Blog Archives

IISc in the News

Cambridge varsity, IISc join hands: In a bid to strengthen the ties between the best researchers at IISc and University of Cambridge, the Bangalore-Cambridge Innovation Network was launched at the IISc. The initiative, led by the British Deputy High Commission (DHC), Bangalore, will not only act as a link between the IISc and Cambridge, but also with the institutes based in the city such as Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, National Centre for Biological Sciences and more. According to the DHC, the network aims to bring together academics, businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs from both the cities, leveraging each other’s ecosystem for mutual benefit. The event was attended by the vice chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Prof Leszek Borysiewicz. He voiced his hope of working on problems plaguing the society through the network. “There is something that is referred to as the Cambridge phenomenon, where we looked at the various companies that have been set up as the direct result of the University. Today, due to this phenomenon, there are 40,000 jobs. The idea that universities should not get involved in the industry is fallacious. I hope through this network, we are able to work on various fields such as drug discovery, water problems, food security, energy security and more. During my meeting with the Indian prime minister, I voiced just as much,” he said. British deputy high commissioner, Bangalore, Ian Felton, spoke about the ideal match between Bangalore and Cambridge. “According to a recent study that was conducted by us, we saw that the IISc has produced about 1,000 most impactful paper published in the last 10 years. That is 300 more than the next best institute. And the UK is the best place to set up new business. We have the fewest barriers and especially in research, we want to encourage more collaboration,” he said.

Prof P. Balram, director of IISc, said that to foster entrepreneurial spirit in the institute, there would be plenty of incentives in store. “We already have an entrepreneurial cell for the students but are interested in doing more. We hope to transform the IISc in the coming years,” he said.

Land grant in Challakere challenged: A division bench headed by Chief    Justice   Vikramajit     Sen    ordered   notice   to    the    state government, DRDO,  IISc, Isro,  Barc (Mysore), KSSIDC and KHB with regard to a PIL challenging the government’s grant of 8,932 acres of land to these institutions at various villages in Challakere taluk of Chitradurga district. The bench also asked the government advocate to inform the court whether any land is left for cattle grazing.

The petitioners, All India Kisan Sabha, Karnataka state committee, claimed these lands are essentially gomaal (pasture) lands used for grazing of cattle/sheep, a major occupation in an arid area where the average annual rainfall is only 573 mm.

IISc in the News

Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar prize announced. 3 IISc professors among the 11 selected: Eleven young scientists have been selected for Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize-2012, India’s premier awards in the field of science and technology. Shantanu Chowdhury of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and Suman Kumar Dhar of the Special Centre for Molecular Medicine at the Jawaharlal Nehru University bagged the prize in the field of biological sciences. In the area of chemical sciences, the prizes went to Govindsamy Mugesh of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc) and Gangadhar J Sanjayan of the CSIR National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. Ravishankar Narayanan of IISc and Y Shanthi Pavan of Indian Institute of Technology-Madras won the prizes in the engineering sciences category. In the area of mathematical sciences, Siva Ramachandran Athreya and Debashish Goswami of the Indian Statistical Institute won the prestigious prize. Sandip Basu of the Radiation Medicine Centre at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre bagged the prize in the medical sciences category. In the area of physical sciences, Arindam Ghosh of IISc and Krishnendu Sengupta of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science won the prize.

The winners were announced by Samir K Brahmachari, Director General of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, at a function to mark the 70th foundation day of Council. The prize is named after the founder-Director General of CSIR and carries a cash component of Rs 5 lakh. It is given annually to young scientists below the age of 45 who have made outstanding contributions in any field of science and technology.

IISc in News

Indian among Facebook Fellowship Winners of 2012-2013

Rashmi Korlakai Vinayak, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Science was announced as one of the winners of the Facebook Fellowship recently, an event that is Facebook’s way of supporting the academic community.
The Fellowship received around 300 applications, out of which only 12 were declared winners. As a member of the Fellowship, Rashmi received $30,000 intended to cover her study expenses, as well as tuition for the year 2012-2013.
The Fellows are also welcomed to visit Facebook later this year to get together with engineers who work on problems corresponding to each Fellow’s research.

