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Fate Of IISERs

Fate Of IISERs

August 02, 2011

Premier Institute or neglected child? IISER awaits a parliamentary nod even as the first batch graduates.

As this year’s academic session ended, the first batch of graduates have passed out from the Indian Institute of Scientific Education and Research (IISER), from the campuses of Kolkata and Pune.

IISER are the newly formed premier national institutes, created by the Government of India to promote scientific education and research, most importantly in basic sciences. After the phenomenal successes of IITs and a very practical success in the setting up of National Institutes of Technology, IISERs are indeed a bold step, reaching for new frontiers in scientific research in an age where effectively all technological research is fuelled solely by industry needs and engineering standards.

However, after being set up in 2006, the Institutes have suffered their fair share of problems. There were many issues regarding the selection of students through IIT-JEE merit list, as the Institute faired quite poorly, and only students with ranks far behind in the Extended Merit List selected for IISERs as their last option. This put the selection process into question among many quarters. However, there hasn't been much change in the process, thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of Government. With the explosion of new IITs in the last two years, the situation is going to worsen even further for IISERs, and selection through KVPY (Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana) may be the only feasible process to take in quality students.

It has been 5 years, and the process of proper establishment of the five planned IISERs throughout India has been hampered severely on several stages by various governmental glitches and bureaucratic bottlenecks. The proposed financial outlay for each IISER is approximately Rs. 500 crore for the first five years, yet the smooth development of infrastructure has been a dream yet to be realized.

Now, when the first batch passes out of Kolkata and Pune campuses, there is another governmental barrier blocking the way of outgoing students. Since IISERs are national institutes like the IITs, Parliament should first pass a Bill to enable them to award degrees to students. But the Centre has yet to give any kind of parliamentary endorsement to the Institutes and the matter has been hanging in a limbo. Meanwhile, doubts are being raised over the validity of the provisional degrees awarded by these institutes. This year, 38 students from IISER Kolkata, and 44 students from IISER Pune graduated in the integrated BS-MS dual degree in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics.

While senior faculty members shrug their heads in disappointed helplessness, this raises a big question: Will basic scientific research ever be able to come out of the paralyzing crutches of bureaucratic and governmental control, and reach the status of IITs, or even to the functionality of the NITs. Elite institutions like IITs have been very lucky in prospering their research models as there was heavy industry incentive boosting them up, along with the Non-Alignment era elite collaborations. On the other hand, development of IISERs seems out of place in an India where market-forces control the prodigious output of engineers every year. Will IISER, the neglected child be able to match up to its privileged older brethren? This question may well be vital to the direction higher scientific education is going to take in coming two decades. 


  • johncena
    24.07.16 01:49 PM
    In the matter of research IISER kolkata is far ahead of other IISERs, as one can verify from the recent paper which compares the research output of each IISER.
    Dear Ankit labh, cna you please mention on what basis you have done your rankings? Stop biased accounts and do actual science..:P
  • ketan
    05.04.16 02:33 PM
    what is the difficulty level of iiser aptitude test. homany question i have to attempt to grt iiser pune. i am giving exam in 2016. and which books i should prefer
  • priyanka
    28.06.15 10:48 AM
    how much i have to score this year to get admission in iiser bhopal
  • ansh
    22.06.15 03:35 PM
    sir my rank is 9232 in jee advanced 2015 there is any chance to admission in iiser mohali
  • arpan
    02.06.15 12:13 PM
    how many student applied for iiser 2014 ,last year
  • 04.03.15 10:16 AM
    At IISER Mohali, you´ll have kind of highest opportunity to pursue the Science as your carrer. Here you will find the best facilities for research, for a Scientific environment, so called luxurious Hostel Life, Scholarships ,Sports complex and much more ..

    This is a place where you can breadth freely (actually have to have study hard) in a sense that everything is available like facilities, opportunities, infrastructure etc and now you have to decide whether you want to grow up or not. We(IISER-M) have such kind of instruments which is loosely available anywhere else in INDIA or world.

    The position at where IISER Mohali situated - in Sector-81 - is well connected to the outer world. Chandigarh is our neighbor(less than 15 min).

