Indian Institute of Science

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Last Updated: September 1, 2003
Other Name: IISc
Location: Bangalore, Karnataka
Subordinate To: Department of Education
Size: Unknown
Facility Status: Active

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was founded in Bangalore, Karnataka in 1909. It was the first institute in India to offer PhD programs in biology, chemistry, and physics. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the father of India's nuclear program, was a professor of Cosmic Ray Research at IISc during the 1940s. Today more than 2,000 researchers work or study at IISc in "frontier areas" of science and technology. Forty academic departments are represented in six major divisions: Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Electrical Sciences, Information Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical and Mathematical Sciences. In addition to PhD programs (and some engineering ME programs), short-term courses are offered for scientists and technologists. Over 1,500 scientists reportedly go through these programs annually.

The Supercomputer Education & Research Center (SERC) that was founded in 1987 is part of the IISc. Although the United States did not list SERC as an entity of proliferation concern following the May 1998 nuclear tests, the British Government did accuse SERC of assisting in the design of nuclear weapons. The IISc's Department of Aerospace Engineering (within the Division of Mechanical Sciences) and its Space Technology Cell have been suspected of aiding the Indian nuclear and missile programs.

[1] "Homi Jehangir Bhabha (1909-1966)," DAE (Government of India),
[2] "Indian Government Entities Involved in Nuclear or Missile Activities," Federation of American Scientists,
[3] Indian Institute of Science (IISc),
[4] S. Halarnkar and S. David, "Sciencescope," India Today, 22 June 1998.
[5] LexisNexis Academic Universe, 17 June 1998,

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2019.