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JAWAHARLAL NEHRU CENTRE FOR ADVANCED RESEARCH, BANGALORE  
 

The Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research is a relatively young but already well-known multidisciplinary research institute. It was established by the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India, to mark the birth centenary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. It is located in Jakkur, Bangalore, India. Its mandate is to pursue and promote world-class scientific research and training at the frontiers of science and engineering. Currently, the President of the Centre is M.R.S. Rao and the Honorary President is C.N.R. Rao

Researchers at the Centre are divided into six units: Chemistry and Physics of Materials, Engineering Mechanics, Evolutionary and Organismal Biology, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Theoretical Sciences, Educational Technology and Geodynamics. There are also two off-campus units: the Chemical Biology and Condensed Matter Theory Units.

The small size of the Institute (currently about 30 faculty members and 120 students) has many advantages, amongst which are the fact that it fosters interdisciplinary collaborations that might not have sprung up at larger institutions where researchers in different disciplines are segregated in far-flung labs. Amongst the many such on-campus collaborations that have sprung up over the years: a fluid dynamicist has joined forces with a statistical mechanician to look at flow in nanochannels, and with an experimental physicist to study the freezing of laser-induced metal droplets when they impinge on a substrate; another experimental physicist and a biologist are jointly developing a portable system that uses Raman markers to detect CD4 (used in HIV diagnostics); a theoretical molecular-dynamics study of the arrangement of water molecules around a protein has emerged from coffee-table discussions between a biochemist and physicist; and a many-body theorist is modelling the devices developed in the molecular electronics lab.

JNCASR has a faculty-to-student ratio of about 1:4, and state-of-the art experimental, computational and infrastructural facilities. It offers Ph.D. programmes in various disciplines, as well as an Integrated Ph.D. (post-bachelor's degree) programme in Materials Science. It is a "deemed university", i.e., it awards its own degrees.

In the last few years, the Centre's faculty members have published their research in some of the most prestigious scientific journals, including Nature (journal), Nature Medicine, Science (journal), Evolution (journal), the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie, the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, and Physical Review Letters. The work of the Centre's faculty has also been recognized by various awards. The list of honours and prizes received by C.N.R. Rao runs into many pages. To list just a few of the awards gained by other faculty members: in 2006, Tapas K Kundu was awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award for biological sciences, Anuranjan Anand received the Outstanding Research Award from the Department of Atomic Energy (India), and Srikanth Sastry, GU Kulkarni and S Balasubramanian received the B M Birla Science Prize. In 2007 Rama Govindarajan was one of the recipient of Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award.

Apart from training its own students through a wide spectrum of courses, JNCASR also actively supports a range of educational outreach activities. For example, every year the centre's Summer Research Fellowship programme hosts some of the very brightest undergraduates in the country; the Educational Technology Unit produces a range of teaching aids and educational material; the centre also organises and teaches short term courses at universities across India; and promising young chemists and biologists are trained intensively as part of the programmes of Project-Oriented-Chemical-Education (POCE) and

Project-Oriented-Biological-Education (POBE).

The architecturally innovative buildings on the campus blend inobtrusively into several acres of lush landscape, with only the buckyball dome (designed by Charles Correa) rising above the treetops.

 

External link
JNCASR Website
http://www.jncasr.ac.in/

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