    This is also true that a good scientist doesn't mean a good teacher. So... you have to study yourself.....
    You will be the pillar of Science in India. You will feel your responsibility after coming to the IISER. Think Positive about it.

    All the best!!!
    - ankit labh
  • ankit iiser
    ankit iiser
    28.06.14 11:10 AM
    see, list of top iisers from top
    iiser- mohali(somebody says it's rank 2)
    iiser- pune(somebody says it's rank 1)
    iiser- kolkata
    iiser- bhopal
    iiser- tvm

    i am from iiser mohali, and i know that there is best faculty , best instruments in iiser mohali and best infrastructure available here.

    in iiser pune, you have to study basics for all 5 years but in iiser mohali you must have to studey basics but for 2 year only and rest years would be your research oriented years. you will enjoy it.
    All the best
  • NSG
    27.02.14 03:04 PM
    I am studying in 10th ICSE. I have a interest in Biology & want to join IISER
    What are the entrance examinaiotns to go through.
    Which IISER I prefer
  • tanvi
    24.07.13 11:14 PM
    I got seat in IISER.And I am awaiting on NIT seat allottment. Which one should be better IISER or NIT?
  • ankit labh
    ankit labh
    24.07.13 11:13 PM
    can any one give me the list of top 5 iisers
    is the series right??
    iiser pune>iiser mohali>iiser bhopal> iiser kolkata> iiser tiruwanantapuram
  • Anonymous
    02.07.13 07:42 PM
    IISER it is for you.... IITs have engineers to teach... IISERs have scientists.... :)
  • Arijit
    02.07.13 04:47 PM
    Guys if I have an option of pursuing research from both IIT & IISER which one I should chose?I am confused?so need help,I am from chemistry stream......
  • Anonymous
    24.06.13 06:54 PM
    well my comment was on a blog page where they criticized here.. which i believe i unknowingly posted here too.. IISER does not invite companies to provide you 'lavish' jobs.. but there's no stopping you either.. i know a lot of my seniors who now have a pay package of >10 lakhs immediately after their graduation.. so it all depends on you.. R&D positions in industries are quite respectable positions and they do provide you a hefty amount to fill in your pockets.. but if you do not work with your own interest.. not even IITs and BITS can help provide you a 'lavish' pay job as you put it.. in IITs too.. there are just a few may be 2 in hundreds who get a pay package of >10-15 lakhs today... rest are mostly in the range of 3-4... which i earnt in just one summer internship abroad for less than 2 months which IISER helped me get.. :) so its just your choice and interest.. even if you join with a very good pay scale.. if you do not satisfy the company's demands.. you are not going to continue on that.. choose as per your capacity and your needs... i have worked both in the labs of IISERs and a very old IIT... trust me IISER's labs are at a way diff level.. as one of my friends put it.. the equipment, instrumentation we have in just 1 quantum optics lab.. its about the equivalent of 4 labs in IISc. Its a new institute, which by definition does not promote IT jobs, but research in Science... nd I believe in a few years' time it would be way ahead of many research labs, leave alone IITs... :)
  • bhavin
    24.06.13 06:21 PM
    so where does the debate end? I mean should a student opt for iiser or an engineering college which provides lavish jobs like bits or iit?
  • Anonymous
    14.06.13 01:50 PM
    Well.. as per my opinion... being a student of IISER Pune.. realizing the opportunities I got.. comparing it with other research labs and universities.. the above article is absolute bullshit!!! If you wish to do a 9 to 9 job.. go join the herd.. if you wish to learn Science.. for the love of science.. respect what you learn.. and respect those who teach you how to learn.. IISERs are definitely few of the best of the kind you can get... And no matter whichever institute/university you study in.. if you really expect and are enthusiastic enough to do something 'great'... do it yourself.. the institute is just there to guide and support you.. not spoon-feed you...
    16.06.12 11:16 AM
    HEY Gyes
    i want to ask that if anyone knows exact about the problem happening here. I mean does this degree problem will be going to encountered in few months or not?

