April 2017

Indian Institute of Science ranked best university in India

For over a century, the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, conceived by Tata Founder Jamsetji Tata, has been a byword for excellence for scientific research in India

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore has been named as India’s finest university and research institution by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF). The top ranking by NIRF — established by the Government of India’s Ministry for Human Resource Development — is a testament to the institute’s trailblazing triumphs and pre-eminent position in driving scientific and technological research. This is the second consecutive year that the institute has been recipient of this honour.

Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, the Founder of the Tata group, is the inspiration behind the setting up of IISc. Jamsetji conceptualised the institute in 1896 “to provide for advanced instruction and to conduct original investigations in all branches of knowledge as are likely to promote the material and industrial welfare of India.” It still remains the premier institute for advanced scientific and technological research and education in India.

The Founder bestowed an income from Rs 30 lakh worth of his property for the proposed institute. In 1909, after Jamsetji’s death, his elder son Sir Dorab Tata realised his father’s dream. IISc came up on a 400-acre plot of land in Bangalore donated by the erstwhile Government of Mysore State, and it was financially supported by the colonial Government of India. The first group of students was admitted in 1911.

Over the 108 years since its inception, IISc has consistently strived to fulfil Jamsetji’s dream and with creditable success. It was recently placed eighth among the top 10 in UK-based Times Higher Education’s World’s Best Small Universities 2017 list, becoming the first and only Indian institute to make it to the top 10.

The institute continues to attract the best scientific minds of India and has one of the largest populations of research students in the country. Many of India’s greatest scientists, including notables like Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan and JC Ghosh, are IISc alumni. IISc’s continued success in pioneering scientific and technological research, and education, in India is a shining testimonial to Jamsetji’s dream.

Brief history

  • Jamsetji Tata got the idea of setting up an institute for scientific research after listening to a convocation address at the Bombay University in 1889.
  • IISc started with just two departments: general and applied chemistry and electro-technology.
  • The physics department was established in 1933, when Nobel Laureate CV Raman became the first Indian director of the institute.
  • The institute has trained many of India’s greatest scientific minds, among them Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan and JC Ghosh.
  • It has also nurtured institutions like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Atomic Energy Commission.