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IISc Bengaluru : The Pride of the Nation

In the Silicon Valley of India lies the top most-ranked college of the nation – Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. It is a public institute (deemed to be University) for science and engineering and is abbreviated as IISc.


You might have heard a synonym for the aforementioned university elsewhere – Tata Institute. This is because Mr. Jamsetji Tata is one of the founding fathers of the place! In 1893, Swami Vivekananda crossed paths with Mr. Tata on his way to Chicago. Five years later, Mr. Tata wrote a letter to Vivekananda and asked him to guide the campaign for research in India. Enthusiastically, Swami Vivekananda endorsed the project and set up the Provisional Committee in no time. Lord Curzon reviewed the first draft on 31st December 1898.

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Billions (in today’s currency) were spent on the project, including merry contributions from the Karnataka State, numerous Lords and Nawabs, and Mr. Tata himself. Lord Minto, the Viceroy, approved the constitution of the institute and signed the vesting Order on 27th May 1909. On 24th July 1911, the first batch of students was admitted into the Departments of general and Applied Chemistry and Electro-Technology. In 1958, UGC granted the deemed-university status to IISc. The Physics department came into being in 1933, when C.V. Raman became the first Indian Director of the Institute. Hitler’s racist policy forced many reputed scientists to leave Germany, but Raman could bring in only Max Born, that too just for a short time.

The chairmanship was offered to Satish Dhawan, he obliged, and also moved the space program head quarters to Bangalore. Vikram Sarabhai’s presence at IISc under Raman and Roddam Narasimha’s guidance motioned an interest towards schools for research in fluid dynamics. Further alliance with the Defence Research and Development Organisation only increased the value of the Institute multifold.

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35 km from the Kempegowda International Airport and 6 km from the Bangalore City Railway Station, the campus is located in the north of Bengaluru on the way to Yeshwathpur. Raman Research Institute, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Wood Research Institute and Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) are some of the institutes close to IIsc. Regular bus services connect most of them to IISc.

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The institute is spread over 400 acres and houses 40 departments mustered by the Gulmohar Marg, the Badami Marg, the Nilgiri Marg, the Ashoka Marg, the Silver Oak Marg et al. It is a fully residential complex and features 6 canteens, a gymkhana, 4 dining messes, 1 restaurant, 9 men’s and 5 women’s hostels, two shopping centres and residencies besides other amenities.

How To Get In

The top institute in India as per the Times Higher Education World Rankings, the QS World University Rankings ranked IISc second in the world in terms of citations per faculty! Though it has the best rank among Indian institutions, the highest it could soar to was 170th (QS World Ranking, 2019). Though there have been steps taken to improve the condition of the system, this is not a good sign for the education ministry.

Of course, you might have already guessed it by now; the entrance to this institute is not a cakewalk. The institution offers UG, PG, Research & PhD courses in various fields. JEE Main, JEE Advanced, NEET, GATE, CEED, JAM, KVPY and other national – level examinations are the medium of entrance into this institute. The exams mentioned above are one of the toughest nuts to crack! The institute doesn’t conduct any test for providing admissions.

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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.

People Associated with the Institute:

Further, Homi Bhabha, while working in the Physics Department, got his inspiration at IISc for a future of nuclear energy. After that Homi Bhabha went to establish Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and an Atomic Energy Program for India. Following him, Vikram Sarabhai had joined IISc to work under C.V. Raman. It is possible that he nucleated his vision for the Indian Space Programme here. Satish Dhawan’s relocation of the space programme headquarters began a long synergistic link with ISRO. In turn, this led to remarkable schools of research in fluid mechanics, starred by Roddam Narasimha, a graduate of Caltech. These developments naturally led to a further alliance with the Defense Research and Development Organization.

JC Ghosh, who was the Director of IISc in the critical period 1939-48, established the first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Kharagpur. In 1982, then director of IISc, S. Ramaseshan mooted the idea that TIFR should start a Centre for Biological Research. In 1988, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCSAR) came into being and its founder-president C.NR. Rao was concurrently the Director of IISc at that time. JNCASR and IISc are working together in many areas. The National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) came into existence at the same time of the establishment of the JNCASR.

For more details about placements, please check here.

Official Site: https://www.iisc.ac.in/

(Also includes excerpts from From an Idea to the Finest Reality : Indian Institute of Science by Parveen Kaswan.)

Picture Credits: 


IISc Photography Club

Chirantan Pramanik

Ram Maheshwari

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