    please, if anyone knows about this then post it her as soon as possible.
  • Saswata
    30.03.12 06:44 PM
    Hello everyone I just wanted to ask about admission through KVPY.. You see I qualified in the SA stream this year (AIR 260th :-(.. ) So do you think I will get a chance to study at IISER?
  • PK
    12.01.12 12:25 AM
    hi,i am a ph.d student of iiser kolkata working there for 3 years and know all the MS-BS students here.Therefore I agree with VA and Tarun.All the students of first batch are pursuing ph.d from topmost universities of the world like NUS,Max plank etc.Even in India most of then has qualified CSIR-NET examination,some hold all india ranks 6,11,25,67etc and even 10 of then were called for SPM Fellowship,the most prestigious fellowship for perusing ph.d in india.
  • priyank
    31.08.11 02:23 PM
    really a good post......educational system in india has just gone worst from worst due to bureaucratic interference and it don't seems to change any time soon.
  • Tarun
    12.08.11 09:46 AM
    This article is a bogus.

    Since the year 2010, IISERs are not inviting any students of EML. Many students have rejected IIT seats to join here.
    There are twins who secured AIR 96 and 197 respectively.

    The infrastructure, faculty and facilities are one of the best in the country and yes there are minor flaws which these people are trying to point out. Some of us visited new IITs for projects and we know the difference.

    Coming to career prospects, this is no mill which produces 1000s of engineers. IISER provides personalized education and the ones who are doing their research well won't have any problems. But if you depend on the institute(like in school where you expect them to help you score marks), then all these issues crop up
  • welfare
    10.08.11 10:04 PM
    There is a interesting blog started by First batch of IISER PUNE.

    It is damn real.

    Check out
  • Mohit
    10.08.11 09:13 PM
    @both VA and the real VA: i guess the issues that you seem to be having with accuracy of the information provided is due to the fact that I've stated that top rankers of jee don't prefer iisers, when there are anomalies contradicting the fact. what i want to say is that they are ANOMALIES. of course there are bright scientifically oriented students who choose to pursue pure scientific research in IISERs rather than go to IITs, but they are the rarities, and one cannot judge a wide problem like this on the basis of such rarities. in any case, kudos to such students from me for taking such a decision. thanks for appreciating the point i was trying to make in the article.
    @pravo: i have tried to be as real as possible. It's true the system has many advantages, but the pitfalls are also there, and they are increasing by the day. one cannot put a blind eye to that side.
  • pravo
    07.08.11 04:42 PM
    hey author,

    Since you are writer by choice.

    Seems that you will write great work on semi-fictitious writing best wishes for you.

    To express on social issues better be real.

    Try and learn from the beautiful nature and defined system that persists.

    Best wishes

  • the real VA, Vivek
    the real VA, Vivek
    06.08.11 08:05 PM
    @VA ... looks like my name... anyway... there is slight anomaly in the rank that you provided ... K. Hari Ram and K. Shri Ram got ranks 97 and 196 respectively in IIT-JEE 2010 and both are studying at IISER Pune.

    @author: thanks for bringing this up. Would have been better only if you had verified the facts before putting into the article. Anyway Bravo
  • VA
    06.08.11 07:49 PM
    though there are some factually incorrect information regarding the admission procedure, the article describes the current situation nicely!

    Most of the first batch students gave up a seat at IITs, NITs or other prestigious colleges for a seat in IISER. Even the recent batch has some students who were placed in top 100 in IIT Jee(actually AIR 70 or 77 in the year 2010)and many in top 1000s. Though the students eligible for counselling have a very poor rank, the small no. of seats ensure that IISERs do have some very good students!

    The fate of first batch of students from both Pune and Kolkata (which includes students who have been awarded one of the most prestigious fellowships, including Rhodes scholarship and commonwealth fellowships) is indeed in a limbo... the universities in US have set a deadline before which they are supposed to provide their degree, failing which they won't be allowed to register beyond first semester. And for the guys working at MNCs, the HR manager keeps on asking for the degree..

    I wonder what were these parliamentarians doing all these 5 years :(
  • Ashank
    02.08.11 11:41 PM
    great article

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