IISc aims to cut carbon footprint

In a bid to reduce carbon emissions in Bangalore, researchers from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), will be collaborating with scientists from China in a workshop on April 13 and 14 at IISc.

The ‘Low Carbon Cities: 2012 Bangalore Workshop’ will focus on devising alternative methodologies in controlling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and urban planning.

“These discussions will help the researchers in coming up with new and improved models that will help reduce the carbon footprint of not only Bangalore, but other cities in the country as well”, says Dr Ramachandra TV (Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc.). “This research has been going on for one-and-half years. We will generate models for policy makers based on that.” .

IISc News

A few IISc ideas help make Boeing dream

Over the last few years, IISc has emerged as one of only two places outside of the United States to be designated as Boeing Company research centres — the other being the Cambridge University. What started in 2005 as a five-year agreement, has now evolved into a long-term strategic tie-up. The tie-up has now produced over two dozen papers from faculty in various departments at IISc covering “nanotechnologies, structural alloys, composites, smart materials and structures, process modelling and simulation, manufacturing technologies, substructure fabrication and testing”.

New Vaccine to boost fight against typhoid

A new and much more effective vaccine for typhoid developed by Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore could hit the market in 5-6 years. Any individual would require just two doses of the vaccine to ensure lifelong protection from the disease.The new typhoid vaccine, technically termed DCVSTM, developed by DipshikhaChakravortty and her team at the department of microbiology and cell biology at IISc in 2007-08, is likely to go for phase I human trials soon. The IISc vaccine against typhoid, which is caused by a bacteria called Salmonella, has shown as much as 90% efficacy in animal models.

IISc in news

Antibody as ‘Smart Bomb’ To Fight Cancer

A joint team of Indian and Australian scientists claims to have achieved a breakthrough by creating an antibody which could be used for developing a “medical smart bomb” that would help seek out and eradicate the root of cancer – the stem cells.

The international project is a collaboration between Australia’s Deakin University and Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore along with Barwon Health’s Andrew Love Cancer Centre and Chem Genex Pharmaceuticals.

The team has, in fact, created the world’s first RNA aptamer, a chemical antibody that acts like a guided missile to seek out and bind only to cancer stem cells, the Cancer Science journal reported.

Five Frog Species Rediscovered

Scientists of the University of Delhi, in collaboration with the Zoological Survey of India, the Indian Institute of Science and the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment among other institutions in the country, have rediscovered five species of frogs believed extinct long ago. Chalazodes Bubble-nest Frog (Raorchestes chalazodes), was last reported 137 years ago. The other four species rediscovered are: Anamalai Dot-frog (Ramanella anamalaiensis), last seen 74 years ago; Dehradun Stream frog (Amolops chakrataensis), after 26 years; Silent Valley tropical frog (Micrixalus thampii), after 31 years; and Elegant tropical frog (Micrixalus elegans), after 74 years.

Budding Scientists Will Find Refuge at Bangalore’s Indian Institute of Science This Summer

Come May, the century-old Indian Institute of Science will host summer internship programmes for engineering students from various educational institutions in the country. The internship programmes at the institute are supported by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The selected students will be paid a monthly stipend of Rs. 3,000 during their period of work at the institute.

IISc in news

IISc to setup synchrotron and R&D centre at Chitradurga

Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc) Chitradurga (Challakere) centre is about 100 acres and will have a synchrotron centre. The government has granted 2 crore for the centre and has handed over 32 used government buildings for the purpose. The first batch of the training is likely to begin January or February.

IISc is said to focus on research works in the core sectors such as renewable energy, space science, aerospace, water resource technology, ecology and environment. The development centre is expected to provide job opportunities for research students of various departments.

IISc to Use IIT-JEE Scores for Admission to B Sc Programme

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, Karnataka, will use the scores of Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination, popularly known as IIT-JEE, for enrolling candidates into its four year Bachelor of Science (B Sc) programme from the academic session 2011. As per sources, the institute will use four more entrance exams apart from IIT-JEE to select 120 students for its B Sc programme.

The programme will be embedded in engineering, but will have touches of social sciences. Students will be allowed to choose a specialization in their fourth semester. The programme will conclude with the students working on a research project for the last two semesters.

