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Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru

Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) is a premier national center for research and development in observational astronomy, theoretical astrophysics and related physics.

History of IIA

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) is a premier institute devoted to research in astronomy, astrophysics and related physics. It traces its origins back to an observatory set up in 1786 at Madras which from the year 1792 began to formally function at its Nungambakkam premises as the Madras Observatory. In 1899, the observatory moved to Kodaikanal. In the year 1971, the Kodaikanal Observatory became an autonomous society, the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. The headquarters were shifted to Bengaluru into its present campus in Koramangala in 1975. Today, funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the institute ranks as a premier institution devoted to research and education of astronomy and physics in the country. The main observing facilities of the Institute are located at Kodaikanal, Kavalur, Gauribidanur and Hanle. The institute as an autonomous body will complete 50 years on 1st April 2021.

IIA Centers

IIA Main Campus, Koramangala, Bengaluru

The main campus of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics is situated in 2nd Block, Koramangala, Bengaluru, at the junction of the 17th Main Road and Sarjapur Road.

Vainu Bappu Observatory (VBO), Kavalur, Tamil Nadu

The Vainu Bappu Observatory (VBO) is located in the picturesque neighbourhood of the village of Kavalur in the Javadi Hills, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Established in the 1970s, VBO hosts the 1m Carl Zeiss Telescope, the 1.3m J.C. Bhattacharya Telescope (JCBT) and the 2.3m Vainu Bappu Telescope (VBT).

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KSO), Tamil Nadu

The Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KSO) of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics is located in the beautiful Palani range of hills in Southern India. It was established in 1899 as a Solar Physics Observatory and all the activities of the Madras Observatory were shifted to Kodaikanal.

Gauribidanur Radio Observatory, Bengaluru

Gauribidanur Radio Observatory, about 100 km from Bengaluru, is operated as a collaboration between the Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bengaluru and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA).

CREST Campus, Hosakote, Bengaluru

Situated 35 km to the northeast of Bangalore, about 5 km off the Old Madras Road near Hosakote town, is the sprawling 40-acre campus of the Centre for Research and Education in Science and Technology, a field station of IIA, Bangalore. The campus houses the control room for the remote operations of the 2m Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) at the Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle, and the HCT data archive. Laboratories for research and development in Laser physics are also housed in this campus. A class 100 clean room facility, the M.G.K. Menon Laboratory for Space Sciences, has been set up, which has facilities for integration and calibration of space payloads.

Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle, Leh-Ladakh

The Indian Astronomical Observatory, the high-altitude station of IIA is situated at an altitude of 4500 metres above mean sea level to the north of Western Himalayas. Atop Mt. Saraswati in the vast Nilamkhul Plain in the Hanle Valley of Changthang, Ladakh (4250m above msl), the site is a dry, cold desert with sparse human population and the ancient Hanle monastery as its nearest neighbour. The cloudless skies and low atmospheric water vapour make it one of the best sites in the world for optical, infrared, sub-millimetre and millimetre wavelengths.

Opportunities at IIA

Graduate Studies in Astrophysics and Physics

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics operates a vigorous programme of graduate studies which forms a vital component of research and training. The graduate studies programme is overseen by the Board of Graduate Studies, which takes care of the academic and related activities of the Ph.D. students as well as the students visiting IIA under the various training programmes. The institute is also a major partner in the Joint Astronomy Programme (JAP), organized by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

Joint Astronomy Programme (JAP)

Established in 1982, the Joint Astronomy Programme (JAP) is a programme for training astrophysics graduate students, run in collaboration with:

Integrated M.Tech. - Ph.D. (Tech.) Astronomical Instrumentation

IIA conducts the Integrated M.Tech. - Ph.D. (Tech.) programme in Astronomical Instrumentation in collaboration with Department of Applied Optics and Photonics, University of Calcutta (CU). The degree will be awarded by the University of Calcutta. The duration of M.Tech. course work will be of 2 years divided into 4 semesters. After successful completion of the M.Tech. course, a student can opt for registration for Ph.D. (Tech.) programme, subjected to a selection procedure and minimum cut-off grade. Selection to this programme is through an entrance exam conducted in December followed by an interview in May.

Ph.D. Programme

This is a full-time research programme wherein the students work towards their Ph.D. degree under the supervision of an IIA faculty. Students may join the programme in either the first semester beginning in August or the second semester beginning in January. Entrance examination is held in December followed by an interview in January. Students passing the Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST) exam will be interviewed in May/June.

Post-Doctoral Programme

IIA offers Post-Doctoral Programme for candidates with a Ph.D. degree in Physical/Mathematical Sciences from a recognized University/Institute. For exceptionally bright candidates with outstanding academic credentials, fellowships are awarded:

  • Regular Post-Doctoral Fellowships
  • Chandrasekhar Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Visiting Students Internship Programme

The internship programme is conducted by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) with the aim of promoting interest in Scientific Research among other Institutions/University/College students. Candidates selected for this programme, will work on specific projects under the supervision of the academic staff members of IIA. This programme runs throughout the academic year, except during May – July, when IIA conducts Summer School Programmes.

IIA Summer/Winter Schools

With the aim of motivating students from colleges and universities across the country for research, IIA has instituted various programmes. 

  • IIA organizes a summer programme every year, wherein students are exposed to research in Astronomy and Astrophysics.
  • An annual winter school on Solar Physics is held at the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory in the month of January every year.

Publications

DOOT, a quarterly IIA e-magazine, is an initiative of the students of the institute, to bring together interesting contributions to a larger community.

Source: Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru

 



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