Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata

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Indian Institute of Science Education and Research
भारतीय विज्ञान शिक्षा एवं अनुसंधान संस्थान , कोलकाता
ভারতীয় বিজ্ঞান শিক্ষা ও গবেষণা ইনস্টিটিউট , কলকাতা
IISER-K Logo.svg
Motto Towards Excellence in Science for an Innovative India
Established 2006; by MHRD
Endowment $8.56 million (2014)
Chairman Shri Pankaj Patel
  • Dr. Supriyo Mitra(Research and Development)
  • Dr. Pradipta Purkayastha(Academic Affairs)
  • Prof. Jayasri Das Sarma (Student Affairs)
  • Prof. Prasanta K. Panigrahi(Faculty)
Director Prof. R.N. Mukherjee
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 1089
Undergraduates 692
Postgraduates 148
Location Haringhata, Mohanpur, West Bengal, India
22°57′50″N 88°31′29″E / 22.963767°N 88.524613°E / 22.963767; 88.524613Coordinates: 22°57′50″N 88°31′29″E / 22.963767°N 88.524613°E / 22.963767; 88.524613
Campus Semi-Urban, spread over 201 acres in Mohanpur, Kalyani in the Nadia District of West Bengal
Acronym IISERK

The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata (Hindi: भारतीय विज्ञान शिक्षा और अनुसंधान संस्थान, कोलकाता, Bengali: ভারতীয় বিজ্ঞান শিক্ষা ও গবেষণা সংস্থান, কলকাতা; IISER-K; also referred as IISER - Kolkata) is a public research and education institute in Nadia district, in the Indian state of West Bengal. It was established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2006, in order to promote scientific learning, research and exploration and to produce scientists and academics.

Campus and facilities[edit]

The institute has a 201-acre campus located near Kalyani in Nadia district. The nearest railway station, Kanchrapara, is located on the Sealdah-Kalyani main line, about 9 km from campus. The National Highway 34 (NH34) passes through a nearby crossing, Barajaguli, and connects the campus to Kolkata, 35 km away. IISER Kolkata has an arrangement of buildings within the campus of Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, its first transit campus. The permanent campus at Mohanpur, Kolkata has completed most of its Phase 1 construction.

Canal in the transit campus

Specialized facilities[edit]

The campus has a field station meant for ecological and field studies. The institute has a Broadband Seismological Observatory in the main campus. The campus houses the main nodal office for Center for Space Sciences, India (CESSI). The main administrative work is carried out at the Mohanpur campus and the main campus, with some administrative work performed at an office at the Salt Lake area in Kolkata.

IISER Kolkata Main Entrance gate

Lecture Hall Complex[edit]

The lecture hall complex holds lectures, colloquium and seminars. Lectures for the students of IISER Kolkata are held in this complex.

The first floor auditorium, which is one out of 3 such auditoriums in the Lecture Hall Complex(yet the largest of the 3). It is named room 107 and is where all the first year theory classes are held.


The hostels on the Main Campus consist of 2 blocks and 6 interconnected buildings. Another hostel block is present in the Transit campus. The major residential halls are:

  • Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Hall
  • Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Hall
  • M.N Saha Hall( at the Transit Campus )

The two halls on the Main Campus consist of 3 buildings each and are connected to the Dining Block.

A panorama shot of the entire hostel
A view of the interior of the hostel rooms.

Research Complex[edit]

The campus has a Research complex for faculty laboratories and equipment. An extension of the facility is being built.

Open space inside the currently under-construction research complex


The IISER-K Library, started in 2006, functions as a library, documentation and information center catering to education and research in basic sciences. It is envisaged to expand into a major resource system. The Library collection comprises documents in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Humanities, Computer Science, History of Science, etc. Its collection consists of:

  • Scientific Books: 16500+
  • Journals: Online :2,600+ and Print: 36
  • Online Backfiles: ACS Journal Legacy Archive, IOP Electronic Journals Archive, Nature and other NPG journals, ScienceDirect, Science Classic, PROLA, journals of RSC, RS, SIAM Journals and T&F
  • E-books: 13,000+


The Computing Section stewards network and computing solutions. The section strives to provide easy yet secure network and computing access. The section provides core services such as, mail, web, wiki, helpdesks and ERP solutions. The section manages LAN access. The main external network connections are provided by National Knowledge Network (NKN) in the form of an 100 Mbps dedicated network line.

NKN helped to build a virtual class room that accommodates thirty participants and is connected through the NKN grid to all other major institutes. The institute boasts of several small computing clusters (200 to 600 Giga-flops).

High-performance scientific computing

In addition to various small clusters, the Institute has the following big cluster named the Ramanujan Cluster.

  • Nodes: 9
  • Cores/node: 24
  • Cores in cluster: 216
  • Clock Speed: 2.67 GHz.
  • RAM/node: 48 GB
  • Operating System: CentOS

Departments and Centers of Excellence[edit]

Academic departments[edit]

The institute has five major academic departments.

