Thursday, July 26, 2012


Applications are invited from highly motivated students for a research scholarship to do a Ph.D. at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune (an autonomous institution of the University
Grants Commission), or the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), Pune, of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).

Applications are invited from students who expect to complete their M.Sc., Integrated M.Sc. or B.E./B.Tech./M.E./M.Tech. degrees by August 2013 with 55% marks or more. In addition, talented final-year B.Sc., 1st year M.Sc., 4th year Integrated M.Sc. and 2nd/3rd year B.E./B.Tech. students may also apply to be PRE-SELECTED for a research scholarship towards a Ph.D. at IUCAA for Physics, or Astronomy and Astrophysics. Students in any branch of the B.E., B.Tech., M.E. or M.Tech. degrees, or in the Physics, Electronics, Astronomy or Applied Mathematics branches of the B.Sc. or M.Sc. degrees, are eligible to apply for INAT-2012. Students who have already completed any of the above degrees are also eligible.

Students in the final year of the B.Sc. (in the above branches) or who have completed their B.Sc. degree may also apply for selection to NCRA's integrated Ph.D. programme. Such students would attend one year of courses (taught in collaboration with IISER-Pune) before joining the IUCAA-NCRA graduate school.

Selection Procedure:
We are looking for highly motivated students with a consistently good academic record. While we strongly encourage students from engineering backgrounds to apply for INAT-2012, we emphasize that we are looking for students who are interested in carrying out doctoral research in Physics, or Astronomy and Astrophysics. We hence expect prospective candidates to have a good understanding of basic Physics.

Based on the applications and referee assessments, a subset of the candidates will be short-listed and invited to take the written test, to be held in Pune on Monday, January 7, 2013. Candidates with 55% or more marks in the qualifying examination may walk-in for the written test by producing a valid photo identification and a copy of their most recent marksheet. They should report at the Chandrasekhar Auditorium, IUCAA by 9:00 a.m. for verification of these documents, to ensure that there are no logistical problems. The final selection to the research scholarship will be based on the results of the written test (on Monday, January 7, 2013) and two interviews (on Monday, January 7, and/or Tuesday, January 8, 2013), both to be held in Pune. Note that, for both IUCAA and NCRA-TIFR, the selection through INAT is in addition to the selection through the Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST).

Nature of the Written Test:
The test will be of TWO hours duration. The question paper will have two parts, A and B. Part A will contain twenty objective-type questions on basic Mathematics, Physics and Electronics. Part B will contain another twenty objective-type questions from advanced Physics, Mathematics and Electronics/Engineering. For each question, candidates will have to identify and mark the correct answer from the given four answers. For a correct answer, there will be +3 (plus three) marks, and for a wrong answer, there will be -1 (minus one) mark. Based on their performance in the written test, a limited number of candidates will be invited for two interviews, which will be conducted on January 7 and/or 8, 2013. The final selection will be based on the scores in the written test and interviews. Candidates selected by either IUCAA or NCRA are expected to join in August 2013 (except for pre-selected candidates), after satisfactory completion of their qualifying examination.

Travel and Stay:
Outstation candidates will be paid one and one-third times the train/bus fare by second-class sleeper (NOT air-conditioned) from their place of residence (as given in the INAT-2012 Application Form) to Pune and back by the shortest route, as well as a halting allowance (as per the prevailing rules) for each day of stay for the interviews. Outstation walk-in candidates who are shortlisted for the interviews will also be paid travel support as above.

Limited accommodation, restricted to candidates who will appear for the written Admission Test, may be available on the IUCAA and NCRA-TIFR campuses at a nominal charge. Those who wish to avail of this accommodation should send an e-mail request to the Co-ordinator, INAT-2012, at the e-mail address , before December 1, 2012.

Accompanying persons will have to find accommodation elsewhere; a list of lodges and hotels located close to IUCAA and NCRA-TIFR is given here, with approximate charges. Candidates (and accompanying persons) may have meals on payment in the IUCAA or NCRA-TIFR canteens on the days of the written test and interviews.

The best mode of transport between IUCAA or NCRA-TIFR and the Pune railway station or bus stand is autorickshaw. The fare is as per the tariff card with the driver. During the day, the autorickshaw fare from Pune railway station to IUCAA or NCRA-TIFR will be about Rs. 100/-.

What to bring (and what NOT to bring) :
All the candidates who are invited to take the IUCAA-NCRA Admission Test should bring the Admit Letter. For the written test, the candidates should bring a pen, a pencil (HB), an eraser, and a simple mathematical calculator. At the time of interviews, the candidates are requested to bring all original mark sheets (starting from Class X) and any other relevant certificates. Mobile phones, digital diaries, laptops, etc. are NOT allowed in the test and interview halls.