Science Research Institutes in India are often lagging behind their global peers when it comes to quality in research. But with increased support from the Government of India and the academic community as a whole, the research community is rapidly changing with better infrastructure and support being provided to students who wish to pursue their research degree in the country itself. Even though there are many advantages in pursuing a research degree in foreign shores, it is no longer a distant dream to pursue a research degree in India. There are various PhD fellowships in India provided for scholars to fund their daily needs as well as to pursue their research without any worry for their financial requirements. If you are interested in pursuing research in India, here is the list of institutes which are sometimes on par with their global peers in providing the necessary infrastructure and support for scholars, who can pursue their research degrees without any compromise and from the comfort of their home country.
Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the best Science research Institutes in India
Established in 1909, Indian Institute of Science has gone on to become the best science research institute in India for pure sciences research. IISc is consistently ranked in among 300 institutes in Times Higher Education World University Rankings and obtained a ranking of 21 in Asia. Apart from pure sciences, they also provide research degrees in applied sciences, such as electrical and mechanical engineering. Those who wish to pursue PhD degree in this institute have to secure a high rank in Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), have a consistently high academic track record and ace the personal interview conducted by the institute. Around 250 research candidates are selected in 40 different disciplines every year and they constitute the largest student group in the campus (around 70%). A larger emphasis on thesis work is given over coursework while carrying out research. If you want to pursue a research in India which is held in equal regard from the best institutions around the world, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) should be the ideal research institute.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
The Government of India has established Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 1942 to act as a forefront for the Indian Scientific efforts and pioneer the intellectual property revolution in the country. Today CSIR forms the largest research and Development Organisation in the country with 38 laboratories and institutes with around 14000 researchers and support personnel working under them. Till date, CSIR has released around 3000 patents internationally and 1500 patents enforceable in India. BTech, BPharm or BArch candidates who wish to pursue PhD in CSIR can apply for their Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) program, where their scores in Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) will be their main criteria for their selection. Once selected, the candidates will get an opportunity to pursue their doctoral program in IITs, NITs or any one of the RECs. The scholars have to work with CSIR scientists and laboratories during this tenure. Candidates who have completed their masters in engineering, Pharmacy or architecture have to apply through Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) and the admission will be made directly through interviews. The research degrees obtained through CSIR fellowships is highly regarded even when compared to any other esteemed science research institutes in India.
Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)
Even though the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are premier engineering institutes, they provide excellent research programs and infrastructure for scholars who wish to pursue research in pure sciences. IIT Kharagpur was the first Indian Institute of Technology founded in 1951 and today a total of 23 institutes are present throughout the country. To apply for a research degree in any one of the IITs, interested candidates must have a valid GATE, CSIR-National Eligibility Test or JEST score. The intakes for PhD programs are taken in two cycles and their dates are given in the respective websites of the institutes you wish to apply for. Even though the Indian Institutes of Technology have a high brand recognition and value, a PhD degree from ‘older’ IITs is held at a much higher regard because of relatively better infrastructure, faculty and experience.
Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER)
Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research are relatively new institutions with one of the first campuses being set up only in 2006. In this short period of time, IISERs have established themselves as one of the pioneering institutions for pure science research. There are a total of 7 IISERs being established throughout the country with the latest one being set up at 2016 in Berhampur, Odisha. A total of 236 publications were made in 2018 alone, making them one of the top contributors of pure science research in India. To apply for a PhD program in any one of the institutes, interested candidates must have valid scores from GATE, CSIR-NET or any other national examination depending on their area of interest.
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was founded in 1945 by Dr Homi J.Bhabha with the help of Tata Trust. TIFR is counted among the best science research institutes in India. The institute comes under the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India and offers research opportunities in pure sciences, mathematics and computer science fields. TIFR has one of the best infrastructures for research in the pure science field and provides PhD program which is recognised as one of the best in the country. Interested candidates who wish to apply for the degree in any of the research programs must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field related to their research interests.
Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI)
Homi Bhabha National Institute was established in 2005 by the Department of Atomic Energy and has been listed in ‘A’ category as one of the premier research institutes in the country. They provide research degrees in various pure and applied sciences and have one of the best infrastructure and faculty to guide aspiring research scholars among any of the science research institutes in India. Their focus is to aid research which would aid in the development of indigenous nuclear research capability. A total of 10 highly esteemed research centres come under the purview of Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI). Those who wish to apply for a PhD research program in HBNI must have a master’s degree from any of the recognised institutions in the field of their research interest.
Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS)
Established in 1876, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) forms the oldest institute in India encouraging and pursuing basic science research in India. IACS is one of the most active science research institutes in India with over 64 research publications made in 2018 alone. Applicants who are interested in applying for a research program in this esteemed institution must write a test conducted by the institution and have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from any one of the recognised colleges in India.
Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Reseach (JNCASR)
Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research was established in 1989 by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The mission of the research centre is to provide world class training and facilities to researchers in all the areas of sciences and broaden their horizon. The research institute is currently very small with only 300 scholars taken in but has a very healthy student ratio of 1:4. Despite a small number of researchers available, the institute is very active has published almost 38 article in 2014 alone. The faculty is very esteemed and has been provided with multiple awards over a period of time for their contributions in various areas of science. Those who wish to apply for their research program must have a Bachelor’s or master’s degree from any of the recognised institutions and should have secured a valid GATE, CSIR-NET or any of the valid national examination score.
Harish Chandra Research Institute (HRI)
Harish Chandra Research Institute focuses on research in the fields of mathematics and theoretical physics. Established in 1975, the institute is aided by the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. The faculty of the institute is highly regarded and has won multiple accolades over a period of time. Besides focusing on such narrow fields of research, the institute is one of the most active in India with multiple articles being published in 2018 alone. Those who wish to apply for a research program in the institute must have a valid bachelor’s or master’s degree from one of the recognised institution in India.
For aspiring science research scholars going abroad may not always be a viable option and pursuing research from any of the above-provided science research institutes in India can be equally valued if not more in academic circles in our country. Providing a strong research ecosystem and attracting talented researchers are very important for any country’s growth. The government has recognised the issue and has taken the necessary steps and hopefully, the list of the best science research institutes in India which are on par with any foreign research institute will continue to grow in future.
List courtesy: Nature Index