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INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE, BANGALORE  
 

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is a premier post-graduate institution of research and higher learning located in Bangalore, India. It offers postgraduate and doctoral research programmes to over 2,000 students working under the supervision of more than 400 faculty members in 48 departments ranging from aerospace engineering to molecular biophysics to management. According to journal Current Science IISc currently ranks first in India in terms of research output (citation and impact factor). It also ranks first among Indian universities (and South Asian universities) in the "Academic ranking of world universities" conducted by the SJTU, China.

 

History

Jamsetji N. Tata, founder

After a chance meeting between Jamsetji N. Tata and Swami Vivekananda on a ship in 1893, where they discussed Tata's plan of bringing steel industry to India, Tata wrote to Vivekananda five years later:[3][4]

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 Swami Vivekananda's views on science, and leadership abilities, Jamsetji Nusserwanji 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, 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 pitched in from Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore, Government of India, and Tata himself. While the Maharaja donated 372 acres (1.5 km²) of land free of cost, Jamsetji Tata gave several buildings and landed properties towards the creation of IISc. Since then, the Government of Karnataka gifted lands during the Golden Jubilee and Platinum Jubilee of the Institute making the current land holding of the Institute 443 acres (1.79 km2).

The constitution of the Institute was approved by the Viceroy Lord Minto, and the necessary Vesting Order 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, 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, and the current Director is Padmanabhan Balaram.

 

The Institute

IISc Main Building

Often called Tata Institute, IISc has made many significant contributions primarily because of certain uniqueness in its character. It is neither a National laboratory, which concentrates solely on research and applied work, nor a conventional university, which concerns itself mainly with teaching. However, the Institute is concerned with research in frontier areas and education in current technologically important areas. Because it is a relatively small institution, it is able to innovate and introduce newer systems of imparting knowledge and educational reforms such as offering courses under a unit system and trying out methods of evaluation, which are highly reliable.

The Institute was the first to introduce (i) Masters programs in engineering; (ii) more recently, the Integrated Ph. D. Programs in Biological, Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences for science graduates; (iii) the new IISc Young Fellowship program for the first 20 rank holders at the + 2 level; and (iv) IISc Young Engineering Fellowship program for merited III year B. E. / B. Tech. students.

 

Location

The IISc campus is located in North Bangalore in Karnataka state in India. Known popularly as Tata Institute in the city, IISc is located on the way to Yeshwantpur from Majestic. IISc is easily accessible from Kempegowda Bus Station (known as Majestic) by bus or by auto-rikshaws. IISc is about 7 kilometres from the Majestic area. Bus routes 252, 256, 258, 273 and 276 serve this Institute from Majestic.

 

Campus

The IISc campus is full of greenery. The campus harbors both exotic and indigenous plant species with about 110 species of woody plants, including quite a number of Jackfruit trees.

The campus houses more than 40 departments, six canteens (cafetarias), a gymkhana (gym), a massage parlour, three dining messes (halls), one multi cuisine 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.

The institute, being an island of greenery within Bangalore, has a number of species of snakes including a few venomous ones. A Snake Rescue group is available on call to translocate and prevent the killing of snakes

 

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.

 

Library

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$2.5 million) 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.

 

Canteen

The canteen (food) service at the Institute is considered to be one of the best with reasonably good food available to every one: residents of the institute as well as visitors of IISc, for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea ('tiffin'), and dinner. There are three canteens in side the campus: Kabini, a coffee&tea kiosk and one multicuisine restaurant NESARA.

 

Hostel facilities

The institution provides on-site residential facilities for both male and female attendees to the institution. It also provides accommodation for married attendees in the form of family friendly accommodation.

Some of the older hostels in the Indian Institute of Science campus are Ashwini, Bharini, Krithika and Rohini. Interestingly, these are named after the Hindu names for lunar mansions.

Similarly, the apartments for married attendees of the institution are named Kaveri, Kapila and Bhaskara, which are prominent holy rivers and Vedic Sages in Hinduism.

The newer hostels are named in alphabetical order as 'E', 'F', 'G', 'M', 'N', 'P', 'R', 'S' 'U' and 'PD'(for post doctoral fellows)blocks.