City heading for water famine

Armed with research findings, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) scientists fired the warning salvo yet again. Five more years, and Bangalore will be faced with a full blown water crisis, hitherto restricted to pockets on its outskirts.

Dr T V Ramachandra, Senior Scientist, Energy and Wetland Research Centre (EWRC), Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), IISc, categorically asserted that Bangalore’s water bodies were poorly maintained and if the trend continued, the water crisis would be severe.

IISc had shown a way to raise the water table through plantations and creating a water body in the campus. “If you dig 5-10 feet beneath the forest in IISc, you will get water now,” informed an IISc scientist.

Now get your degree from a virtual university

It was first conceived in 1999 for the cause of spreading technical education in the underdeveloped regions of the country. In 2003, web and video content was introduced to support the engineering students nationwide. Today, the National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) has got approval from the HRD Ministry to offer degree and diploma equivalents to students enrolled in the virtual university

In its new avatar as a virtual university, it will, from next year, increase the number of disciplines offered from five to 20 and the virtual courses will go up to 1,000 from 260.

IT city to outsource its projects to Gubbi

While all the big talk is about Bangalore bagging outsourcing projects from around the world, some of the the city’s urban development plans are set to be outsourced to the small town of Gubbi in Tumkur district.

The proposed detailed list of cycle-friendly streets is being worked upon in an R&D lab in Gubbi. The lab was set up three months ago by Dr H S Sudhira who completed his PhD in the Indian Institute of Science in 2008. It makes plans for the development of Bangalore and its infrastructure. Dr Sudhira, an urban planning expert, is from a remote hamlet close to Gubbi.

Dr H S Sudhira and his associates carry out research on landscape ecology, urban systems, transportation, sustainable development, mapping (GIS), remote sensing and biodiversity.

2011 to be observed as ‘Year of Chemistry’

Indian scientists , research scholars and students began celebrating 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) for the achievements and contributions made by this important branch of science to the well-being of humankind.

“The new year will be celebrated as the IYC in line with the resolution adopted by the 63rd general assembly of the United Nations in December 2008, with Unesco and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) organising the year-long event,” eminent scientist CNR Rao said, inaugurating the celebrations at the premier Indian Institute of Science.

The year also coincides with the centenary year of the Nobel Prize for chemistry to Marie Curie (1867-1934) for her discovery of radioactivity.

IISc researchers map hot spots to set up solar power plants

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, are mapping India’s solar hot spots—where round-the-year sunlight makes it viable for companies to set up solar power plants.

Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka have been identified as the states that receive enough sunlight throughout the year to merit large commercial solar plants.

“Coastal parts of Kerala, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are ideal states to set up small plants for domestic use, like solar cooker and solar water heater,” Ramachandra said.

Rishabh Jain, a member of the research group, said most other states and metro cities receive sunlight only during the summer.

“Hence, those places are not favourable. For instance, Delhi is the hottest in summer, but the winters do not receive (enough) sunlight,” he said.

Research at IISC: An abundant energy source – Oil from Diatoms

In a path breaking review article that was published in the international journal – Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research (2009) Scientists from the Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, led by Dr.T.V.Ramachandra*, in collaboration with Dr. Richard Gordon, Department of Radiology, University of Manitoba, Canada, had proposed that DIATOMS, which are single cell algae with silica shells, could provide us with an unlimited source of energy, in fact, precious oil.Further research, currently being independently carried by Dr. T V Ramachandra, Sajina K and Supriya Guruprasad, at CES, IISc is focusing on Microalgae, which are the most sought after sources for biofuel production due to their capacity to utilize carbon and synthesize it into high density liquid.

Too many PhDs, too little solid worth

In the “Academic Ranking of World Universities” compiled in 2009 by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, no Indian university figures among world’s top 300; one (IISc Bangalore) among 301 to 400. IISc has actually slipped down from a rank among 201 to 300 that it held in 2003 and 2004. In terms of scientific papers, Indian contribution is just 1.23 per cent of world share.

Can there be a more painful proof of the backwardness of Indian universities in academic research and the quality of PhD students?

