Indian Institute of Science
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Indian Institute of Science
also called the "Tata Institute"
Public institution, Deemed University
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is a Premier public institution for scientific and technological
research and higher education located in Bangalore, India. It was established in 1909. It
acquired the status of a Deemed University in 1958.
3 Main building
5 Central computing facility
o 6.1 Organization
o 6.2 Degrees
6.2.1 Undergraduate Programme
o 6.3 Rankings
o 6.4 Admissions
7 Academic and industrial collaborations
8 Student Activities
o 8.1 IISc Fest Pravega
9 See also
11 External links
M. W. Travers, FRS, 1909–1914
Sir A.G. Bourne, FRS, 1915–1921
Sir Martin O. Forster, FRS, 1922–1933
Sir C.V. Raman, FRS, 1933–1937
Sir J.C. Ghosh, 1939–1948
M.S. Thacker, 1949–1955
S. Bhagavantam, 1957–1962
S. Dhawan, 1962–1981
D.K. Banerjee, 1971–1972
S. Ramaseshan, 1981–1984
C.N.R. Rao, FRS, 1984–1994
G. Padmanaban, 1994–1998
Govardhan Mehta, 1998–2005
P. Balaram, 2005–Present
Jamshedji Tata, founder
After an accidental meeting between Jamsetji N. Tata and Swami Vivekananda on a ship in 1893
where they discussed Tata's plan of bringing the steel industry to India, Tata wrote to
Vivekananda five years later:
I trust, you remember me as a fellow-traveller on your voyage from Japan to
Chicago. I very much recall at this moment your views on the growth of the ascetic
spirit in India... I recall these ideas in connection with my scheme of Research
Institute of Science for India, of which you have doubtless heard or read
Impressed by Vivekananda's views on science and leadership abilities, Tata wanted him to guide
his campaign. Vivekananda endorsed the project with enthusiasm, and Tata, with the aim of
advancing the scientific capabilities of the country, constituted a Provisional Committee to
prepare a plan for setting up of an Institute of research and higher education. The committee
presented a draft proposal to Lord Curzon on 31 December 1898. Subsequently, Prof. Sir
William Ramsay, a Nobel Laureate, was called on to propose a suitable place for such an
institution who suggested Bangalore as the best location.
The land and other facilities for the institution were donated by H.H. Sir Krishnaraja Wodeyar
IV, the Maharaja of Mysore (a Princely State now called State of Karnataka), and Tata himself.
The Maharaja donated about 400 acres (1.6 km2) of land worth 2 billion US dollars today.
Tata gave several buildings towards the creation of IISc.
The constitution of the Institute was approved by the Viceroy, Lord Minto, and the necessary
Vesting Order to enable it to function was signed on 27 May 1909. Early in 1911, the
Maharaja of Mysore laid the foundation stone of the Institute, and on 24 July, the first batch of
students were admitted in the Departments of General and Applied Chemistry under Norman
Rudolf and Electro-Technology under Alferd Hay. Within two months, the Department of
Organic Chemistry was opened. With the establishment of the University Grants Commission in
1956, the Institute came under its purview as a deemed university.
At the time of the inception of IISc in 1909, Morris Travers, Sir William Ramsay's co-worker in
the discovery of the noble gases, became its first Director. For Travers, this was a natural
continuation of his work on the Institute, since he had played a role in its founding. The first
Indian Director was the Nobel Laureate Sir C.V. Raman. Raman was the Indian Science based
Nobel Laureate. The current Director is Padmanabhan Balaram.
The Institute was the first to introduce (i) Masters programs in engineering. It has also started
integrated Ph.D. Programs in Biological, Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences for
The IISc campus is located in North Bangalore about 4 kilometers from the Bangalore City
Railway Station and bus stand on the way to Yeshwantpur. The Institute is about 35 kilometres
from new Bangalore International Airport. A number of other research institutes viz. Raman
Research Institute, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Wood Research Institute and
Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) are close to IISc.
The campus houses more than 40 departments marked by routes such as the Gulmohar Marg, the
Mahogany Marg, the Badami Marg, the Tala Marg, the Ashoka Marg, the Nilgiri Marg, the
Silver Oak Marg, the Amra Marg and the Arjuna Marg. The Institute is fully residential and
spreads over 400 acres of land situated in the heart of Bangalore city. The campus features six
canteens (cafeterias), a gymkhana (gymnasium and sports complex), a football and a cricket
ground, five dining messes (halls), one multicuisine family restaurant, nine men's and five
women's hostels (dormitories), an air strip, a library, two shopping centers and residence areas
for faculties and other staff members, besides other amenities.
The IISc campus harbors both exotic and indigenous plant species with about 110 species of
woody plants. The roads on the campus are named after the dominant avenue tree species.
