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

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, West Bengal, India. It was established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India in 2006, in order to promote Higher Scientific Learning and Research as well as Scientific Exploration at the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels of education and to create Scientists and Academicians of the highest quality. IISERs are destined to become Science Institutions of the highest caliber and reach the prestigious position and global setting that IISc, IITs and IIMs currently enjoy.

IISER Kolkata is recognized an Institute of National Importance by the Government of India and is one of the most premier Institutions for Higher Scientific Learning and Research in India . The Government of India invests highly in IISER Kolkata to set up and maintain state-of-the-art research facilities in all branches of basic science (Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, Biological Sciences and Earth and Environmental sciences) and to promote interdisciplinary areas of research. It is an autonomous institution awarding its own degrees.


IISER Kolkata shares a common Visitor (A position held by the President of India) with the other IISERs. IISER Kolkata is administered by the board of governors which falls under the IISER Council. The IISER Council consists of representatives from the Government of India, other IISERs, DRDO, DEITY, DBT, DoS, DAE,etc. The board of governors( Also known as BoG ) is a body consisting of 12 members that include representatives from the MHRD, IISc, IIT Kanpur and the Government of India. Under the board of governors is the institute director, who serves as the chief academic and executive officer of the IISER. Under the director are thee Deans, Chairmen of the Departments, Wardens, Registrar and President of the students council. The registrar is the chief administrative officer and oversees day-to-day operations. He is the custodian of records, funds, and other properties of the institute. Under the charge of the Chairmen of the various departments are the faculty (full-time professors as well as those of associate and assistant status).

IISER Kolkata (in a similar trend with the other IISERs), receives comparatively 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 the year 2013-2014. IISERs provide highly subsidized education. The total cost for an Undergraduate student at IISER Kolkata is Rs. 40,000( $629.42 ). All Undergraduate students receive a scholarship under the INSPIRE scheme or KVPY Fellowship, depending on whichever is applicable. The fees for the Postgraduate MS by research degree is also heavily subsidized and annual cost including tuition and hostel fees is Rs. 43,000( $676.63 ). PhD students are provided with a stipend( As per Government of India Norms) of Rs.25,000( $393.4) 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 ( $314.71-$377.65 ).

IISER Kolkata follows the credit-based system of performance evaluation, with proportional weighting of courses based on their importance. The total marks (usually out of 100) form the basis of grades, with a grade value (out of 10) assigned to a range of marks. For each semester, the students are graded by taking a weighted average from all 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. The medium of instruction is English.

Campus and facilities[edit]

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

Canal in the transit campus

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 also 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 Salt Lake area in Kolkata.

IISER Kolkata Main Entrance gate

Lecture Hall Complex[edit]

The lecture hall complex is the facility where all the lectures, colloquium and seminars are held for students and faculty. 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.
Lecture Hall Complex at Night


The hostels on the Main Campus consist of 2 blocks and 6 buildings interconnected with one another, another hostel block is present in the Transit campus. The hostel rooms are spacious and provide a comfortable living space for students. 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 both 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 all the faculty to house their laboratories and equipment. An extension of the facility is being built and is scheduled to be completed soon.

The ongoing Research complex, The first building has been finished, the second building and the extension are scheduled to be completed within a year, the picture was taken from the Research Complex lake.
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 before long. The collection of the Library comprises documents in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, 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, T&F etc.
  • E-books: 13,000+

The Library is automated on 'Virtua Library Management & Digital Library' (VTLS Inc, Virginia, USA). Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is used to facilitate security and management of the Library.

Computing facility[edit]

The Computing Section remains the custodian of all network and computing solutions of IISER Kolkata. The section strives to provide easy yet secure network and computing access to all members of IISER Kolkata. The section provides all core services, such as, mail, web, wiki, helpdesks and home-built academic ERP solutions. The section manages all wired and wireless LAN throughout the campus. The main external network connections to IISER Kolkata is provided by National Knowledge Network (NKN) in the form of an 100 Mbps dedicated network line.

NKN also helped to build a virtual class room in IISER Kolkata which accommodates about thirty participants and is connected through the NKN grid to all other major institutes of the country. The institute boasts of several small computing clusters (200 to 600 Giga-flops) which are presently operational. The computer section expects to set up a 1-Tera-flop high-performance cluster in the near future.