Recently 2 New Blocks are in constructed and are put in use. The complex is New Hostel Complex and blocks are Block-1 and Block-2. These are single seated room with modern facilities. In the ground floor of which two messes 'A' & 'B' run for the tiffin, tea, lunch and dinner of the campus students.

 

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.

SERC is the country's leading computing centre having the state-of-the art computing facilities, catering to the ever-increasing demands of high performance computing for scientific and engineering research. The supercomputing facility at SERC is a symbiosis of computing, network, graphics, and visualization and is conceived as a functionally distributed supercomputing environment housing state-of-the-art computing systems with sophisticated software packages and connected by a powerful high-speed network.

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 high-profile government and private agencies.

 

Academic structure

Departments and centers in the Institute are broadly assigned to two categories: science and engineering. Two Deans, one each for Science and Engineering administer their respective category.

The faculty of science comprises three divisions:

  • Division of Biological Sciences
  • Division of Chemical Sciences
  • Division of Mathematical & Physical Sciences

The engineering faculty are divided into two divisions:

  • Division of Electrical Sciences
  • Division of Mechanical Sciences

Each of these five 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 Continuing Education
  • J. R. D. Tata Memorial Library
  • National Centre for Science Information
  • Supercomputer Education and Research Centre
  • BioInformatics Centre
  • Digital Information Services Centre
 

Degrees offered by the Institute

Degrees offered by the institute may be broadly classified into two categories: Degrees by Research (PhD, integrated PhD, and MSc (Engg.)), and degrees by coursework (ME/MTech/MBA/MDes).

Research programs leading to MSc/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. PhD and MSc degrees each year, which is probably the largest for any institution in India. The annual intake of research students is approximately 250 with several candidates sponsored from educational institutions and industries.

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 Institute.

Two-year programs leading to the ME/MTech degree by course work are available in almost all engineering departments. A unique feature of the ME/MTech programs at the institute is the credit system which allows students to tailor the courses to suit their aptitude and interest. 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 MBA program exclusively for engineering graduates. The Center for Product Design and Manufacturing offers the Master of Design course. Started in 1996, the MDes program is a two-year, full-time graduate program.

 

Admission Procedure

Admission into IISc is highly competitive. Usually only the top 1 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 goes much higher. Admission to research programmes of the Institute is based on career analysis and interview in the campus. Candidates are called for interview based on the entrance test of the Institute or any other test recognised by the Institute (which depends on the choice of department and specialization). For M. E. or M. Tech., the admission is through the GATE examination conducted every year. In addition for M.Sc.(Engg.), a personal interview may also be required. For Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), which has a ceiling strength of only 25 seats across India, the admission is through the Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET) examination, conducted jointly by IISc and IITs. In addition, a group discussion and personal interview is also conducted to select the candidates.

 

Institute-Industry interaction

The interaction of the Indian Institute of Science faculty with the industry is mediated by two specialized centers, the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Consultancy (CSIC) and the Society for Innovation and Development (SID).

CSIC was established in 1975, with the responsibility of promotion of institute-industry relationship for mutual benefits and advancement. CSIC provides the interface through which industries and organizations can quickly and effectively gain access to the expertise and facilities of the Institute in the fields of science, technology and management. The centre also promotes the formation of a network of informal contacts between scientists and engineers in the Institute and those in industry allowing for a continuous and easy flow of information and ideas. Since 2007, CSIC has also taken up the responsibility of placement of students graduating from the institute.

The SID was founded in the year 1991, in close collaboration with IISc. The mission of SID is to enable India's innovations in science and technology by creating a purposeful and effective channel to assist industries and business establishments to compete and prosper in the face of global competition, turbulent market conditions and fast moving technologies.

The SID and the Institute adopted a unique program known as the Faculty Entrepreneurship Program. The program supports startup initiatives wherein faculty members participate by providing their intellectual property (not necessarily a patent, but knowledge) to run the start up company. The program enables the Institutes faculty to explore their intellectual property in a business proposition, provide support and employment to people, earn revenue and bring research closer to society's needs.

Simputer is a product of this Faculty Entrepreneurship Program, with participation by the faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Automation.

