Career in Physics
Physics is the mother of all sciences, engineering and technology. Fundamentals of Physics are the framework on which every other science is built.
Hence physics is a compulsory course at senior secondary level in science stream. A good grasp in physics at plus two level, opens up vistas in engineering, technology, architecture, medicine, veterinary, agriculture and other allied science streams.
Moreover students having proficiency in physics at senior secondary level can sit for prestigious exams like National Standard Examination in Physics which leads to National and International Physics Olympiad Examinations.
These exams are conducted by Indian Association of Physics Teachers under the aegis of Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education ( HBCSE ), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research ( TIFR ).
A success in Physics Olympiad ensures a bright career in Physics education and research from prestigious institutes like Indian Institute of Science ( IISc ) Bangalore, TIFR, NISER Bhubaneshwer, IISERs and subsequent absorption as scientists in reputed national laboratories and scientific organizations.
Institutes offering Physics Education & Research
Most degree colleges in India offer under graduate course ( general or pass and honours ) in Physics leading to B.Sc. degree.
All central universities and leading state universities offer post graduate and doctoral Program in Physics. Several leading private universities also offer master’s in physics. The teaching of Physics in distance education mode at graduation, post graduation and doctoral level is offered by IGNOU and several other universities recognized by distance education council.
Post graduate and doctoral Program in Physics is also offered by all IITs, IISc., TIFR and JNU. Admission to these Programs is either through JEE ( integrated MSc. ) or through Joint Admission Test to M.Sc ( JAM ) or through institute level entrance tests / interviews.
Admissions to doctoral Program are on the basis of NET / GATE combined with institute level tests / interviews. Several National Institutes of Technology also offer masters in Physics / Applied Physics. B.Tech in engineering physics is offered by IIT Delhi through JEE. M. Tech. in Physics with various specialization. To impart high quality science education after 10+2, National Institute of Science Education & Research ( NISER ) has been recently set up at Bhubaneshwer.
NISER is affiliated to Homi Bhabha National Institute ( HBNI ), a deemed university within department of atomic energy ( DAE ). NISER will have a 5 Year integrated M.Sc. Program in basic sciences ( Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology ). Students admitted to NISER will get a stipend of 3000 p.m. alongwith a suitable book grant. For admission students have to qualify National Entrance Screening Test ( NEST ) conducted under supervision of HBCSE.
The university of Mumbai and department of atomic energy have also jointly set up a new autonomous centre for excellence in basic sciences ( UM DAE CBS ) in Mumbai, which will offer a 5 Year integrated M.Sc. Program in basic sciences.
Students admitted to UM DAE CBS will also get a fellowship of 3000 p.m. and an appropriate book grant. Those performing exceedingly well in M.Sc. may have a chance to be absorbed in R & D units and autonomous research institutions of the department of atomic energy.
Admission will be based on NEST. However Kishore Vaigyanic Protsahan Yojana SA batch ( KVYP fellows ) & students who have qualified Indian National Olympiad Examination ( INOE ) are exempted from NEST. 5 Year integrated masters ( M.S. ) is also being offered at recently established Indian Institute of Science Education and Research ( IISER ) at Pune, Kolkata and Mohali centres with intake capacity of 100 each.
Eligibility for admission will be based on the qualification of any of the 3 exams : KVPY SA batch, stage II – INOE and IIT JEE. Two more IISERs are being set up at Bhopal and Tiruchirapalli by MHRD. Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology ( IIST ) is being set up under Indian Space Research Organization ( ISRO ) in the vicinity of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre at Thiruvananthpuram.
IIST will offer, inter alias, integrated masters in applied science, post graduate, doctoral and post doctoral Program in space science.
R & D Institutes of Physics
Joint entrance screening test ( JEST ) is conducted annually throughout India at several centres for admissions to doctoral Program in physics in various premier research institutes.
Following is a list of institutes who admit scholars through JEST.
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research ( TIFR ) Mumbai is India’s premier institution for advanced research in the fundamental sciences.
The main areas of research in Physics include astronomy and astrophysics, condensed matter physics and material science, high energy physics, nuclear & atomic physics and theoretical physics.
HBCSE offers Ph.D. in science education ( URL : http://www.tifr.res.in ).
National Centre for Radio Astrophysics ( NCRA ) is a part of TIFR located inside Pune university campus. The major observational facility at NCRA is Giant Meterwave Radio Teliscope ( GMRT ).Inter – University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics ( IUCAA ) Pune, provides advanced centralized facilities for research in astronomy and astrophysics to faculty and students.
Research activity at IUCAA mainly involves cosmology, classical and quantum gravity, gravitational wave astronomy and high energy physics ( www.iucaa.ernet.in ).
Institute of Physics ( IOP ) Bhubaneshwar, is a premier research institute funded by DAE and Government of Orissa. It has active research Programs in theoretical & experimental areas of high energy, nuclear, atomic, molecular and condensed matter physics and accelerator based basic and applied sciences ( URL : http://www.iopb.res.in ).
Physical Research Laboratory ( PRL ) Ahmedabad, is a unit of Department of Space, GOI, and a leading institution engaged in research in several areas of experimental and theoretical physics and earth, planetary and atmospheric sciences. Besides its main campus at Ahmedabad it has an astronomy unit at Thaltej, an IR observatory at Mt. Abu and a solar observatory at Udaipur ( www.prl.res.in ).
Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad is an autonomous institute funded by DAE for conducting research in mathematics and theoretical physics ( www.mri.ernet.in ).