High-performance scientific computing

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

  • No. of nodes: 9
  • No of cores in each node: 24
  • No of cores in cluster: 216
  • Clock Speed: 2.67 GHz.
  • RAM in each node: 48 GB
  • Operating System: CentOS

Departments and Centers of Excellence[edit]

Academic departments[edit]

The institute has five major academic departments, including:

  • Department of Biological Sciences[1]

The Department of Biological Sciences has been conducting research and teaching in a broad spectrum of areas in Biology. It works 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. In our research, the department not only encourages interdisciplinary scientific explorations but also aims to apply their research in addressing health and environmental issues.

  • Department of Chemical Sciences[2]

The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research-Kolkata was founded in 2006 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India and one of the first departments to be established was the Department of Chemical Sciences (DCS). From the beginning, the Department has incarnated the Institute's mission of excellence in both research and teaching. The DCS has appreciable strength in the core areas of physical, organic and inorganic chemistry as well as in interdisciplinary research areas at the boundaries with physics, biology, earth science and materials science. An extremely wide range of state-of-the-art instrumentation are available in different research groups to carry out the DCS research activity.

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
  • Department of Earth Sciences[3]

Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Kolkata is the first among five IISERs, to have established a Department of Earth Sciences. The department started its journey in 2007, a year after IISER-Kolkata was established. The Department of Earth Sciences is committed to building a community of researchers including students and faculty members. The goal of the Department is to develop a modern center for Earth Science Education and Research in three core areas: Environmental and ecological studies in modern and ancient systems, Isotope Geochemistry and Biogeochemical studies, Solid Earth studies.

  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics[4]

The Department of Mathematical sciences was one of the initial departments at IISER Kolkata. It is committed to the proliferation of Mathematical research and providing excellent higher education in mathematics to both form a standalone topic of research as well as complement the Scientific education imparted at IISER Kolkata. 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-tempoeal data analysis, Goodness of fit test for censored data and Change point problem Statistical inference.

  • Department of Physical Sciences[5]

The Department of Physical Sciences focuses on the 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 also aims at teaching and training students from basic to advanced level.

Centers of Excellence[edit]

  • CESSI: Center of Excellence for Space Science

The institute acts as a main node for Center for Space Sciences, India(CESSI)[6] a multi-institutional Center of Excellence established through 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

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

  • Chemical Ecology DST Partner group

The institute has a Max Planck-DST Partner Group of Chemical Ecology under Department of Biological Sciences funded by Max Plank Society, Germany to study plant-insect interaction.

  • Göttingen-Kolkata: G-KOSS

The institute also runs a Göttingen-Kolkata: Open shell systems (G-KOSS),[7] a joint initiative of IISER Kolkata and Georg-August University of Göttingen create an intellectual framework in the field of Fundamentals of Molecular Spintronics. The institutes have strong international networks for collaborative research. This association is provided by the Physical Sciences and Chemical Sciences departments of IISER Kolkata in Association with Universität Göttingen.

  • Center for Materials Science

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 10+2 years of school training. The admission is through these highly selective channels:[8]

  1. Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) (SA, SX and SB streams)
  2. Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination Merit List, top 10,000 candidates.
  3. Board (regional state boards, CBSE, CISCE) toppers, who are the top 1% of their respective boards. Students have to further appear for an Aptitude test, on whose score, admission to IISER is based.

The IISERs select only among the top 1% of Indian students, through the above streams.

IISER Kolkata offers a unique training programme to the selected candidates through a balanced schedule of class room lessons, project and research works. While the Institute aims to comprehensively train the students in each of the major subjects, much attention is also directed to the development of the inter-disciplinary skills. The broad outline of the training programme is as follows:

In the first year, all students are introduced to basic sciences, viz., Biological, Chemical, Mathematical, Physical and Earth Sciences. In the second year, the students select three pre-major subjects from the above-mentioned disciplines. In the third and fourth years, students choose a major subject from the above disciplines and need to take optional interdisciplinary courses. The fifth year almost completely devoted to full-time research/technical project/specialized training in which the students need to prepare a dissertation. At the end of the fifth year, both 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 their career through research in specific areas of Physical Sciences. Selected students take up a project under a faculty member of IISER Kolkata and conduct her/his research with rigorous course works in every semester. After successfully defending their thesis, students are awarded the master's degree.

Doctoral programs[edit]

  • Doctor of Philosophy( PhD )

Admission is given to the doctoral program after a master's degree in science is achieved. 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 also admitted to the doctoral program.