 

Distinguished Alumni

Distinguished alumni awards are conferred on IISc alumni in recognition of their excellent contribution towards growth of science and technology. The following is the list of IISc's distinguished alumni, with a brief mention of their contributions/positions held, along with the year in which the award was conferred upon them.

Prof. G. N. Ramachandran, 1977, best known for the creation of the Ramachandran Plot for understanding peptide structure. He was also a faculty member at IISc.

Dr. Sukh Dev, 1978. Former INSA S. N. Bose Research Professor, IIT, Delhi & Director, Malti-Chem Research Centre, Vadodara

Sri C. R. Subramanian, 1979. Former Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

Prof. Harish-Chandra, 1980. Well-known mathematician and physicist.

Sri T. R. Satish Chandran. 1981. Former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and former Governor of Goa.

Prof. T. R. Anantharaman. 1982. Rhodes Scholar and Former Director, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University.

Prof. C. N. R. Rao, 1983. Former Director, IISc and Former President, JN Centre for Advanced Scientific Research

Prof. Satish Dhawan. 1984. Former Director, IISc and Former Chairman, Space Commission.

Dr. V. Jagannathan. 1985 Former Head, Biotechnology, Tata Energy Research Institute, Delhi.

Dr. S. R. Valluri. 1986. Former Director, NAL.

Prof. B. V. Sreekantan. 1987. Former Director, TIFR, Bombay.

Prof. Roddam Narasimha. 1988. Former Director, NAL and Former Director, NIAS.

Prof. P. Somasundaran. 1989. Former Chairman, Henry Krumb School of Mines, Columbia University; Director, IUCRC for Advanced Studies in Novel Surfactants, Director, Langmuir Center for Colloids and Interfaces, Columbia University.

Dr. P. Rama Rao. 1990. Former Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Prof.R. Chidambaram. 1991. Currently Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India; Former Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission of India.

Prof. V. J. Modi. 1992. Former professor, Researcher in space dynamics, control, fluid mechanics, and biomechanics. University of British Columbia.

Prof. Tej P Singh, Distinguished Biotechnologist, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

Dr. N. Seshagiri. 1993. Former Director General, National Informatic Centre, New Delhi.

Dr. M. Ramamoorthy. 1994. Former Director General of Central Power Research Institute and former Director of Electrical Research and Development Association, Vadodara).

Prof. R. Kumar. 1995. Emeritus Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, IISc.

Prof. M. A. Viswamitra. 1996. Emeritus Professor, Department of Physics, IISc.

Dr. R. R. Tummala.[11] 1997. Director, Packaging Research Center, Georgia Tech.

Dr. V. K. Aatre. 1998. Former director, DRDO, Former Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister, and Former Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi.

Prof. G. Padmanabhan. 1999. Former Director, I.I.Sc.

Dr. Ramadas P. Shenoy. 2000. Former Director of Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) and 'Distinguished Scientist' of DRDO.

Prof. P. Ramachandra Rao. 2001. Vice-Chancellor, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

Prof. S. S. Iyengar. 2001. Chairman and Professor, Computer Science Dept., Louisiana State University, USA.

Prof. Satya N. Atluri. 2002 Director, Center for Aerospace Research and Education, University of California, Irvine, USA.

Prof. A. Sridharan. 2002. Formerly Deputy Director and Advisor, IISc.

Prof. K.R. Sreenivasan. 2003. International Center for Theoretical Physics.

Prof. Brij M. Moudgil. 2003. Director of the Engineering Research Center for Particle Science and Technology, University of Florida, USA.

Prof. H. S. Mukunda. 2004. Honorary Advisor, ABETS, Combustion, Gasification & Propulsion Laboratory of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Science.

Prof. B. L. Deekshatulu. 2004. Former director, National Remote Sensing Agency, India, Hyderabad. Former Director of Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTE-AP), Affiliated to the United Nations, Indian Institute of remote sensing Campus, Dehra Dun. Visiting Professor, Department of Computer & Information Science, University of Hyderabad.

S Ramadorai, chief executive officer and managing director of TCS

Lakshmi Narayanan, Vice Chairman of Cognizant and Chairman of NASSCOM

 

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