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India: Education Institutions
Country Study > Chapter 6 > Character and Structure of the Economy > Science and Technology > Major Research Organizations > Education Institutions


The Indian Institute of Science is a university-level organization that has contributed much to Bangalore's development as a technology capital. The institute was founded in 1909 on land in Bangalore donated by the maharajah of Mysore, using an endowment provided by one of the major benefactors of modern Indian science, Jamsetji Nusserwanji (J.N.) Tata, for the development of experimental science. Before independence and for some years after independence, the institute had a primarily British and British-trained faculty committed to raising India's scientific levels. In 1956 the institute was given university status.

The Indian Institute of Science has more than forty departments, centers, laboratories, and education programs organized for the study of biological, chemical, electrical, mathematical, mechanical, and physical sciences. It also has a major library, the National Centre for Science Information, and a fee-based Centre for Scientific and Industrial Consultancy.

The Indian Academy of Sciences is also located in Bangalore. The academy was founded by C.V. Raman in 1934 "to promote the progress and uphold the cause of science, both in the pure and applied branches." Although the academy is not a research institute, it provides scholarships and fellowships, publishes research results, and bestows honors on deserving scientists, both Indian and foreign. The academy is half funded by the Department of Science and Technology, and the remainder of the budget is met through subscriptions to its publications. Raman also founded the Raman Research Institute in 1948 as an independent, private science laboratory at which he and others continued to conduct ground-breaking research on the campus of the Indian Institute of Science.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is a university-level entity providing undergraduate and graduate education in engineering and technology. The five autonomous IIT campuses listed in order of their founding, are located in Kharagpur (West Bengal; 1950), Bombay (1958), Madras (1959), Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh; 1960), and New Delhi (1961). The IIT system was founded by the central government in 1950 and raised to an "institution of national importance" by Parliament by means of the Indian Institute of Technology Act of 1956 and its subsequent amendments. Besides receiving central government support in the early years, IIT received assistance from West Germany, the Soviet Union, Britain, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the United States. Instructional and research departments range from agricultural engineering to aeronautical engineering and from earth sciences and postharvest technology to naval architecture and ocean engineering. To round out students' education, the IIT system also offers humanities and social science courses. For example, the Madras campus of IIT teaches economics, history, English, psychology, and business at the undergraduate level in support of other departments and at the graduate level leading to a master's degree in industrial management. While each campus has departments in the basic physical sciences, there are unique departments and specializations at each of the five sites. Admission to IIT is highly competitive; some 100,000 applicants take placement examinations for 2,000 student positions each year.

Although most important research is done in government- and industry-sponsored laboratories, several universities, in addition to the Indian Institute of Science and the five IIT campuses, are involved in significant research. Those with notable science programs are Delhi University, Benares Hindu University in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, and Shanti Niketan University in Shanti Niketan, West Bengal.

Last Updated: September 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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