  • Integrated Doctoral Program ( Int. PhD )

Admission is given to this program is after a BSc degree in any of the basic sciences is achieved. Engineering students having BE, B.Tech degree can also 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 the summer vacation.

Winter School[edit]

The Institute also provides winter education programs termed "winter-schools", which are attended by undergraduates from various Institutions across India. 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]

Student life in IISER Kolkata is quite active and engaging. The most prominent activities of the student's Gymkhana include the following:


Inquivesta – the country's largest science festival,[9] hosted by IISER-Kolkata – was started in 2011, to ignite curiosity in young minds. Currently in its 5th edition, the fest sees participation of more than 1000 students from more than a 100 colleges and schools across the country. The fest brings with it exciting events, seminars and workshops that cater to the interests of all students across India - the future scientists and engineers; the artistic and the dramatic.

Some major events include:

  • Botprix

Participants will have to make a manually controlled wireless or wired robot capable of maneuvering through various terrains and earning points by doing certain tasks that are parts of the track. There are two rounds. The bot which has cleared the preliminary round qualifies for the finals. The final round will consist of certain extra tasks. The team that scores maximum points in the final round wins the race

  • C.S.I

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

L.O.S.T.-Land Of Secret Treasures is an enthralling treasure hunt. It is a quest that tests logic, brainstorming and lateral thinking, while subtly nudging the innate capacity to think outside the box. It is an event not for the common brain but for people with the bent of mind to look at the world from a viewpoint which is beyond the presumed physical laws; it is about logic and faith in one's abilities. L.O.S.T. is a field event where participants will walk on paths not treaded on before to find a chain of clues, unveil the mystery, ultimately leading them to the treasure.

  • Junkyard Wars

Junkyard Wars is the ultimate platform for people to present craftsmanship and logical ability to innovate. Inspired by the famous and popular TV reality show ‘Scrapheap Challenge’ on The Discovery Channel, one’s creativity and imagination together with a pile of junk get blossomed to a masterpiece of art in this event. The pieces of scrap metal and junk are provided by IISER Kolkata.


The institute currently has 17 active clubs. These clubs organize several events throughout the year which include many competitions, trips, workshops, fun projects and informal events. Most of the sport clubs organize annual tournaments where students from different year-batches compete. Institute also has a physical trainer who daily organizes body conditioning program for sports clubs. Apart from this, cricket club and volleyball club also organize an annual series on IPL format. Music club organize open air musical evenings at regular intervals which gives opportunity to budding singers to exhibit their talent. The Science club offers small projects to students and organizes star gazing sessions, colloquiums and special lectures by notable Scientists and Academicians at regular intervals. Literary club organizes several competitive events like open air debate, compatibility meter and creative writing. Trekking clubs offers annual trip during vacations and small weekend trips to several trekking hot spots. Athletics club organize annual athletics tournament, kabbadi and kho-kho tournament.[10]


A body of 5 students is elected every year to manage events and address student's grievances. The body is composed of officers of clubs, the canteen committee, hostel committee, and class representatives.[11]

Sports meet[edit]

IISER-K initiated IISM (Inter-IISER Sports Meet) in 2012. The sports meet has been hosted by other IISERs (Mohali in 2014 and Bhopal in 2013) since its beginning. In this sports event all the IISERs and NISER Bhubaneshwar participate and compete against each other for titles in various sporting events including the following:

Major Events:

  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Chess
  • Football
  • Kabaddi
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

Other Events:

  • Throwball
  • Cricket
  • Kho-Kho

Annual Cultural Meet[edit]

A cultural meet is organized every year where current students perform and display their talents which range from Music to Drama. It is also in this event that students who have achieved significantly in the year are awarded.

Department Day[edit]

Annually, each department organizes its own event to provide exposure to the current research of their respective students. The event also provides a platform for the students to exhibit their own scientific research conducted within or outside the department.


IISER-Kolkata has had an illustrious academic run in terms of alumni. Several students of the BS-MS course have been successful in gaining admission to prestigious International and National PhDs to institutions of international repute. A complete list of IISER-Kolkata Alumni can be found in the link given below.

See also[edit]

References and citations[edit]

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  7. ^ Georg-August-Universität Göttingen - Göttingen-Kolkata: G-KOSS. (2013-07-07). Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links[edit]