Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science

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Logo of IACS.jpg
Seal of IACS
Established 1876
Type Research institute
Director Santanu Bhattacharya [1]
Location Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) is an institute of higher learning in Kolkata, India.[2][3] Established in 1876 by Mahendra Lal Sircar, a private medical practitioner, it focuses on fundamental research in basic sciences.[4] It is India's oldest research institute.[5][6]

Located at Jadavpur, South Kolkata beside Jadavpur University, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute and Indian Institute of Chemical Biology it is spread over a limited area of 9.5 acres.[7]

Academic programme[edit]

The institute is engaged in fundamental research in various fields of physics, chemistry and chemical biology. It is one of the most active research institutes in India and publishes on an average ~ 500 research articles in peer reviewed journals including top journals like Physical Review Letters, Journal of American Chemical Society and Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Recent interests include research in energy, fuel cells, nano materials like graphene and carbon nanotubes. The institute emphasizes PhD programmes, the degree being provided either by Jadavpur University or by University of Calcutta. There is also full fledged Integrated PhD programme for post-Bachelor's students. From academic year 2005-2006 it started an integrated PhD programme in chemistry.[7] There are 8 departments in IACS, 3 units and 2 centres namely Materials Science, Solid state physics, Theoretical physics, Spectroscopy, Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biological Chemistry, Polymer Science unit, energy research unit, Raman centre for atomic and molecular sciences, centre for advanced materials and MLS Professor's unit. There are about 70 working scientists in IACS. One important distinctive aspect of IACS is the presence of a majority of young scientist who are bringing new research areas and directions to IACS.

Nobel laureate Sir C. V. Raman did his groundbreaking work in Raman effect in this institute.[8] His work was first published in the Indian Journal of Physics, which is published by IACS.[9]

Apart from the works of C. V. Raman and K. S. Krishanan in Optics, IACS has produced several important paradigms in modern science. IACS has a very strong group in theoretical chemistry and quantum chemistry. Debashis Mukherjee developed the Mk-MRCC method to account for electron correlations in molecular systems which is considered as a "gold-standard" in computational chemistry. Another important discovery has been in the area of solvation dynamics of molecules and particular the dynamics of water molecules around the surfaces of membranes. These experiments performed by Professor Kankan Bhattacharyya have provided a fundamental insights into the behavior of water near biological surfaces and led to the coining of the word "biological water" in the physical chemistry community.


  1. ^ "IACS director". Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Uma Dasgupta (2011). Science and Modern India: An Institutional History, C. 1784-1947. Pearson Education India. ISBN 9788131728185. 
  3. ^ Bernhard Joseph Stern. Science and Society. p. 84. 
  4. ^ "Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata". Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science". Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "About IACS". Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sir Venkata Raman - Biographical". Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Indian Journal of Physics". Retrieved 19 April 2014.