Biological Sciences[edit]

The Department of Biological Sciences conducts research and teaching on animal behaviour, biodiversity, cell and molecular biology, conservation biology, developmental biology, ecology, evolution, genetics, immunology, marine biology, microbiology, neurobiology, plant biology, physiology, population biology, structural biology and biophysics. The department encourages interdisciplinary scientific explorations and aims to apply their research in addressing health and environmental issues.[1]

Chemical Sciences[edit]

From the beginning, the Department of Chemical Sciences (DCS) incarnated the Institute's mission of excellence in both research and teaching. The DCS has strength in physical, organic and inorganic chemistry as well as in interdisciplinary research areas at the boundaries with physics, biology, earth science and materials science. State-of-the-art instrumentation is available to carry out the DCS research activity.[2]

The three buildings are where some research labs and all the first, second and third year lab courses are held, from the left the buildings are designated for Physics, Biology and Chemistry respectively

Earth Sciences[edit]

IISER was one of the first to establish a Department of Earth Sciences. The department launched in 2007. The Department's goal is to develop a modern center for Earth Science Education and Research in Environmental and ecological studies in modern and ancient systems, Isotope Geochemistry and Biogeochemical studies, Solid Earth studies.[3]

Mathematics and Statistics[edit]

One of the initial departments, it is committed to mathematical research and providing excellent education as a standalone topic of research and a complement to other scientific education. Research topics include functional analysis, interpolation problems of caratheodory type, partial differential equations, differential inclusions, calculus of variations, spectral graph theory, structure and evolution of biological networks, human brain functional networks, outlier detection, spatial trimming, commutative algebra, algebraic geometry, operator theory, special classes of linear operators, homogeneous operators, multivariable operator theory, non-commutative function theory, inclusion systems, amalgamated product of product systems of Hilbert spaces, surrogate endpoint analysis in clinical trials, phase-III, spatio-temporeal data analysis, goodness of fit test for censored data and change point statistical inference.

Physical Sciences[edit]

The Department focuses on cutting edge research in the fields of condensed matter, astrophysics and cosmology, nano-science, optics, quantum information, non-linear dynamics and high energy physics. In synchrony with the institute's motto, the department aims at lifting students from basic to advanced level.[4]

Centers of Excellence[edit]

Space Science[edit]

The institute acts as a main node for Center for Space Sciences, India (CESSI),[5] a multi-institutional center established with funding from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, aiming to study the activities of sun and space weather forecasting.

Ecological, Geological and Environmental Science Center[edit]

The main campus has a field station that is meant for ecological, environmental and field studies. The established a Broadband Seismological Observatory in the main campus near Kalyani.

Chemical Ecology DST Partner group[edit]

The institute has a group of Chemical Ecology to study plant-insect interaction.

Göttingen-Kolkata: G-KOSS[edit]

A Göttingen-Kolkata: Open shell systems (G-KOSS),[6] a joint initiative of IISER Kolkata and Georg-August University of Göttingen created an intellectual framework in Fundamentals of Molecular Spintronics. The institutes have international networks for collaborative research. This association is provided by the Physical and Chemical Sciences departments in Association with Universität Göttingen.

Center for Materials Science[edit]

This Center houses the laboratories and facilities for studies on Materials Physics and Chemistry and most prominently into Advanced Functional Materials. Current research includes areas such as, Manganite Nanostructures and p-n Junctions, Quantum Dot and Carbon Nanostructures based Photovoltaic Applications, Nano-confinement effects on Catalysis, and Magnetic Interactions, Green Chemistry, Biological Applications of Nanomaterials, Porous Materials, and Metal Oxide Nanostructures.


The institute follows a bi-semester system, which includes a spring (Jan-May) and autumn (Aug-Dec) semester.

Undergraduate education[edit]

The Institute offers a BS-MS dual degree program Admission to this program is after 12 years of school training. The admission is through selective channels:[7]

IISER Kolkata offers a unique training programme for selected candidates through a balanced schedule of classroom lessons, project and research. Attention is directed to the development of interdisciplinary skills.

In the first year, all students are introduced to basic sciences, biological, chemical, mathematical, physical and earth. In the second year, the students select three pre-major subjects from these disciplines. In the third and fourth years, students choose a major subject and take optional interdisciplinary courses. The fifth year is devoted to full-time research/technical project/specialized training resulting in a dissertation. Bachelor and master's degrees are awarded to successful candidates.

Graduate education[edit]

The Institute offers a MS by Research in Physical Sciences (MR) degree, which is a master's degree programme for engineering students (B.E/B.Tech) who want to pursue research in specific areas of Physical Sciences. Selected students take up a project under a faculty member and conduct research. A successful thesis defense earns a master's degree.

Doctoral programs[edit]

Doctor of Philosophy( PhD )[edit]

Admission to the doctoral program follows a master's degree in science. Besides the students of the Integrated BS-MS program, postgraduate students with a master's degree in science and master's degree in professional courses from other universities or institutes are eligible for the doctoral program.

Integrated Doctoral Program ( Int. PhD )[edit]

Admission is given to this program after a BSc degree in basic sciences. Engineering students having BE, B.Tech degree can join this program.

Postdoctoral programs[edit]

Postdoctoral programs are offered in physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology.

