Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) were established as autonomous institutes for higher education by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, to promote high quality education and research in basic science. The first two institutes, under this initiative, are IISER Kolkata (IISER-K) and IISER Pune in 2006, followed by IISER Mohali in 2007, and IISER Bhopal and IISER Thiruvananthapuram in 2008, IISER Tirupati in 2015 and IISER Berhampur in 2016. One of the major objectives has been to integrate quality teaching with curiosity needed for state-of-the-art research. Teaching and research have both been very important components in the growth of IISERs.
IISER-K has completed more than ten years of its existence and has established excellence in science in form of teaching, publications, both in terms of quality and quantity. Many under graduate students are also engaged in research as a part of their curriculum.
IISER-K today has a vibrant campus with strong faculty members of repute and supportive non-teaching staff members. The students pursuing various degrees are among the best in the country and have established a commendable culture.
The Institute has a flexible academic programme and hosts state-of-the-art research facilities. Currently, it has five academic departments (Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics, Physical Sciences) and several centres of excellence: (1) Center of Excellence in Space Sciences in India (CESSI) supported by Ministry of Human Resource Development, (2) National Centre for High Pressure Studies, supported by the Ministry of Earth Sciences. An institute supported “Centre for Advanced Functional Materials (CAFM)” has also been established recently. Two interdisciplinary centres (1) Centre for Climate and Environmental Studies (CCES) and Centre for Large Scale Computing (CLSC) are being created with the Institute initiative.
As on date (11.10.2017), IISER-K has total 1331 students (876 BS-MS, 1 MS-by-Research, 3 MS in Space Physics, 157 Integrated PhD and 294 other PhD students) pursuing various academic programs. A large number of alumni are pursuing their higher studies in some of the best research institutes in India and abroad. A few are already well placed in some organizations and institutes of repute. We are sure a similar trend will continue in the years ahead. The Institute has 43 post-doctoral fellows, supported by external funding agencies. IISER-K is also engaged in various outreach activities and the faculty and students must be complimented for this.
Presently, the state-of-the-art Lecture Hall Complex provides well equipped classrooms for teaching and student activities. The Research Complex and Teaching and Research Complex house various state-of-the-art research laboratories and the facilities. The Academic-cum-administrative building is almost ready for occupation and will provide more space necessary for cutting edge research in different departments. The Institute has established mutual partnership with various national and international Universities/Institutes for exchange of students and faculty and research collaborations.
Prof. Sourav Pal
Director, IISER Kolkata