Indian Institute of Science enjoying zero attrition rates

At a time when tech firms in Bangalore are grappling with high attrition rates, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) seems to be almost immune to the ‘bug’. The top science institute saw about 20 new faculty members joining the revered portal in 2010.

However, not a single faculty member has left the institute in 2010.
“I can proudly say that in its 100 years of existence, we have hardly witnessed faculty members leaving us. IISc almost has a zero attrition rate,” IISc registrar R Mohan Das said.

The other noteworthy fact of the science institute is that most of the faculty members have either worked or been trained in foreign universities.

“This means that the IISc is at the forefront in witnessing reverse brain-drain, which the country is experiencing since the last one decade. The privilege to work with IISc has its own charm.

Ex-IISc scientist does a Swades

Dr Birur has been working with National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the last three decades. While his job connects him with the cosmos, his passion is to uplift rural India. His philanthropic foundation — Birur Education Foundation for Children — caters to the educational needs of Birur, a small taluk close to Hassan district.

The Foundation has distributed English-to-Kannada dictionaries besides caps, uniforms, benches and books to students.

US secretary’s tip to IISc: protect your innovations

Innovate, but with a robust system of intellectual property protection. This was US commerce secretary Gary Locke’s message to a motley bunch of researchers at one of India’s oldest scientific institutes on Wednesday.

Acknowledging the 101-year-old Indian Institute of Science (IISc) as the “heir to a long lineage of scientific discovery”, Locke said India’s academic institutes should create a system of laws and regulatory infrastructure to encourage freer flow of ideas, people and technologies across its borders.

IISc professor’s book on astrophysics makes waves in global academy

Physics Today, a publication of the American Institute of Physics, has in its January 2011 edition highly lauded Arnab Rai Choudhuri’s book, Astrophysics for Physicists.

Professor Choudhuri works in the department of Physics at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.

Writing in Physics Today, George Smoot, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006, described the book as a “solid up-to-date text” on astrophysics.

Moreover, the book has also been listed as an “Outstanding Academic Title of 2010” in Choice, the magazine of American Library Association.

IISc in news

‘Green’ schools on the rise in Bengaluru
About a dozen schools in Yelahanka and surrounding areas have different bins for different kinds of waste generated. This is an initiative which was triggered by a few researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) last year.
“There are about 150 schools in Bengaluru North and we have presently enrolled children from 17 schools in Yelahanka for green practices. The Project this year plans to reach at least 50 schools in Bengaluru North in the second phase of the project,” said Dr.K.S.Sangunni of IISc.

German learns kannada to deal with auto drivers
He’s come from Germany to study at Indian Institute of Science (IISc). But Alexander Fell is now attending Kannada classes conducted by Nithyotsava at IISc.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn the language and that’s the main reason why I learn it. Second, I don’t want to get cheated by auto drivers, who take advantage of anyone who doesn’t know Kannada.”
Rajat Murthy, a member of Nithyotsava, said, “Last year, we had three foreign students, and this year Alex is the most regular student. At IISc, about 120 students have registered to learn Kanada”.

Bonded for life, and also by research
They eat together, sleep together, attend classes together and study together.
They are not friends, but couples. About 200 students are married. They are housed in four hostels which are meant for married students.
Pratap Das, the hostel coordinator in the student council, said, “Most students who enrol in IISc for research are of marriageable age. It is not uncommon for them to get married in the middle of their research work.”

‘Nanotech sector lags other countries’

The Nano Mission, the umbrella programme for capacity building in the field of nanotechnology in the country, envisages the overall development of the field of research in the country and tapping some of its applied potential for the national development. The Bangalore Nano National Award 2010 was presented to Ajay Sood, Professor, Department of Physics, IISc Bangalore, for his achievements in the field of nanotechnology at the Bangalore Nano that got off in Bangalore on Wednesday.
Countries like China, Japan, Russia and the US among others are far ahead of us in the field of nanotechnology, Prof Ajay Sood said. India has a steep curve to climb, a much steeper curve than many other countries. The spend on nanotechnology by some of the other countries is 10 to 12 times higher than that of India.

