Divisions - Centres (under Director)

The Centres of the Institute include JRD Tata Memorial Library, Supercomputer Education and Research Centre,  National Centre for Science Information,  Bio-informatics Centre,  Centre for Continuing Education, Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE), and the Digital Information Services Centre. The Centres have over 50 students working towards Master's and Ph.D degrees and has nearly 35 faculty members involved in research, publication and teaching activities.



J R D TATA MEMORIAL LIBRARY,  popularly known as the Indian Institute of Science Library, is one of the best Science and Technology libraries in India. Started in 1911, as one of  the first three departments in the Institute, it has become a precious  national resource center in the field of Science and Technology. The library receives annually about 10-12% grant of the total budget of the  institute. About 95% of the library grant are spent towards periodical  subscription, which is unparalleled in this part ofthe globe. With a  collection of nearly 5 lakh volumes of books, periodicals, technical  repo rts and standards, the JRD Tata Memorial Library, located in about  5,000 sq.mts. area, is one amongst the finest in the country. Currently  it receives over 1734 current periodicals.


The Supercomputer Education and Research Centre (SERC) strives for excellence in Research, Computing and Consultancy. SERC faculty pursue research in frontier areas of Computing and Computer Systems. The centre leads several national initiatives and industrial consultancy and research. Sponsored research projects with government organizations like DRDO, DOE, DST, ISRO, MHRD, and leading industrial organizations like Hitachi, HP, IBM, LG, Philips, and TI, highlight external interactions.  Current research interests of the centre include Computer Aided Design for VLSI Systems, Computer Architecture, Database Systems, Bio-diversity and Genomics, High Performance Computing, Multimedia Systems, and Network Security. The centre takes research students for M.Sc(Engg.) and Ph.D. programmes. It also offers a unique M.Tech programme in Computational Science for science and engineering graduates. The centre is actively involved in industrial consultancy in various national projects. It supports the state-of-the-art computing environment, which compares well with the top Computing Centres anywhere in the world. The Functionally distributed computing at SERC comprises of various specialized clusters to cater to the diverse needs of the large user group. The following gives a sample of the different functional clusters:

Supercomputer Cluster:

The Center's flagship computers used for solving grand-challenge problems include a alliance of both shared and distributed memory systems such as:

  1. Two 32-processor IBM Regatta P690, each with 256GB memory 
  2. One 16-processor IBM Regatta P690 with 128GB memory 
  3. One 32-processor SGI Altix 3700 system with 224 GB memory
  4. 16-processor IBM RS/6000 SP  System with 32GB Main Memory
  5. Several  4-processor Compaq Alphaserver (ES40) Shared Memory Systems.
  6. 32-processor IBM RS/6000 SP with 10 GB distributed memory.

Computer Cluster: Comprising of single-processor RISC-based systems such as IBM/RS6000 59x, HP C200 and Compaq XP 1000. The load sharing software running across this cluster ensures balanced distribution of user jobs among different systems.

Graphics Cluster: Comprising of graphics servers as SGI Octane, Onyx and Indigo, and SUN Ultra 60 with Hardware Open GL support and graphics development software tools.

Access Station Cluster: Comprising of unix workstation such as IBM  RS/6000 340 and 43P, SUN Ultra 5, and Ultra 10, Ultra 60, HP C200, Compaq XP-1000, SGI Indy and O2, Octane, as well as a cluster of Intel Pentiums running Window 95/NT and Linux.

Software: All the unix systems in SERC offer uniform program development with Fortran, C, and C++ compilers along with profilers, and debuggers. In addition, the supercomputing cluster also offers Auto- Parellization tools and Message passing libraries such as KAP, Forge90, MPI and PVM. The graphics systems offer development tools as Open Inventor and Performer. In addition, a Plethora of special purpose software and libraries are also available, such as:

  1. Matlab, Mathematica and Maple for Numerical and Symbolic computation  
  2. Mathematical libraries such as IMSL, ESSL, DXML, COMPLIB and MLIB
  3. Structural Engineering related software such EMAS, NASTRAN and NISA
  4. Biological modelling software such as MSI Biosym site.

Network: All the system in SERC are on the network and are available for campus wide access. The SERC building has a Gigabit Ethernet backbone providing switched 100 mbps connection to each workstation and server. In turn, the SERC network is connected to the Campus-Wide FDDI backbone, which will soon be upgraded to a full duplex Gigabit Ethernet backbone, providing gigabit speed and width across different departments of the institute. Other Facilities: Other than the computing services, SERC offers a host of peripheral services to its users,. Which include black and white laser printing, High resolution Colour Laser and Deskjet printing for preparation of slides and posters, High-Resolution Scanning of Printed Text and images, and CD-ROM writing.

