Best among IISERs, NISER, CEBS & IACS for Physics

Best among IISERs, NISER, CEBS & IACS for Physics

Hello, future physicists! Are you looking for top physics institutes in India? Do you know about IISERs and NISER? Do you know that there are many other top research institutes for physics in India with notable physicists? For aspiring physicists, choosing the right institute for higher education is an essential decision that can impact their future careers. If you are confused about which institute is the best in physics among IISERs, NISER, CEBS, and IACS, this blog will help you. 

In this blog, we will discuss:

  • What are IISERs, NISER, CEBS and IACS?
  • Rankings of IISERs, NISER, CEBS and IACS
  • Admission to IISERs, NISER, CEBS and IACS
  • Curriculum 
  • Research opportunities
  • Alumni network
  • Which is the best institute for physics?

What are IISERs, NISER, CEBS and IACS?

IISERs (Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research), NISER (National Institute of Science Education and Research), CEBS (Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences), and IACS (Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science) are prestigious institutes known for their strong emphasis on physics education and research. They are not only research institutes but also provide education to bachelor and graduate students. 

The Ministry of Education and DST funds the seven IISERs and IACS, while the Department of Atomic Energy funds the NISER and CEBS.

NISER is located in Bhubaneshwar, CEBS is located in Mumbai, IACS is in Kolkata, and IISERs are located all over India. Seven IISERs are:

  1. IISER Kolkata
  2. IISER Pune
  3. IISER Bhopal
  4. IISER Mohali
  5. IISER Berhampur
  6. IISER Tirupati
  7. IISER Thiruvananthapuram

Check out this blog if you want to compare IISERs with IISc.

Rankings of IISERs, NISER, CEBS and IACS:

NIRF rankings of these institutes are as follows:

  • NISER & CEBS (Homi Bhabha National Institute): 15
  • IISER Pune: 27
  • IISER Kolkata: 40
  • IISER Mohali: 50

In the Nature Index, HBNI stands in 3rd position, while IISER Kolkata stands in 4th position for academics in India. IISER Bhopal and Pune are in the 6th and 10th positions, respectively.

Note: HBNI includes all institutes like TIFR, NISER, etc.

Admission to IISERs, NISER, CEBS and IACS:

Admission to IISERs is based on the IISER Aptitude Test (IAT) results. The admission to NISER and CEBS is based on the National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) results. And the admission to IACS is based on the application submitted by students. An interview for admission to IACS follows a screening test.

Check out this blog to learn more about IACS.


In IISERs, you get to study all subjects during your first year and can choose three premajors in second year. Finally, you can choose your major subject in the third year. In the fifth year you get to do your thesis on your chosen field.

In NISER you get to study everything only in the first year and you get your major from second year. You get two  years for your thesis.

In IACS, the first three semester are same for everyone and you can choose your major in the fourth semester.

Research Opportunities:

Focus Areas in Physics:

Focus area
  • Experimental and theoretical condensed matter physics
  • High energy physics and particle physics
  • Quantum information and computation
  • Optics and photonics
  • Soft matter and statistical physics
  • Astrophysics and cosmology
  • Experimental and theoretical nuclear physics
  • Condensed matter physics
  • High energy physics and accelerator-based research
  • Astrophysics and cosmology
  • Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
  • Quantum mechanics and field theory
  • Condensed matter physics and materials science
  • Theoretical and computational physics
  • Optics and photonics
  • Quantum physics
  • Nanoscience and nanotechnology
  • Biophysics and interdisciplinary physics
  • Strong emphasis on integrating research with education from the undergraduate level, providing early exposure to research methodologies.
  • Funded projects and state-of-the-art laboratories.
  • Opportunities for summer internships, semester projects, and dedicated research projects.
  • Access to national and international research facilities and collaborations.
  • Integrated MSc-PhD programs 
  • Access to Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) facilities, like Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
  • Opportunities to participate in large-scale national projects and research initiatives.
  • Strong focus on both experimental and theoretical physics research.
  • PhD and postdoctoral programs 
  • Strong emphasis on fundamental and applied physics research.
  • Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, providing substantial research grants.
  • Opportunities for collaborative research projects and interdisciplinary studies.

Alumni Network:

IISERs and NISERs are younger institutes than IACS, which is around 148 years old. IACS had many renowned physicists associated with it. Sir CV Raman, CNR Rao, JC Bose, Meghnad Saha, etc., were former institutes’ associates. Alumni like Prof Sourav Pal became notable chemists and directors of premier institutes like IISER Kolkata and CSIR- NCL Pune. Hence, the alumni network of IACS is undoubtedly stronger than any other institute.

Which is the best institute for physics?

Deciding the best institute for physics is a subjective task. Everyone has different priorities and goals; thus, one can’t claim an institute to be better than another. However, if we compare the institutes based on the above-given parameters, IACS is the best in terms of reputation and recognition. However, IISERs are better when we talk about research opportunities and connections. Hence, you can keep IISERs and IACS at same priority level while choosing them.

NISER and CEBS are younger than IACS and IISERs like IISER Kolkata. Hence, both institutes are growing in terms of opportunities and research outputs. Thus, you can think of IISER Kolkata, Pune, IACS and IISER Mohali as a few of the best research institutes for physics. While remaining IISERs, NISER, and CEBS are growing opportunities in physics.


We hope you have the parameters to decide which institute is best for you. Ranking the institutes is a subjective process and varies from person to person. You must decide carefully which college aligns with your goals and interests. While some are good in reputation, others are good in research outcomes, and others are good in management and administration. Finally, if you have the courage and determination to achieve your goal, you can do that at any college.

About us:

SciAstra is a team of scientists and research scholars from the top research institutes around the world like Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, and so on. Our vision is to promote critical thinking and scientific temperament by helping students in their careers in science. 

We offer many free and paid courses where our mentors from the top research institutes like IISER, NISER, IACS, CMI,ISI IISC Bangalore, etc. teach students in live classes with study materials,  mock tests, books, and everything needed. We have taught more than 10,000 students already since 2021 and achieved over 1000 selections with AIR 1, 7, 10, 12, and 13 in  IISc Bengaluru, IISERs, NISER, IACS, and so on. If you are looking to prepare for IAT / NEST 2024, you can check out our courses and get access to live classes, recorded lectures, study material, mock tests, doubt-clearing classes, and much more!

To know more about us, click here OR download the SciAstra App from the Play Store!

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