Monday, July 10, 2006
PM laid foundation stone of an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Kolkata
[ 11 Jul, 2006 1024hrs ISTIANS ]
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KOLKATA: Laying the foundation stone of an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Kolkata by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday marks the beginning of a new initiative in science education in India.
Though the human resource development (HRD) ministry had announced October 30, 2005, as the date for laying the foundation stone, the function got delayed due to political reasons.
According to official sources here, the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister had recommended the creation of two new autonomous institutions under the HRD ministry devoted to science education and research to be named Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) and located in Kolkata and Pune.
IISER-Kolkata, like its Pune counterpart, is a unique initiative in science education in India since it will be a research university of the highest caliber in which teaching and education will be totally integrated with state-of-the-art research, nurturing both curiosity and creativity.
Though the foundation stone is being laid at the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics at Salt Lake in Kolkata, the institute will be located in Kalyani on the outskirts of the city in Nadia district, about 40 km from here.
The West Bengal government has already given land for the institute - the main objective of which would be to improve the standards of science education in the same way as that of IITs (Indian Institute of Technology).
IISER will be devoted to teaching of five-year integrated Masters and post-bachelors and post-Masters PhD programmes in integrative sciences in an intellectually vibrant atmosphere.
One of the objectives of IISER is to make education and career in basic sciences more attractive by providing opportunities in integrated learning of sciences and break the barriers of traditional disciplines. Therefore, IISER will promote a flexible and borderless curriculum in all disciplines of basic sciences.
Consequently, all students of the integrated Master's programme will be required to take courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology for the first two years of the curriculum.
Apart from classroom instructions, IISER will promote the skills of students in areas such as scientific inquiry, problem solving, communication skills, computational sciences, electronics and instrumentation, workshops and glass blowing practices.
IISER proposes to create advance teaching and research laboratories where students will have an opportunity to pursue laboratory experiment as well as advanced research under the mentorship of world-class faculties.
The academic programme will be divided into semesters and students can choose courses for specialisation in one or more disciplines of basic sciences based on a flexible credit system.