Institute for Plasma Research ( IPR ) Gandhinagar, is a premier science institute under DAE devoted to R & D activities in the areas of basic Plasma Physics, magnetic confinement, fusion and industrial applications of Plasma ( www.ipr.res.in ).
Indian Institute of Astrophysics ( IIA ) Bangalore, is an autonomous institute funded by DST devoted to research in the area of sun and the solar system, stellar physics, extragalactic astronomy, quasars, and gamma ray burst sources. The institute’s field stations are located at Kodaikanal, Kavalur, Gauribidanur, Hosakote and Hanle ( www.iiap.ernet.in ).
Indian Institute of Geomagnetism ( IIG ), Mumbai offers doctoral Program in geomagnetism and allied fields of plasma physics, atmospheric and space physics. IIG has an equatorial Geophysical Research laboratory at Allahabad. The institute also operates ten modern magnetic observatories at various locations in India ( http://www.iigm.res.in ).
Raman Research Institute, Bangalore is an autonomous organization funded by DST. The institute has active research Programs in the areas of astronomy and astrophysics, optics, soft condensed matter physics and theoretical physics ( http://www.rri.res.in ).
The Institute of mathematical Sciences ( IMSc ) Chennai, an autonomous institute funded by DAE offers research in frontier areas of theoretical physics.
Jawaharlal Nehru centre for advanced scientific research ( JNCASR ) Bangalore, is an autonomous institute pursuing research in several frontier areas in science and engineering ( www.jncasr.ac.in ).
Satyendra Nath Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata is an autonomous institute funded by DST. The main research areas include condensed matter physics, cosmology, quantum optics, mesoscopic systems.
Apart from usual doctoral Program the institute also offers a post B.Sc. integrated Ph.D. Program ( www.bose.res.in ).
Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences ( ARIES ) Nainital, provides research facility in a few selected areas of astrophysics and atmospheric sciences. UGC DAE Consortium of Scientific Research Indore, Mumbai & Kolkata centres are autonomous institutions established by UGC mainly for utilization of major experimental facilities of DAE ( www.csr.ernet.in ).
In addition to the usual selection through JEST, IUCAA & NCRA also conduct their own admission test INAT.
Post doctoral & other relevant R & D Programs
Many prestigious institutes like IISc, IITs and JNU offer post doctoral Program in select areas.
Apart from these post doctoral Program is also offered at :
- The Institute of Mathematical Sciences ( IMSc ) offers about 10 post doctoral fellowships for one / two Years.
- Institute for Plasma Research.
- Raman Research Institute, Bangalore.
- UGC DAE CSR Indore, Mumbai & Kolkata centres.
- Harish Chandra Research Institute.
Dr. K.S. Krishnan research associateship for a period of 2 Years is provided every Year for R & D Programs relevant to DAE. DAE has also initiated a one Year orientation course for engineering graduates and science post graduates ( OCES ). The other newly launched Program of DAE is a 2 Year graduate fellowship scheme for engineering graduates and post graduates in physics ( DGFS ) for joining M.Tech. in specific specializations.
The diploma or degree after successful completion of OCES & DGFS will be awarded by HBNI. Shyma Prasad Mukherjee ( SPM ) Fellowship has been instituted by CSIR for pursuing research in CSIR laboratories or other specialized R & D Institutions / Universities.
SPM is a preferential qualification in recruitment to CSIR jobs.
Institutes offering Summer Students Program
Several institutes offer a 4 – 8 week summer Program for undergraduate and postgraduate students. These Program involves project work at these institute under the guidance of a faculty member of the institute and overview lectures on frontline topics.
An indicative list of institutes include :
- The Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
- Institute for Plasma Research.
- Inter – University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics.
National Graduate Examination in Physics is conducted annually by Indian Association of Physics Teachers throughout India ( e – mail : firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Top 1% of successful students get a chance of attending training and summer schools at prestigious R & D institutes. In particular they become eligible for integrated Ph.D. Program of Satyendra Nath Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata and National Initiative for under – graduate Science Program of HBCSE.
Employment Scenario :
- As scientists in national laboratories & organizations like BARC, DRDO, SSPL, ISRO, Space Application Centres ( SAC ), National Atmospheric Research laboratory of department of space, Inter university accelerator centres ( IUAC ), Indira Gandhi Centre for atomic research ( IGCAR ) Kalpakkam, Raja Ramanna Centre for advanced Technology ( RRCAT ) Indore, Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre ( VECC ) Calcutta, Uranium Corporation of India Limited, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, Nuclear fuel complex, Heavy Water Board, Atomic mineral directorate etc.
- In research institutes such as PRL Ahmedabad, IPR Gandhinagar, IUCAA, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics Calcutta, ARIES, Uttrakhand, Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Centre for Liquid Crystal Research ( CLCR ), UGC DAE CSR.
- In constituent laboratories & institutes of CSIR like National Physical Laboratory ( NPL ), National Geophysical Research Institute, Regional Research Laboratories, National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies ( NISTADS ), Institute of Materials & Mineral Technology ( IMMT ), National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources ( NISCAIR ) etc.
- In agricultural research services with soil physics & agricultural physics as specialization.
- Teaching positions in secondary & higher secondary schools, degree colleges, poly techniques, engineering colleges & state and central universities, prestigious institutions including IITs, IISc, IISERs.
- Moreover the ubiquitous position of physics tutor is always there. Some reputed coaching institutes offer really fabulous pay packages.