The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, established in July 1876 at 210 Bowbazar street, Calcutta, is a national institution for higher learning whose primary purpose is to foster high quality fundamental research in frontier disciplines of the basic sciences. Founded by Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar, a philanthropist, the activities at the Association in the very early years were supported by generous public contributions. It was conceived and planned in the backdrop of the great cultural and intellectual awakening of the nineteenth century Bengal and was desired by its founder to be an institution 'solely native and purely national'. The original objective of the Association, which continues even today, was to cultivate science in all its departments both with a view to its advancement by original research and to its varied applications to the arts and comforts of life.
Till the early decades of this century the Association was the only place in India where higher research in Physical Sciences could be carried out. As a result students from all over India began assembling at Calcutta to work in the creative atmosphere of the Association. Many distinguished scientists of modern India had carried out research here. This was the place where Sir C V Raman did his monumental work, on Physical Optics leading to the discovery of the celebrated Effect which bears his name and won for him and India the first Nobel Prize in Science. K S Krishnan, S Bhagavantam, K Banerjee, L Srivastava, N K Sethi, C Prosad and M N Saha are some illustrious names out of scores of other eminent Indian Scientists who also worked here and enriched the research culture of the Association in the early decades.
In 1946 the Association embarked upon a new development plan under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Meghnad Saha envisaging the creation of an active research school for investigation on the problems continuing with the fundamental studies in X-rays, Optics, Magnetism, and Raman Effect in which the Association had specialised in early years. A new campus was opened at Jadavpur which became a sprawling complex of educational research and industrial establishments, where the laboratories were shifted from Bowbazar Street.
Now it is an autonomous body funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the government of India and by the government of West Bengal. A number of specific projects raised by individual scientists or groups of scientists are being supported by different funding agencies such as CSIR, DAE, DNES, DST, DOS, DSIR, ICMR, INSA, NSF, UGC and UNDP. At present there are about 80 faculty members working in physics, and chemistry. The Institute has dynamic programmes for the pursuit of research leading to the doctoral degree and for post-doctoral work and has Visiting Scientists Scheme. There is an excellent library, good computing facilities and is connected to Internet.
For more information contact:
Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science
2A & B Raja S C Mullick Road, Calcutta 700032
Phone: 91-33-2473 4971/ 5374/3073/3372/ 5904/3542/2883
Fax: 91-33-2473 2805
Email: root at iacs dot res dot in