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Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science
Established 1876
Type Research Institution
Director Prof. Kankan Bhattacharyya
Location Kolkata, India
Campus Urban
Website www.iacs.res.in

The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, established in July 1876 at 210 Bowbazar street, Calcutta, is a national institution for higher learning whose primary purpose is to foster high quality fundamental research in frontier disciplines of the basic sciences. Founded by Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar, a philanthropist, and Fr. Eugene Lafont, Rector and Science Professor at St. Xavier's College, the activities at the Association in the very early years were supported by generous public contributions. It was conceived and planned in the backdrop of the great cultural and intellectual awakening of the nineteenth century Bengal and was desired by its founders to be an institution 'solely native and purely national'. The original objective of the Association, which continues even today, was to cultivate science in all its departments both with a view to its advancement by original research and to its varied applications to the arts and comforts of life.

Till the early decades of this century the Association was the only place in India where higher research in Physical Sciences could be carried out.[citation needed] As a result students from all over India began assembling at Calcutta to work in the creative atmosphere of the Association. Many distinguished scientists of modern India had carried out research here. This was the place where Sir C V Raman did his work, on Physical Optics leading to the discovery of the celebrated Effect which bears his name and won for him and India the first Nobel Prize in Science.

In 1946 the Association embarked upon a new development plan under the leadership of Dr. Megh Nad Saha envisaging the creation of an active research school for investigation on the problems continuing with the fundamental studies in X-rays, Optics, Magnetism, and Raman Effect in which the Association had specialised in early years. A new campus was opened at Jadavpur which became a sprawling complex of educational research and industrial establishments, where the laboratories were shifted from Bowbazar Street.

Now it is an autonomous body funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the government of India and by the government of West Bengal. A number of specific projects raised by individual scientists or groups of scientists are being supported by different funding agencies such as CSIR, DAE, DNES, DST, DOS, DSIR, ICMR, INSA, NSF, UGC and UNDP. At present there are about 80 faculty members working in physics, and chemistry. The present director of the Institute is Prof. Kankan Bhattacharyya. The Institute has dynamic programmes for the pursuit of research leading to the doctoral degree and for post-doctoral work and has Visiting Scientists Scheme. In an effort to foster academic cooperation between Research Institutes and Universities, IACS started conducting a Post B.Sc Integrated Ph.D Programme in Chemical Sciences (INTPCS) since the academic session 2005-2006. The primary objective is to offer research oriented multi-disciplinary courses, including not only the basics of Organic, Inorganic, Physical and Analytical Chemistries but also covering modern areas of Material Science and Biology which bear a close kinship and an almost compulsory overlap with these traditional branches.

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The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, established in July 1876 at 210 Bowbazar street, Calcutta, is a national institution for higher learning whose primary purpose is to foster high quality fundamental research in frontier disciplines of the basic sciences. Founded by Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar, a philanthropist, and Fr. Eugene Lafont, Rector and Science Professor at St. Xavier's College, the activities at the Association in the very early years were supported by generous public contributions. It was conceived and planned in the backdrop of the great cultural and intellectual awakening of the nineteenth century Bengal and was desired by its founders to be an institution 'solely native and purely national'. The original objective of the Association, which continues even today, was to cultivate science in all its departments both with a view to its advancement by original research and to its varied applications to the arts and comforts of life.

Till the early decades of this century the Association was the only place in India where higher research in Physical Sciences could be carried out.[citation needed] As a result students from all over India began assembling at Calcutta to work in the creative atmosphere of the Association. Many distinguished scientists of modern India had carried out research here. This was the place where Sir C V Raman did his work, on Physical Optics leading to the discovery of the celebrated Effect which bears his name and won for him and India the first Nobel Prize in Science.[citation needed]

In 1946 the Association embarked upon a new development plan under the leadership of Dr. Megh Nad Saha envisaging the creation of an active research school for investigation on the problems continuing with the fundamental studies in X-rays, Optics, Magnetism, and Raman Effect in which the Association had specialised in early years. A new campus was opened at Jadavpur which became a sprawling complex of educational research and industrial establishments, where the laboratories were shifted from Bowbazar Street.

Now it is an autonomous body funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the government of India and by the government of West Bengal. A number of specific projects raised by individual scientists or groups of scientists are being supported by different funding agencies such as CSIR, DAE, DNES, DST, DOS, DSIR, ICMR, INSA, NSF, UGC and UNDP. At present there are about 80 faculty members working in physics, and chemistry. The present director of the Institute is Prof. Kankan Bhattacharya. The Institute has dynamic programmes for the pursuit of research leading to the doctoral degree and for post-doctoral work and has Visiting Scientists Scheme. In an effort to foster academic cooperation between Research Institutes and Universities, IACS started conducting a Post B.Sc Integrated Ph.D Programme in Chemical Sciences (INTPCS) since the academic session 2005-2006. The primary objective is to offer research oriented multi-disciplinary courses, including not only the basics of Organic, Inorganic, Physical and Analytical Chemistries but also covering modern areas of Material Science and Biology which bear a close kinship and an almost compulsory overlap with these traditional branches.

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