Summer Research Program[edit]

This program provides B.Sc., M.Sc., B.S., M.S., B.Tech., and B.E. students of institutions or universities across India an opportunity of exposure to a research environment by associating them with one of the research groups of IISER during summer.

Winter School[edit]

The Institute provides winter education programs termed "winter-schools". Previous programs organized include the SPIE Winter School on Photonics and Winter School on Mathematics.


The Indian Institutes of Science Education and research rank 2nd in scientific research and academic output in India, according to the Nature publishing Index.

Student life[edit]

The most prominent Gymhkana activities include:


Inquivesta – the country's largest science festival,[8] is hosted by IISER-Kolkata starting in 2011. More than 1000 students participate from more than 100 colleges and schools across the country. The fest brings with it seminars and workshops.

Some major events include:


Participants make a manually controlled, maneuverable robot and earn points by doing tasks. There are two rounds. The bots that clear the preliminary round qualify for the finals. The final round adds other tasks. The team that scores maximum points in the final round wins the race.


A unique event with the thrills and mystery of detective stories while simultaneously having an interesting scientific twist in every problem.


L.O.S.T.-Land Of Secret Treasures is a treasure hunt. It tests logic, brainstorming and lateral thinking, while rewarding outside the box thinking. It is about logic and trust in one's abilities. L.O.S.T. is a field event where participants find a chain of clues, unveil the mystery, ultimately leading them to the treasure.

Junkyard Wars[edit]

Junkyard Wars is the ultimate platform for people to present craftsmanship and innovation. Inspired by the reality show Scrapheap Challenge on The Discovery Channel, creativity and imagination blossom in this event. The pieces of scrap metal and junk are provided by IISER Kolkata.The full list of events in Inquivesta


The institute has 17 active clubs that organize events such as competitions, trips, workshops, fun projects and informal events. Most of the sport clubs organize annual tournaments where students from different year-batches compete. The Institute's physical trainer organizes conditioning programs. The cricket club and volleyball club organize an annual series on IPL format. The music club organizes open air evenings for budding singers. The science club offers small projects to students and organizes star gazing sessions, colloquia and lectures by notable scientists. The literary club organizes competitive events such as open air debate, compatibility meter and creative writing. Trekking clubs offer vacation trips and weekend trips to trekking hot spots. Gthe athletics club organizes athletics tournaments, kabbadi and kho-kho tournament.[9]


Five elected students manage events and address student grievances. They include club officers, the canteen committee, hostel committee and class representatives.[10]

Sports meet[edit]

IISER-K initiated IISM (Inter-IISER Sports Meet) in 2012. All the IISERs and NISER Bhubaneshwar compete against each other for titles in various sporting events including:

  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Chess
  • Football
  • Kabaddi
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Throwball
  • Cricket
  • Kho-Kho

Annual Cultural Meet[edit]

A cultural meet is organized every year where current students perform and display their talents ubin Music and Drama.

Department Day[edit]

Each department organizes an annual event to provide exposure to student research. The event provides a platform for the students to exhibit their own scientific research.


IISERK is administered by the board of governors, which falls under the IISER Council. The Council consists of representatives from the Government of India, other IISERs, DRDO, DEITY, DBT, DoSDandAE.

The board of governors (BoG ) consists of 12 members that include representatives from the MHRD, IISc, IIT Kanpur and the Government.

Under the board of governors is the institute director, who serves as the chief academic and executive officer.

Under the director are three deans, department chairs, wardens, the registrar and the president of the student council. The registrar is the chief administrative officer and oversees day-to-day operations and is the custodian of records, funds and other aspects of the institute.

Under the chairs of the various departments are the faculty (full-time professors as well as those of associate and assistant status).

IISER Kolkata (along with the other IISERs), receives more funding than most other Research Institutes with around Rs. 544 million( $8.56 million ) as Endowment. IISER Kolkata received around Rs. 102.9 million( $1.619 million) in research grants in 2013-2014.

IISERs provide highly subsidized education. The total cost for an Undergraduate student at IISER Kolkata is Rs. 40,000 ($629). Undergraduates receive a scholarship under the INSPIRE scheme or KVPY Fellowship, depending on what is applicable. Postgraduate MS by research degree is heavily subsidized and annual cost including tuition and hostel fees is Rs. 43,000 ($676). PhD students are provided with a stipend (as per Government of India Norms) of Rs.25,000 ($393) per month for the first 2 years after which they are provided with a stipend of Rs.28,000 ($440.59) per month, the annual costs of a PhD student ranges from Rs.20,000-Rs. 24,000 ($314-$377).

IISER Kolkata follows the credit-based system of performance evaluation, with proportional weighting of courses based on their importance. Marks form the basis of grades, with a grade value assigned to a range of marks. For each semester, the students are graded by taking a weighted average from the courses with their respective credit points. Each semester's evaluation is done independently with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) reflecting the average performance across semesters. Instruction is in English.

See also[edit]


Internal websites[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Centre to rank top 500 institutes from August". The Times of India. 
  2. ^ Press Trust of India (28 March 2015). "Irani lays foundation stone for IISER, IIT, IIIT in AP". 
  3. ^ "Search - IISER Kolkata Library Catalogue".