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About IACS

The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, established in July 1876 at 210 Bowbazar street, Kolkata, is a national institution for higher learning whose primary purpose is to foster high quality fundamental research in frontier disciplines of the basic sciences. Founded by Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar, a philanthropist, the activities at the Association in the very early years were supported by generous public contributions. It was conceived and planned in the backdrop of the great cultural and intellectual awakening of the nineteenth century Bengal and was desired by its founder to be an institution 'solely native and purely national'. The original objective of the Association, which continues even today, was to cultivate science in all its departments both with a view to its advancement by original research and to its varied applications to the arts and comforts of life.

Till the early decades of this century the Association was the only place in India where higher research in Physical Sciences could be carried out. As a result students from all over India began assembling at Calcutta to work in the creative atmosphere of the Association. Many distinguised scientists of modern India had carried out research here. This was the place where Sir C V Raman did his monumental work, on Physical Optics leading to the discovery of the celebrated Effect which bears his name and won for him and India the first Nobel Prize in Science. K S Krishnan, S Bhagavantam, K Banerjee, L Srivastava, N K Sethi, C Prosad and M N Saha are some illustrious names out of scores of other eminent Indian Scientists who also worked here and enriched the research culture of the Association in the early decades.

In 1946 the Association embarked upon a new development plan under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Meghnad Saha envisaging the creation of an active research school for investigation on the problems continuing with the fundamental studies in X-rays, Optics, Magnetism, and Raman Effect in which the Association had specialised in early years. A new campus was opened at Jadavpur which became a sprawling complex of educational research and industrial establishments, where the laboratories were shifted from Bowbazar Street. Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy  played a key role to provide the land for the new campus in jadavpur through a gazette notification of November 20, 1947 of government of West Bengal. By 26 February 1948 MN Saha with the help of prominent architects in Calcutta prepared a master plan of the Jadavpur Campus of IACS.

Now it is an autonomous institution which controlled by a General Body and Governing Council. IACS receives fund from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and Government of West Bengal,  many Public agencies (DST, CSIR, DAE, MNES etc.), Private Companies as well as Foreign sources (NSF, UNDP, Japan, European Union, Sweden etc.). A number of specific projects raised by individual scientists or groups of scientists are being supported by different funding agencies such as CSIR, DAE, DNES, DST, DOS, DSIR, ICMR, INSA, NSF, UGC and UNDP. At present there are about 80 faculty members working in physics, and chemistry. The present Director of the Institute is Prof. Kankan Bhattacharyya. The Institute has dynamic programmes for the pursuit of research leading to the doctoral degree and for post-doctoral work and has Visiting Scientists Scheme. There is an excellent library, good computing facilities and is connected to Internet. 


Located in South Kolkata (you will find a guide to Calcutta here) the Institute is adjacent to the Jadavpur University and Indian Institute of Chemical Biology. The quiet surroundings and a commitment to a green environment make IACS a haven for scholarly pursuits. Situated in Jadavpur, the institute enjoys the conveniences of the metropolis and yet is withdrawn from the bustle of the city center. The main building house the Auditorium (MLS Hall), Seminar Rooms, Council Room, allmost all departments, administrative hall etc. Within the walled campus there is a modern library, Energy Research Building, Biological Chemistry Building, Computer Centre, Workshop, Liquid Nitrogen Facility, Canteen, essential staff quarters, Research Scholars' hostels, pool, play ground and a beautiful lawn. The land area of the Association premises is 9.54 acres

Academic Programmes

Doctoral Programme

Motivated students aspiring to do high quality research in Physics and Chemistry are selected every year. The selection is through an interview.  The students have access to all facilities in the institute and can stay in the hostel within the institute campus.

Post-doctoral Programme

Candidates with a PhD degree from leading institutions are encouraged to apply for Post-doctoral fellowships tenable for a period of one to two years.

green bullet Post-B. Sc. Integrated Ph. D. in Chemical Sciences Programme

In an effort to foster academic cooperation between Research Institutes and Universities, IACS started conducting a Post B.Sc Integrated Ph.D Programme in Chemical Sciences (INTPCS) since the academic session 2005-2006. The primary objective is to offer research oriented multi-disciplinary courses, including not only the basics of Organic, Inorganic, Physical and Analytical Chemistries but also covering modern areas of Material Science and Biology which bear a close kinship and an almost compulsory overlap with these traditional branches.

Summer School on Basic Sciences for School Leaving Students

The theme of this program is to drive home the point that understanding a subject is the first step to loving the subject, that true love comes from true understanding and eventually this abstract love can be real enough to partially counter the love for material well-being.
The school normally begins in the last week of April after the IIT JEE and the state JEE are over and runs for two months. There are normally two to four lectures per day, five days a week making a total of 80 lectures. The afternoon session involves computer classes -both theoretical and practical. The lectures are basically of three categories

A) 6-9 lecture course on the basics of a subject
B) 2-4 lecture course on some frontier area
C) Special lectures on diverse topics

Summer Project Fellowship

Applications are normally invited from the under-graduate and post-graduate students of mathematical, physical, chemical and biological sciences/ Engineering of the allied discipline of Indian Universities/Institutes/Colleges for the posts of Summer Project Fellow at IACS during March - April.
Each Fellowship is tenable for two months. The gross emoluments for the Fellowship for the under-graduate and post-graduate students are Rs. 3000/- per month and Rs. 5000/- per month, respectively.
Candidates may apply to the Dean (Academic) at
sprf [AT] iacs.res.in giving the following details:
1. A brief bio-data
2. Intended area of work
Students are also requested to arrange for a letter of recommendation from Head/ Competent authority of the affiliated University/ College/ Institute. The final selection for the award of Fellowships is to be done by duly constituted committee.  

Visiting Scientists Programme

Internationally reputed, front-ranking scientists from the world over visit the Institute frequently for periods ranging from a few weeks to several months. They collaborate with the IACS scientists and give seminars and colloquia.  Over the years IACS has been privileged to have several Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists among its distinguished visitors.

Academic Meetings

Workshops and Symposia in various fields are organized frequently by the Institute. We also take part in the Theoretical Physics Seminar Circuit (TPSC) under which physicists can visit leading research centers in India and lecture on their work. IACS actively participates in advanced schools like those conducted by the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).  The Institute actively encourages its members to collaborate with scientists elsewhere, and provides the required help. 

Copyright: IACS; Author: Webmaster



  Last modified November 08, 2013