Year of Establishment : 1949
History of the department : The Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics was established in 1949 as a post-graduate teaching and research department of the University of Calcutta. Late Professor S.K.Mitra, D.Sc, F.R.S., was the Head of the Institute and continued until his retirement in 1955.
It was in the year 1925 that the University of Calcutta introduced wireless as an elective subject for special study in its post-graduate course in Pure Physics and started at the same time a wireless laboratory for teaching and research in the fields of electron tubes and radio wave propagation in the upper atmosphere. Ever increasing applications of radio waves, especially on the eve of and during the World War II, and the rapid development of electronics as an important science by itself created a new situation. Inclusion of these developments was found impossible if the teaching and research activities in these subjects were to be confined within the necessarily limited scope allowed to them as a part of another post-graduate course. A large-scale expansion and re-organization became imperative. To meet this situation the university, in 1946, formulated a plan for the creation of a separate post-graduate department for Radio Physics and Electronics by pooling the then existing resources of the Wireless section of the Pure Physics department and the Communication Engineering section of the Applied Physics department. A visiting committee of the All India Council for Technical Education (A.I.C.T.E) approved this plan in 1947. Grants sanctioned by the Government of India on the recommendation of this committee enabled the creation of the Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics in the year 1949 an independent post-graduate teaching and research department of the University of Calcutta.
The foundation stone of the Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics was laid on April 21, 1949, by the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. B.C.Roy. The concluding remark of his address on the occasion of laying the foundation stone of the Institute was the following:
Let me hope that in laying the foundation stone of the Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics today, I have planted a seed which will grow into a mighty tree, spreading its branches much beyond the borders of your present expectation. The Institute will become not only an all-India center of study and research but will also attract earnest seekers after truth from beyond the boundaries of India.
A look at the Institute today should convince anybody that the expectations of Dr. Roy are well on the way to fulfillment true to the spirit of each and every word of the speech.
In the beginning, the Institute started its first session of 2-year M.Sc. course in Radio Physics and Electronics from July 1949. The approval for the 3-year M.Sc. (Tech.) course in Radio Physics and Electronics came from University Grants Commission ( U.G.C. ) on recommendation of AICTE, in April 1957.
Early in 1962, the UGC recommended the establishment of Centers of Advanced Study (CAS) in selected university departments known for their tradition and promise. In recognition of the tradition built here, this Institute was nominated as one of the five Centers of Advanced Study in 1962-63.
In 1969, grants for the third stage of development of the Institute were received from the UGC which recommended drastic changes in the courses to be offered. In short, the approved scheme of development was: i) conversion of the 2-year B.Tech. Course to a 3-year graduate course leading to B.Tech. degree with an annual intake of 30 students, ii) conversion of the 1-year M.Tech. course to a 2-year post-graduate course leading to the M.Tech. degree with an annual intake of 25 students.
Meanwhile, on the report of the Assessment committee appointed by the UGC (in 1973-74) to evaluate the performance of the Center during the first decade of its existence, the UGC classified it as excellent and offered to continue grants to the center under Special Assistance Program (S.A.P) of CAS in selected thrust areas of research. On the basis of its continuing tradition of high quality research the Institute is still getting grants from UGC under the SAP.
The Institute celebrated its Silver Jubilee in the year 1973. In late 1970s an academic link program ALIS was established between the Institute and a few UK Universities. The program encouraged bilateral exchange of scientists. A Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE) Reactor was received by the Centre as a gift with which work on growth of semiconductor heterojunction started. A Centre for Research and Training in Radar and Microwaves also started functioning in the 1970s.
The Institute received in this decade substantial grant from the UGC under the Committee for Strengthening Infrastructure in Science and Technology (COSIST). Equipment related to Microelectronics, millimeter-wave technology and characterization of semiconductors were procured out of the fund received. The Institute celebrated the birth centenary of its founder Prof. S.K.Mitra in 1989.
It has been given the status of Networking Resource Centre in Physical Science, one amongst ten such Centres created by the UGC in the country. Other National Centres also exist in the department. The department has collaboration in teaching and research with a number of institutions in India and abroad. The ex-students of this department have served/ are serving as Vice Chancellors, Directors of IITs and other Central Government academic/research institutions, Professors and Aministrators in India and abroad. In addition, many of our alumni members have earned prestigious awards for academic achievements.
Special award/ recognition from UGC or related statutory body :
- A Centre of Advanced Study in Radio Physics and Electronics from 1963 till date.
- A UGC-Networking Resource Centre in Physical Sciences from 2008 till date.
Major activities :
- Radio Physics & Electronics Association activities involving students
- Regular workshops are organized under the following society activities. such as, IEEE Photonics Society (PS) Calcutta Chapter, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society and IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Kolkata Joint Chapter, IEEE WIE Society Kolkata Chapter, IEEE Calcutta University Student Branch (CUSB)
- National Science Day Celebration (yearly), and Science and Technology Exhibition organized by IEEE PS Chapter and CUSB. Students are involved in developing models, demonstration and arrangement of the events.
- Opportunity of selected students and researchers to volunteer in preparing technical program, hall management for lectures, and also to interact with International experts in the triennial International Conference CODEC organized by the department.
Campus :Rashbehari Shiksha Prangan
Address for communication : Sisir Mitra Bhavan,92, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, Kolkata - 700009