Know all about public-funded pure science insts

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SCIENTIFIC INNOVATION demands a complete understanding of underlying principles

SIR C V Raman is the only Nobel prize winner that India can truly claim to have produced, and we are nowhere near to replicating that anytime in the near future laments Dr Dinesh Abrol, scientist at National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, New Delhi. But the country definitely is not so lagging when it comes to producing good science, with the public sector dominating the scene like a colossus.

The superior infrastructure and high quality faculty is the differentiator says Prof Kalyanmoy Deb, faculty, IIT Kanpur. The most famous of the basic sciences schools is the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). Set up by the Tata Trust, it is an autonomous institution under the Department of Atomic Energy. Working on seminal areas of Physics and Mathematics, it does world class research and has both doctoral and post doctoral positions for aspiring students.

Yet another initiative that focuses on, basic science education is the establishment of Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Bhopal, Kolkata, Mohali, and Pune. These institutions have begun offering integrated PhD programmes, especially for young students directly after 10+2.  With state-of-the-art laboratories and learning resources, these institutions would provide a certain quality of science education that would only be matched with difficulty by a few private players. Their integrative curriculum that offers a variety of options to the students has come for substantial praise from Prof S R Varathan, a doyen of Mathematics.

Two famous Physics schools and one Mathematics school also find a place here. Purists might dispute their presence in pure sciences, since they have strong application orientation, and the distinction between pure and applied sciences is now blurring. Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP) and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMS) are in focus here. While the first focuses on two specialised domains of Physics viz, geomagnetism and nuclear energy, the last one attempts to develop original work on computational mathematics and theoretical computer science. It is the increased application-oriented research in these institutions that makes them exciting places to study. And they have great opportunities too.

But in terms of world class research we are still not up there. And pure sciences research is a very high investment research game. It also demands a long time horizon to provide fruits. So we need to plan ahead. According to Prof CNR Rao we are nowhere in the scheme of things when it comes to being a world class science academic destination. “Everything we do from now on should be geared to taking a place in the top 100 and then top 10,” concludes Prof Rao. A tall order indeed.

Srinivasa SR Varadhan
Prof of Mathematics (Frank Jay Gould
Prof of Science at CIM), New York University

"There is a need to build a critical mass of people in basic sciences. One thing I like about IISERs is that people are admitted at the undergraduate level trying out different interests before they settle down to a more focused area"

Prof Imran Siddiqui
CCMB, Hyderabad

"Students now tend to become very information-based because they are exposed but not in sufficient depth. What is important at the UG level is developing one’s analytical skills and problem-solving abilities"


Pure Science Institutes

Institution, Location

Offering (1)

Offering (2)


Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore

Integrated MSc-PhD
Programme in Physics
and Astrophysics

Integrated MTech-PhD (Tech.) Programme, PhD and Post Doctoral;
Internship Programme

Department of
Science & Technology

Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore

One-Year Post Graduate Diploma in Science Education (Two years for teachers who do it on a part-time basis)

Summer Research Fellowship Programme; Project Oriented Chemical/Biological Education (POCE/POBE) Programme


Raman Research
Institute, Bangalore

PhD programme

Post Doctoral programme; Research Fellowships: JRF/SRF/RA


Indian Institute of Science Education & Research Bhopal (IISER-B)

MS (Integrated), PhD

Ministry of Human Resource

Indian Institute of Science Education & Research Mohali (IISER-M)

MS (Integrated), PhD


Bose Institute, Kolkata

Integrated MSc-PhD
Programmes in Life Sciences & Physical Science

Department of
Science & Technology

Indian Association
for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata

Post-BSc Integrated PhD in Chemical Sciences (IntPCS)

TWAS Fellowships for Postdoctoral/PG/Visiting Scholar/Visiting Researchers and PhD


Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Kolkata (IISER-K)

Integrated MS & PhD,
Post-Doctoral Programme


Ministry of
Human Resource Development

Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata

One-Year Post-MSc Associateship Course in Physics/Biophysical Sciences stream

PhD for CSIR-NET qualified JRFs only/Post MSc

Department of
Atomic Energy

SN Bose National
Centre for Basic
Sciences, Kolkata

Post BSc-Integrated PhD (Physical Sciences); Post MSc Integrated PhD

Post Doctoral; PhD in Nano Science & Technology, Theoretical Chemistry, Chemical Physics; Cambridge-Bose Scholarship in Physics & related areas; TWAS-Bose fellowship

Department of
Science &

Tata Institute of
Fundamental Research,

MSc (Biology ); Integrated PhD in Mathematics (Bangalore) and Biology; PhD (Mathematics,
Physics, Chemistry,
Biology, Computer &
Systems Sciences and
Science Education)

Post Doctoral prog; Research Fellowships:

Department of Atomic Energy; Deemed University

Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational-Sciences (ARIES), Nainital

PhD in Astronomy &
Astrophysics and
Atmospheric Sciences

Summer School

Department of
Science & Technology

Indian Institute of Science Education & Research Pune (IISER-P)

Integrated Master’s;
Post-Master’s PhD
(Integrated Sciences)

Ministry of
Human Resource Development

National Institute
for Interdisciplinary Science and

PhD prog for students registered in other universities such as Kerala University
and Cochin University of S&T

Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)

First Published On : 20 Jul 2013 05:21 PM IST

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