Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006 (Kolkata):
The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research or IISER at Kolkata is one of three government institutes being set up to give science education in the country a boost.
They are being called the IITs for science. The last time such a premier institute was set up was in 1909, IISc in Bangalore.
The IISER campus will be set up 60 km away at Kalyani by 2008.
On offer is a five-year masters degree, not just in physics, chemistry or biology but in integrated sciences.
"Today we are confronted with the absurd situation that a biology student cannot take mathematics, chemistry is partitioned into physical, organic and inorganic as if they are separate disciplines altogether. We need to integrate all this and break all barriers to knowledge," said Dutta Gupta, Director, IISER.
IISER's first batch consists of 40 students who topped the IIT entrance exam but chose to pursue pure science instead of engineering.
"Somehow, science has become a disenchanted subject. This is very bad. Just by technology we can't compete with the technology of tomorrow," said Bikash Sinha, Director, SNIP & VECC.
"We can create the technology of tomorrow only by science. IISER in that sense is a step forward to fill in that lacunae," Sinha added.
Besides Kolkata, Pune and Chandigarh will also have IISERs, each with a budget of Rs 500 crore for the first five years. Rs 1500 crore is a lot of money but a small price to pay for a turnaround in the country's rather gloomy scientific temper.
A survey has found that only nine per cent of school students want to study science at college.