IISc Main Building
Electrical Engineering Department
Aerospace Engineering Department (Interior)
Signal Processing Building
Corridors of Main Building
The architecture -of the main building, which today houses the administration and the prestigious
Faculty Hall, is in classical style, carried out in a grey handsome tower. In front of it stands the
work of Gilbert Bayes, a noble monument erected in memory of J. N. Tata. At its feet is an
inscription which will serve to remind future generations of the generosity of Jamsetji Tata and
the persistence with which he worked for the welfare of India. The building, as one of the
prominent landmarks of Bangalore, was designed by C. F. Stevens and Company of Bombay in
1912 - 13.
The library was established in 1911 and it is one of the first three departments started in the
Institute (the other two are Departments of General and Applied Chemistry and
Electrotechnology). It is regarded as one of the best scientific and technical libraries in India.
Apart from the main library, the Institute also has independent departmental libraries. The library
moved in to the present premises in January 1965, built out of grants provided by University
Grants Commission (UGC), in commemoration of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Institute
in 1959. In 1995, the library was renamed as "J. R. D. Tata Memorial Library". The National
Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) has recognised this library as Regional Center for
Mathematics for the south region and continued to award a special grant towards subscription of
Journals in Mathematics.
The annual budget of the library is over Rs. 100 million  (almost US$ 2,500,000) of which
subscription towards periodicals alone is about Rs. 90 million. The library currently receives
over 1,734 periodical titles, of which 1381 are subscribed, while the remaining titles are received
as gratis or on an exchange basis. About 600 titles are accessible through the library subscription.
In addition, over 10,000 journals are accessible online, thanks to INDEST subscription. The total
holdings of the library exceed 411,000 documents.
Central computing facility
The Computer Centre, established in 1970 as a central computing facility, became
Supercomputer Education and Research Centre (SERC) in 1990 to provide state-of-the-art
computing facility to the faculty and students of the Institute. SERC is created and fully funded
by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to commemorate the platinum
jubilee of the Institute. It has the 6th fastest supercomputer of India.
Apart from functioning as a central computing facility of IISc, the SERC is engaged in education
and research programs in areas relating to supercomputer development and application. The
Centre is also involved in several sponsored research projects in collaboration with several highprofile government and private agencies.
Departments and centres in the Institute are broadly assigned to two categories: science and
engineering. Two Deans, one each for Science and Engineering administer their respective
The faculty of science comprises four divisions:
Division of Biological Sciences (headed by Prof. D.N. Rao)
Division of Chemical Sciences (headed by Prof. S. Ramakrishnan)
Division of Mathematical & Physical Sciences (headed by Prof. Rahul Pandit)
Division of Earth & Environmental Sciences (headed by Prof. B.N. Raghunandan)
Division of Systems Engineering
The engineering faculty consists of two divisions:
Division of Electrical Sciences (headed by Prof. Anurag Kumar)
Division of Mechanical Sciences (headed by Prof. K Chattopadhyay)
Each of these six divisions are administered by a divisional chairman. Each department or centre,
under these divisions, is administered by a Chairman of the department or centre.
The following centers are directly under the director (without a divisional chairman):
Centre for Nano Science and Engineering
Centre for Continuing Education
Center for Geological Engineering
Center for IT & Software Engineering
Center for Sponsored Schemes and Projects
Centre for Scientific & Industrial Consultancy
Center for Research & Innovation(CRI)
Center for Integrated Science
J. R. D. Tata Memorial Library
National Centre for Science Information
Supercomputer Education and Research Centre
Digital Information Services Centre
Archives and Publication Cell
Degrees offered by the institute may be broadly classified into two categories: Degrees by
Research (PhD, integrated PhD, BS (core science and interdisciplinary topics) and MS(Engg.)),
and degrees by coursework (ME/MTech/MBA/MDes).
Research programs leading to M.Sc(Engg)/PhD degrees are the main thrust in many
departments. The program 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. The
annual intake of research students is approximately 250 with several candidates sponsored from
educational institutions and industries. The research students constitute the largest
group(50%) on the campus.
The Integrated PhD program is designed to offer exciting opportunities to motivated and talented
BSc/BE graduates with a keen sense of scientific inquiry for pursuing advanced research in
frontier areas of Biological, Chemical and Physical Sciences, leading to the Ph. D. degree of the
Two-year programs leading to the ME/MTech/MSc(Engg) degree by course work are available
in almost all engineering departments. One needs to score a very high percentile in GATE
(GATE) to get admission into these programs. A unique feature of the ME/MTech/MS(Engg)
programs at the institute is the credit system which allows students to tailor the courses to suit
their aptitude, interest and research requirements. Most ME/MTech programs have a set of hard
core courses specified as an essential requirement whereas students can take rest of the credits
from many courses available in their parent or other departments and also do a dissertation work
on the topic of their 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 Quality Improvement Programme (QIP).
The Department of Management Studies, one of the oldest management schools in the country
(established in 1948), offers an M.Mgt program exclusively for engineering graduates. The
Center for Product Design and Manufacturing, CPDM, offers the Master of Design course.
Started in 1996, the MDes program is a two-year, full-time post-graduate program.
Bachelor of Science (BS) Program is a new program offered from 2011. It is designed to serve as
a launching pad for research and doctoral studies in science and technology. Major disciplines
currently offered include Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Materials, Mathematics
and Physics. Admissions are based on scores from the following national examinations: KVPYSA, KVPY-SB, KVPY-SX/SB+2, JEE(Mains and Advance), Neet.