Prof Dilip Ballal Distinguished Chair (Visiting) Professor
The Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore has named University of Dayton researcher Dilip Ballal its first Pratt & Whitney Distinguished Chair (Visiting) Professor in Gas Turbine Engineering.
Ballal will serve from January through late February in the department of aerospace engineering at the Institute. As visiting professor, he will spearhead research in gas turbine engineering.
Ballal currently is Hans von Ohain Distinguished Professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, director of the University’s von Ohain Fuels and Combustion Center, and division head of the University of Dayton Research Institute’s energy and environmental engineering division.

He studied at IISc to become a farmer
Students who pass out of IISc are expected to get top positions in reputed institutes either in India or abroad and receive fat pay cheques. But P R Seshagiri Rao is an exception. This alumnus of the institute is a farmer.
Rao completed his Masters in 1990 from IISc, where he also did his PhD.
However, his kind of agriculture was different from that of his fellow farmers. He employed scientific methods of cultivation.
He has deployed a number of soil moisture sensors at different places at his field. The data that the sensors collected went directly to his computers, which helped him analyse the pros and cons of his cultivation methods.
Rao was a student of Prof Madhav Gadgil, an eminent ecologist. Now, he conducts research along with Gadgil’s wife Sulochana and some former IISC friends.

IISc IEEE student branch becomes IEEE University Partner
IISc is one of the 17 universities all over the world chosen under
IEEE University Partnership Program to build closer relationship with
student branches and libraries.
IISc joining exclusive league of 15 universities – 13 in United States, 2 in China. First Indian UPP school

IISc in News

You’re not doing enough: Tata to IISc
Ratan Tata, president of the IISc Court, the topmost decision-making body, has said that the institute is not doing enough research of greater global relevance. “If I look back on what I have been trying to say in a very polite and in a very careful manner, it has been my perception that this institute, which is a great institute….has not perhaps changed as much as one would like to see. …I have mentioned that we should perhaps be looking at greater change, research of greater global relevance and I have used my words carefully,”

Freescale names winner of ‘Smart Car Race India’
Freescale Semiconductor India, in collaboration with the Center for Electronic Design and Technology (CEDT) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), hosted the finals of the ‘Smart Car Race India – 2010’, a first of its kind competition aimed at engineering students in India. Students assembled an intelligent model racing car that automatically recognized the specially designed racing track at the final competition venue.

“Our endeavor has always been to maintain association with the industries so that benefits from the developmental work happening in industry and academia can be utilised. Such initiatives not only provide students a chance to work on the next-gen technologies but also widen their horizon and give them an opportunity to showcase their creative abilities and CEDT is happy to be part of this collaboration,” said Prof. K. Gopakumar, chairman, CEDT, IISc.

‘Chitradurga to become science city soon’
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Thursday said that Chitradurga, which is considered a backward district, will be turn into a science city in the near future as branches of IISc, BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Center), DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) will be set up in various parts of Challakere taluk in the coming days.

He was speaking at the interaction programme on Organic Farming at Matsamudra village in Challakere taluk.

33% hike in stipend for science, engg students
Pursuing postgraduate studies and research in the sciences and engineering is set to become more lucrative. Research scholars at the Indian Institutes of Technology and all other central science and engineering schools will soon receive a massive hike of up to 33 per cent in the monthly stipend they receive. The human resource development (HRD) ministry has communicated the decision to all central institutions including the IITs.

The move is a key component of the aspirations voiced by PM Manmohan Singh and HRD minister Kapil Sibal to once again attract bright young brains to research, top government sources have told

Hostels can’t accommodate more students
The prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) suspended its mid-year admissions this academic year due to shortage of hostel accommodation.
The 101-year-old institution, which usually admits research students in two cycles, will not throw open its doors for the January 2011 term.

“The decision was taken as all the hostels are full and we can’t accommodate more students. There is a lot of construction going on and several departments will be shifted to new buildings. A decision on resuming admissions will be taken next year,” an IISc official said.

Prof Balaram told the senate that due to increase in intake and expansion of several departments, the institute is constructing two hostel blocks with 600 rooms each for boys and girls. A centenary building which will house an auditorium is also coming up.

Scotland varsity ties up with B’lore institute
The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, is all set to launch a collaborative research project with Bangalore-based National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) on Fragile X Syndrome, known to cause autism and mental retardation.

