Children of the Soil

The soil under our feet is teeming with life, and understanding and nurturing it has a positive impact on our lives   A memory. My friend and I followed the ball as it bounced towards the pit in the backyard. Heat wafted up, and the air was saturated with a warm, earthy smell that wasn’t […]

Charting a Course to Net Zero

Several researchers at IISc are working on technological solutions to tackle some of the causes of climate-induced disasters, and reduce carbon emissions   A sizzling heatwave across North India, prolonged power outages, and 20 million dead. Fortunately, this is a work of fiction, the setting in the first chapter of The Ministry for the Future, […]

Out of the Lab, Into the World Beyond

How ME research aims to make a difference in clean energy, manufacturing, healthcare and more JN Tata, IISc’s founder, strongly believed that scientific research played a role in social and economic transformation. The Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME), one of the largest in IISc and currently celebrating its 75th year, has had a history of […]

Partners In The Field

Field assistants are critical yet underappreciated members of the ecological research community   When Raman Sukumar went to the forests of Mudumalai to study elephants for his PhD in 1978, he wanted a local person familiar with the terrain, and experienced at navigating elephant country to guide him. The forest rangers put him in touch […]

The Race for Five Million Dollars

IISc-TCS was the only Indian team to compete in the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge 2020   The competition was only a few days away. With one drone having crashed already, all eyes were locked nervously on the two drones over the airfield outside the Department of Aerospace Engineering. During the final testing at […]

The Birth of Wipro’s Computer Systems Business

IISc’s role in helping Wipro launch its minicomputers in 1981 As one of India’s leading technology companies, Wipro is today largely known for its Information Technology (IT), engineering, and consulting services. But what brought Wipro into the IT industry was its computer systems business in the 1980s. The origins of the company’s most flourishing business […]

Beating the Jam

Using technology to tackle India’s terrible traffic Last summer, the image of a software engineer riding a horse to protest against Bangalore’s notorious traffic jams went viral on social media. “Bengaluru is overcrowded and too many vehicles on the road lead to traffic jams every day,” he was quoted as saying. “In fact, I learnt […]

The Campus as a Classroom

Using IISc’s biodiversity for undergraduate education “How many of you noticed the beautiful, white-coloured, fragrant tree just outside the stairs that lead us here to the lecture hall?” I asked the first year UG students in my first class of organismal biology at IISc. Barely two or three uncertain hands were raised out of 120. […]