An Undergraduate program was conceived, for students who had completed Class XII, during
the Centenary Celebrations in 2009. The first batch of students was admitted in 2011. The
program offers a four year Bachelor of Science (B.S.) course in six disciplines, namely Biology,
Chemistry, Environmental Science, Material Science, Mathematics and Physics. The course aims
at exposing the students to the inter-disciplinary nature in which scientific research is done in
many upcoming fields, and comes at a time when the importance of science education at the
undergraduate level is emphasised and several incentives are provided by the Government to
promote the same.
Abdul Kalam with some students of the first batch
The coursework reduces the five year course work of 3+2 bachelor's + master's to four years; it
also makes the graduates eligible to apply for graduate schools abroad, which require 16 years of
education before entering a graduate school. Back home, BS graduates are eligible to apply for
CSIR-NET, a national level examination for securing admission into Ph.D. program into various
universities including IISc.
Apart from an intensive training in sciences, courses in Engineering and Humanities are
prescribed to empower the student with technical skills required for a scientist, to appreciate the
social context as well as constraints of doing science. The science and engineering courses are
offered by the respective departments at the Institute; the humanities course is offered by the
Centre for Contemporary Studies (CCS) at IISc in collaboration with the Centre for Study of
Culture and Society (CSCS), Bangalore.
Students enrolled in the program take courses in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Humanities,
Mathematics and Physics for three semesters (1-3) which are common and compulsory to all. In
the next four semesters (4-7), they choose a major discipline of study and take a handful of other
science courses and a stipulated number of engineering and humanities courses. The last
semester is devoted to a final project. Besides, all the students, either KVPY or DST-Inspire
scholars, spend a couple of months in various research institutes across the country exploring a
topic or a research problem of their interest.
In the inaugural batch of 83 students (class of 2011-15), Physics is chosen as a major by the
highest number of students (27), followed by Biology (22) and Mathematics (14). Materials
Science (10), Chemistry (7) and Environmental Science (3) trail behind.
General – International
In latest World Reputation Rankings for 2013, Times Higher Education (THE) magazine, UK,
for the first time, has released an India top-10 list. According to The India Reputation Rankings,
Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, is in the first position. In 2012 IISc was ranked 35
in the Global Employability Survey and it was the only Indian institution in that list. In 2011,
IISc was the only Indian institute ranked by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, at
301–400 overall. IISc was ranked 39 in Materials Science, 59 in Chemistry, 50–100 in
Engineering/Technology and Computer Science in the QS World University Rankings 20122013. it was also ranked 137 in Natural Sciences and 167 in Life Sciences, with no overall
Admission into IISc is highly competitive. Usually only the top 0.01 percent candidates
qualifying the GATE examination are able to clear the cutoff for M. E. / M. Tech. admissions.
Depending on the department and the number of students, the cutoff can get much higher.
Admission to research programmes of the Institute, both PhD and M.Sc(Engg), is based on
career analysis and (possibly) multiple rounds of technical interviews in the campus. Candidates
are called for interview based on the entrance test of the Institute or GATE or any other test
recognised by the Institute (which depends on the choice of department and specialization). For
course oriented degrees -- M. E. and M. Tech. -- the admission is through the GATE examination
conducted every year. For research oriented degree -- Master of Science which is similar to MS
with Thesis—the admission is through the GATE. For Master of Management(M.Mgt), which
has a ceiling strength of only 25 seats across India, the admission is through CAT (Common
Admission Test). Admission to MDes is through the GATE or the CEED (Common Entrance
Examination for Design).
Academic and industrial collaborations
IISc collaborates with various government organizations like DRDO, ISRO, Bharat Electronics
Limited, Aeronautical Development Agency, National Aerospace Laboratories, CSIR,
Department of IT (Government of India). IISc also works in collaboration with private industry
and research labs like Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Google Inc, General
Motors, Microsoft Research, IBM Research, Boeing ,Robert Bosch Foundation and also with
Pratt & Whitney. Few organisations have been incubated by Society for Innovation and
Development (SID) in the campus, viz Morphing Machines,SandI , while Gamma Porite is
currently under incubation. IISc actively promotes and supports ventures by faculty, students and
alumni. Strand Life Sciences, Ittiam are some success stories of this initiative.
IISc Fest Pravega
Pravega is the annual science, technology and cultural festival of Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore. Started in 2013 by the undergraduates of IISc, the fest advertises itself as an eclectic
blend of science, technology and culture packed into three October days. Pravega 2013 will
feature various scientific, technological and cultural competitions, lectures, video conferences,
exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops. IISc being India's premier research institute, the
fest’s technical events will revolve around cutting edge science and engineering.
Over 500 colleges from across India including the IITs, NITs and IISERs will be invited to
attend the first edition. It is scheduled to be held from 25–27 October 2013 in the IISc Campus,
List of universities in India
List of autonomous higher education institutes in India
DoMS, Indian Institute of Science