IISc to study human movement disorder
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in collaboration with city-based Isha Diagnostics has taken up a research on movement disorders in humans.

Dr Balakrishna Shetty of the diagnostic lab said the research proposes to study the basal ganglia – the part of the brain which controls the movement in the body. This will help the scientists to understand the responses. The study would particularly help in coming up with treatment for Parkinson’s Disease.

IISc scientists make progress on new thyroid drug
A team of scientists at the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has synthesized a key molecule that could potentially translate into a drug for hyperthyroidism, a disorder that’s increasingly associated with a host of lifestyle diseases.

“We are still very much in the pre-clinical stage,” said Govindasamy Mugesh, associate professor, department of inorganic and physical chemistry, IISc. “We’ve synthesized the molecule and have seen that the underlying mechanism works. But animal studies and clinical trials are a long way off.”

IISc tries red-mode to detect cancer
In what might come as a relief to the medical fraternity, Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is researching on the possibility of using infra-red rays for diagnosis of cancer.

Phaneendra Yalavarthy, assistant professor, Supercomputer Education and Reserach Centre (SERC) and a group of five students are working on the breakthrough research. The method employed to get an image of the cancerous growth will be similar to that of an X-ray or MRI, except that infra-red rays will be used here.

Imaging methods currently used like in X-ray or mammography have certain limitations. They are invasive and ionising. Moreover, they do not reveal the physiology of the tumour and are not immediately available with doctors. The new method will be an advantage over existing methods.

Yalavarthy is working on the algorithm part of it. The research is also supported by Apple.

Wanted: quality maths teachers, PhDs
Engineering colleges in Bangalore, metros, Tier II and III cities across the country are facing a serious shortage of high-quality mathematics teachers and PhDs to take teaching and research to global standards.

The assessment comes from IISc professor and researcher in mathematics for over three decades Govindan Rangarajan who took stock of the status of mathematics in universities and colleges in India post-the World Congress of Mathematics held in Hyderabad recently. This stock-taking after a major event like the congress is crucial to understand areas where improvements need to be undertaken.

IISc in news

India’s best is not the best in the world
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has been ranked as the best Indian institution for having the highest number of publications in the world’s top journals but
IISc and all the IITs together published just 16 papers in the world’s top journals like the Nature, Science and Cell, while the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, alone published more than 350 papers in these journals.

The study has been published in the current issue of the IISc’s journal Current Science.

IISc, IIM-B to collaborate on technology, innovation
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B)

The technology and innovation management activities will involve joint identification of intellectual property at IISc, strategies for its marketing, joint incubation and start-up companies between IISc and IIMB.

Prestigious Indian research institute places multiple system order with Oxford
Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology, leader in etch, deposition and growth systems, has recently received an order for three plasma etch and deposition tools from the Centre of Excellence in Nanoelectronics (CEN) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, India.

Comments Prof.Navakanta Bhat from the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering at IISc “Our new facility will be one of its kind in the country with a 14,000 sq.ft clean room in a new building (90,000 sq.ft) for the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE).”

‘Hottest hot spot’ should be conserved, says IISc study
A study made by Energy and Wetland Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc) scientists T V Ramachandra, M D Subash Chandran, Harish Bhat, G R Rao, Sumesh Dudmani, M Boominathan, Vishnu Mukri and S Bharath in the context of proposed mega hydro electric power shows that the short-sighted development project poses a threat to the ecology and biodiversity of the area. Terming the project as ecologically unsound and economically unviable, the study mentioned in detail the species to be affected which includes birds, reptiles, mammals and butterflies, besides the elephant-reserve and elephant-corridor.

Nobel prize ultimate goal for Tathagat Tulsi
Tathagat Avatar Tulsi, the child prodigy who teaches physics at the Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai, has said his childhood ambition is to win the coveted Nobel prize. However, Tathagat said his latest ambition is to serve society through his scientific work.

Tathagat became India”s youngest PhD holder at the age of 21, graduating from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore.
He claimed that his PhD thesis Generalisations of the Quantum Search Algorithm was the shortest in India at 33 pages.

