 560 012, INDIA


regr (a) admin.iisc.ernet.in

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