IACS Kolkata

Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Kolkata

IACS is a public, deemed, research university for higher education and research in basic sciences under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, situated at the heart of the Cultural capital of India. Established in 1876 by Mahendralal Sarkar, a private medical practitioner, it focuses on fundamental research in basic sciences. It is Asia’s oldest research institute  and older than Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (IISc.) also.

Nobel Laureate from IACS :

Prof. CV Raman worked at IACS during 1907 to 1933 and it is here that he discovered the celebrated effect that bears his name and for which he was awarded Nobel prize in 1930. His research instruments, his spectrometer are archived there. Dr. Meghnad Saha also worked there and his instruments were also archived there. IACS is the only institution in India having a Nobel prize winner.

Profile of the faculties: –

IACS had a remarkable history in the field of science. The faculties there also have great profiles and their research groups are also very good.

If anyone searches for their research articles you will get to see impactful research works as well as a high number of citations. There are many renowned professors like in physics Prof. Jayanta Kumar Bhattacharya (Distinguished Emeritus Fellow), Prof. Soumitra Sengupta, etc. In chemistry Prof Deb Shankar Roy (Bhatnagar awardee), Dr. Abhishek Dey, Dr. Debashree Ghosh (awardee of prestigious IAQMS), In biology Dr. Benubrata Das (He has just claimed cancer therapy by DNA Damage Repairing). So from my point of view, most of the professors’ levels and profiles are very much high. And they do very impactful and unique research work. IACS is  India’s best chemistry research institute and 6th worldwide as per nature index, 2021 and 2022 also. And IACS is ranked 4th in overall performances in the nature index.

Indian Journal of Physics was founded in 1926. It is published monthly. Springer distributes print versions of the Journal worldwide. The present chief editor of the journal is Prof. Subham Majumdar, who is a senior professor in the School of Physical Sciences, IACS.


Located at Jadavpur, South Kolkata (i.e. in the center of Kolkata) near Jadavpur University, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, and Indian Institute of Chemical Biology. It is spread over a limited area of 9.5 acres and currently in the process of building a super-advanced SMART campus at Baruipur.

The outside environment is very buzzing there.

Scholarship at IACS:

As per the DST norms, students with cgpa more than 7.5 from the 4th year get a monthly stipend of 12k  From IACS. Even the students who are eligible for INSPIRE-SHE, KVPY, and JBNSTS get 5000 rupees per month and 20000 rupees for internships. One important point to be noted is that if anyone goes for institutional stipend he /she must stop her Inspire/KVPY/JBNSTS scholarship.

The annual fees for academics (13,500 from 2nd Year onwards, annually) are very less as compared to other institutions like IISERs.

The Course Structure and major subject:

The course structure is a little bit different from IISER and NISER. Here in the int. BS MS Course one has to study 6 subjects like physics, chemistry, biology, maths, computer science, and AECC (Ability Enhancement  CORE Course )/SECC  and Lab courses for the first 3 semesters. And After the 3rd semester, one gets to opt for his/her choice of subject as the major subject (PHY, MATHS, BIO, CHEM, CS). This selection is done on the basis of cgpa and Statement of Purpose (SOP) written by the students.

There are 4 schools and the seats are equally distributed among all the schools.

From the 4th semester one needs to concentrate on his major subject. And there are some additional courses like ug research field work, writing term papers, course presentation, ug seminars and most importantly Project based ug lab work. From the 5th semester there are DSE (Discipline specific electives) and GE.

And also one more important thing- from 5th semester Int. Ph.D. students come by lateral entry to study with the bs ms 5th-semester student. This is for physics, computer science, chemistry, maths. And for biology sciences, it is a collaborative program between IACS and IIT Kharagpur. So students from IIT Kharagpur also joined us.

Research Project :

The MS Research project officially starts from the 7th semester i.e. the fourth year. And it continues till the end of the course. For this ms thesis, one has to choose a specific professor as per their field of interest. But one point to be noted that if many students choose a particular professor then selection will be done on the basis of cgpa only as per current norms.

If anyone is interested, he /she joins a lab and starts his /her ms project work beforehand after consulting with the professor.

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Admission Process to IACS:

The objective:  of this program is to provide high-quality education, research, and training in science. Through this special program, undergraduate teaching is integrated with modern research in all major Schools of the Institute. The first three semesters of the program will comprise foundational courses in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science and Biological Sciences. From the fourth semester onwards, the students will choose one discipline (from Physics, Chemistry, Biological Science, Mathematics and Computer Science) as majors, subject to fulfilling eligibility criteria and availability of seats in the respective Schools. From the seventh semester the students will be directly exposed to research.

Eligibility: The applicants who are due to complete their 10+2 level Board Examinations are eligible to appear in a UG Pre-Interview Screening Test (UPST). UPST-2022 will be conducted in a fully computer-based test mode tentatively on July 02, 2022, in various cities across India based on multiple choice questions in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and one out of Computer Science and Biological Science. 

INTERVIEW: The shortlisted candidates will be called for interview, out of which a maximum of fifty (50) candidates will be selected for the Program as will be declared on the IACS website. The selection will be based on the performance in UPST followed by interview, and subject to obtaining 60% marks (reservation criteria will apply as per rules) in the qualifying board (10+2) examination. 

In addition, KVPY Fellows may be eligible for direct interview, depending on their rank and other screening criteria; however, the number of candidates selected through this route will be a maximum of ten (10). 

Admitted students entering into the fourth year may be eligible to receive monthly stipend, following the institute norms. Admission under the reserved categories, including EWS will be as per rule. 

Exam mode: The entrance examination is conducted in online mode.

Exam Pattern 

Candidates are required to attempt a total of 30 multiple-choice questions each carrying 3 marks. Among these, there are 15 questions that are mandatory and pertain to the subjects of Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. In addition to these, candidates have the option to answer 15 questions (worth 3 marks each) from either Biology or Computer Science, based on their individual preference and academic background.

It is important to note that the total marks for the exam will be calculated based on the candidate’s performance in all 30 questions, with no negative marking for incorrect answers. The duration of the exam varies based on the course applied for. 

Candidates must achieve a minimum qualifying score in each of the four subjects attempted in the written test to be eligible for further consideration. The cut-off mark for shortlisting candidates for the interview stage will be determined based on the aggregate score of the three compulsory subjects.

The final merit list will consider both the written test and interview scores, with appropriate weightage given to each. 

Syllabus: The syllabus for the entrance exam covers topics from chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology, check this: http://iacs.res.in/waterways/admin/ckeditor/ckfinder/userfiles/files/Syllabus_for_Entrance_Test-2018.pdf

The final selection of candidates is based on the combined score of the entrance exam and the interview.

It is important to refer to the official website of IACS Kolkata for specific details related to the exam pattern, syllabus, and other related information.

For more information about the premier research institutes in India, check our other blogs on https://www.sciastra.com/

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