... towards excellence in science

An Autonomous Institution, Under the Ministry of Education, Government of India

Director's Message

Institutes of higher learning and research have a stellar role to play in modern society. They train the next generation of leaders poised to advance the country in science, technology and mathematics. To cultivate a sense of excellence among the students, these institutions must themselves excel in every area where they have a footprint.

The IISER system was created by the then Ministry of Human Resource Development (now Ministry of Education) to achieve excellence in the basic sciences. For that purpose, these were made autonomous in the sense that each institution is free to set its academic structure, faculty and staff recruitment, and allocation of resources with a singular objective, i.e. achieving excellence in science education and research.


Founded in 2006 with the above objective, the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata has established itself as a prominent research & education institute in the country. The institute has state-of-the-art facilities for research and teaching. The students graduating from IISER Kolkata have earned accolades in the top-ranking institutions worldwide. Today, IISER-K has a vibrant campus with eminent faculty, supporting staff, and excellent infrastructure.

The Institute has seven departments: Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Earth Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics, Computational & Data Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences. There are four 'Centres' for conducting high-quality research in frontier areas, the Centre of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI), the National Centre for High-Pressure Studies (NCHPS),  the Centre for Advanced Functional Materials (CAFM) and the Centre for Climate and Environmental Studies (CCES).

The flagship BS-MS programme aims to offer education in a research setting, exposing students to cutting-edge research while pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate studies. Students have a common curriculum in the first year, choose three 'pre-major' subjects in the second year, and select their 'Major' stream in the third year. The final year is almost entirely devoted to research, leading to a dissertation. While the mandate is to prepare students for a research career, which most students choose, many choose other career avenues like entrepreneurship, industry, administration, science communication, journalism, and teaching. The PhD programme prepares students primarily for a career in academia.

The task of an Institute is not just to provide academic training. It has to prepare the students mentally to play meaningful roles in society after completing their studies. The system of students' self-governance through an elected Students' Affairs Council provides enough opportunities for extracurricular activities and the cultivation of leadership qualities.

There is room for improvement, and we are committed to working collectively to remove the hurdles and achieve higher levels of excellence.

Prof. Sunil Kumar Khare
Director, IISER Kolkata