Research: SERC faculty and scientists have organized the following well endowed research laboratories:

  • Computer Aided Design
  • Computer Architecture
  • Database Systems
  • Electromagnetics
  • Grid Applications Research
  • High-Performance Computing
  • Multimedia Systems
  • Scientific Computation

SERC has an organised library with a stock of current  books and computer system or software related manuals. SERC operates a 24 hour helpdesk service to its user over phones  and through email.

BIOINFORMATICS CENTRE (Centre of Excellence in Structural Biology and Bio-computing)

Bioinformatics Centre is a research and information centre that functions as an autonomous unit of SERC.  The major role of the centre, since its inception as a DBT supported initiative, has- been in disseminating various types of information in biological sciences, at various levels. In the past few years, however there has been a paradigm shift in the focus of bioinformatics activities. The centre has now evolved to occupy  a significant position of generating knowledge from the data resources available to it, which is then disseminated in various ways. This shift reflects the evolving nature of the science of Bioinformatics itself in the global arena, establishing the value tree of data to information to knowledge to applications. The activities at the centre and the high publication record in the recent years has led to its identification by the DBT, as a Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics.


The National Centre For Science Information was established in 1983. The objectives of NCSI are to: Provide seamless, network access to worldwide scholarly information resources of relevance to the IISc academic community

  • Develop and maintain ePrint digital research archive of IISc research publications, to provide wider dissemination for IISc research output
  • Conduct teaching, research and training in Information and Knowledge Management, with focus on set up, operation and management of digital information facilities and services
  • Provide orientation and training to the IISc academic community in making effective use of electronic information sources, tools and services

Apart from e-information services provided to the Institute community, the Centre undertakes sponsored R&D projects and conducts a one-and-half year postgraduate training programme in Information and Knowledge Management. Formerly, as a UGC inter-university centre for science information, NCSI provided national level current awareness services to researchers in Indian universities during 1984 to 2002.

Information Services

NCSI provides variety of electronic information services to the Institute scholars. These include: intranet and Internet access to world's leading bibliographic databases; gateway services for electronic journals and open access resources on the Internet; customized web access ('MySciGate'); and document delivery services. NCSI also publishes a monthly electronic newsletter 'InfoWatch' reporting new Internet resources of relevance to S&T researchers.All the services provided by NCSI are integrated via the SciGate portal site. SciGate is a science information portal and gateway website developed for the use of students, staff and faculty of IISc. SciGate provides single point access to a variety of locally hosted and Internet-based science, engineering, medicine and management information resources. Access to databases and other electronic resources licensed to IISc is restricted to IISc users. Portion of content on SciGate (open sources, InfoWatch, IISc Publications) and E-JIS (free e-journals) are freely accessible on the Internet.The IISc ePrint archive enables the Institute researchers to self-archive their preprints, postprints and other scholarly publications. It provides easy access to these publications world wide with a view to improve their research impact.
LIS-Forum: NCSI also operates a moderated, free discussion forum (List service) 'LIS-Forum' for library & information professionals in India. As on July 2004, there were about 640 library and information professionals participating in the discussion forum.


NCSI has all the requisite facilities for the development, hosting and management of state-of-the-art information products and services, handling R&D projects and to conduct training programmes. This includes a switch-based LAN, web servers, laboratory, lecture hall, discussion room, Internet connectivity, e-publishing and digital library tools, information kiosk for the use of end-users, licensed databases, and a library. Staff includes specialists in computing and information sciences.NCSI Websites:SciGate: The IISc Science Information Portal - The E-Journal Information Service - ePrint Archive -


The Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) coordinates activities to promote a variety of programmes relevant to specific target groups, by use of Institute's facilities through short-term/refresher courses. CCE coordinates various continuing education programmes with the concerned departments and sponsoring agencies, and provides necessary assistance and infrastructure support to faculty members organizing the programmes.

Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE)

The Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE) focuses on interdisciplinary research and education in the broad area of nanoscale science and technology covering topics such as nanoelectronics, devices, materials, micro and nanoelectromechanical systems, bio and nanophotonics, bio-electronic interfaces and integrated small-scale systems. In addition to the research programs of the core faculty, the Centre runs an interdisciplinary research and training program involving more than 40 faculty members from various departments of engineering and basic science at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). The centre has state of the art nano-fabrication and characterization facilities to enable the development of cutting edge nanoscale technologies for various applications.


Digital Information Services Centre (DISC) has been setup to serve the Digital Information needs of the Institute community and the nation at large. In particular, it aims to handle digitization of scientific information and books, electronic courseware etc. The following major projects are being undertaken at DISC: The Digital Library of India project (wherein it is proposed to create a Digital Library with a free-to-read, searchable collection of one million books,  predominantly in Indian languages, available to everyone over the Internet), the Indo-French Cyber University project (this is a joint project between India and France where courses are taught jointly by Indian and French instructors using live two-way satellite communication), and the Vigyan project (in which a comprehensive web site for Indian S&T information has been made operational).