22 October, 2020

An Indian Oxford

A world-class institute, the FM's Rs 100-crore package aims to put the IISc at par with Harvard, Cambridge

Saibal Das
An Indian Oxford

Only those uninitiated in history would argue that Bangalore's thrust to be a knowledge capital came with the IT boom of the '90s. In fact, its seeds were sown nearly a 100 years ago, when, as a fulfilment of Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata's dream, the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) was set up with the support of the then Maharaja of Mysore, Krishna Raja Wodeyar. Now, this premier institution has got a major boost with Union finance minister P. Chidambaram announcing a special Rs 100-crore package for it in this year's budget.

By sheer coincidence, the government's gesture came on the very day C.V. Raman had announced his Nobel-winning discovery—the Raman Effect—to the world in 1928. Raman was also the first Indian director of IISC. The special package—which the present director Goverdhan Mehta called a "delightful surprise"—has been earmarked to help IISC attain the luminary position of Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard universities.

Speaking to Outlook, Prof Mehta (nominated by an Outlook panel as one of the potential Indian Nobel laureates in...



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