IISc student wins Yahoo! KSC award
Ramasuri Narayanam, a PhD student from the Department of Computer Science and Automation, Indian Institute of Science-Bangalore (IISc), was recognised for his research proposal on ‘Game Theoretic models for Social Network Analysis’

23 winners from 16 U.S. universities have been selected. Ramasuri is the only Indian national to win the Yahoo! KSC (Key Scientific Challenges) Award .

“I am thrilled to be selected for the KSC Honorable Mention Award and would like to credit some of the success to the excellent guidance by Professor Y. Narahari and the research environment at the Department of CSA, IISc” said Ramasuri Narayanam

India should consider new-generation biofuels
India imports over three-quarters of its petroleum needs, pegged at 56 million metric tonnes in 2007

In 2009 the country announced a national biofuel policy aimed at substituting 20 per cent of fossil fuel consumption using non-edible oilseeds by 2017.

An IISc team analysed the socio-economic implications of the biofuel programme,

N. H. Ravindranath, professor at the centre for sustainable development at IISc and one of the report’s authors said that more research was needed ‘’on plant breeding, soil conditions and watering requirements” before large-scale cultivation could be undertaken.

Bhatnagar award for 3 B’lore scientists
Three scientists from Bangalore are among the nine chosen for the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2010 for their achievement in science and technology, with three of the awardees being women for the first time.

Swapan K Pati of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, G K Ananthasuresh of the Indian Institute of Science and Umesh Vasudeo Waghmare, the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, bagged the award for their work in Chemical Sciences, Engineering Sciences and Physical Sciences, respectively.

IISc in news

Keep Turmeric at Bay
The recent study done by the scientists (PhD scholar Sandhya Marathe and Dipshikha Chakravortty, Associate Professor, MCBL) of the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) claims that intake of turmeric should be avoided during a period of high rates of food-borne diseases. The examination of various experiments at IISc listed that Salmonella bacteria multiplied three times faster when exposed to ‘curcumin’, the major molecular constituent of turmeric.

Sunil Kumar to Head Chicago’s Booth School of Business
Stanford University professor and operations management expert Sunil Kumar will join the ranks of Indian Americans heading top-tier graduate business schools in the United States. Sunil Kumar was announced as the next dean of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Kumar received a master’s in engineering in computer science and automation from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and a bachelor’s in engineering from Mangalore University in Surathkal.

IISc to admit 110 for 2011 UG course
IISc proposes to offer admission to 110 students in its new under-graduate Bachelor of Science (BS) course that is set to begin from August 1, 2011.
The four year under-graduate course has been designed for specialization in six streams – physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, materials and environmental science.

Faster cancer prognosis, courtesy IISc and Apple

A new imaging method has been developed which uses infrared imaging to accelerate the diagnosis of cancers affecting lung, ovary, breast and skin. This breakthrough innovation in the cancer treatment field is a collaborative effort by researchers (led by Dr. Phaneendra Yalavarthy, Assistant Professor of SERC, IISc) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and technology giant Apple
However, the big step forward comes in form of three-dimensional image reconstruction. The Apple and IISc team aim to reconstruct images in 3D in realtime.

IISc Chitradurga to focus on global problems
Indian Institute of Science, coming with its new centre in Chitradurga district, would focus on global problems including that of energy and water, a top IISC official said.

Do Away With Multiple Daily Insulin Injections For Diabetes
Indian Institute of Science scientist Avadesh Surolia, along with his students has discovered a novel way to do away with multiple insulin. Instead, one injection of a new pro-drug every 10 days – maybe once a month – would be good enough to take care of the patient’s need for insulin.
They call it a pro-drug or a supra-molecular insulin assembly (SIA).  It’s like a big blob in which many insulin molecules are grouped together in a specific folding pattern.
“The patient requires taking insulin injection only once in a month,” says Surolia.

IISc alumni receive awards, get nostalgic
Among the awardees of distinguished alumni awards 2010 were, Prof J Gopalkrishnan, honorary professor and INSA senior scientist; K L Kashyap, department of electrical and computer engineering, Purdue University, USA; P S Raghavan, Indian ambassador to Ireland; Umeshwar Dayal, H P Labs, USA; and, Vijay Kumar Saraswat, scientific advisor to Rakshamantri, DRDO, New Delhi.