Science Education in India: A Promising Future of IISERsWhat do you want to become in future? It is one of the toughest questions faced by our young generation. Many times students go blank when they face this question from their teachers or relatives. Finding our own talents can be an easy solution for this question. The parents and teachers who know their young new generation well can always help them in deciding their career goals.I believe, it is better to have a scientific approach in this regard. It is always an excellent idea to appear for an aptitude test to understand our own capabilities and strengths. State Institute of Educational Technology (SIET) owned by the government of Kerala provides a superb opportunity for a reliable aptitude test. Anybody can give this test by paying a small amount as application fees. The professionals analyse your performance in the test and suggest a suitable career path.Never choose your career by looking at your neighbours or friends. Don’t go behind a popular career option just because many are opting for it. Go for what your heart yearns for. The twenty-first century has opened up lots of career opportunities for those who aim at a career in science. The government of India has launched the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) programme in December 2008. It is one of the flagship programmes managed by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) which aims at the attraction of talent to Science. The basic objective of INSPIRE programme is to communicate to the youth of the country the excitements of creative pursuit of science and to attract talent to the study of science at an early age. INSPIRE scheme offers 10,000 scholarships every year at Rs.60,000/- each for a five year period for those students undertaking Bachelor and Masters level education in the Natural & Basic sciences in any academic institute or university in India. It aims at building the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the research and development base of India. It believes in and relies on the efficacy of the existing educational structure for identification of talent. A striking feature of the programme is that it does not believe in conducting competitive exams for identification of talent at any level but still opens up the windows for those young talents who clear the competitive exams.Basically, there are three channels to achieve the INSPIRE scholarship. A large majority of students who get selected for this programme is through their performance in their Higher Secondary examinations. To achieve this, the students need to be among the top 1% in the Higher Secondary Examinations of their respective Boards. In 2017 the top 1% cutoff for CBSE and Kerala state boards were 90% and 93.3 % respectively. The next option is for the students who have secured top 10,000 ranks in any of the entrance examinations such as JEE-Mains, IIT-JEE-Advanced and NEET. The last channel is for those who clear the examinations such as Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY), National Talent Search Examination (NTSE). etc If you are aiming at a promising career in science, both in academics and research, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research – IISERs can provide a great platform for that. The IISERs area group of fairly young but premier education Institutes in India. These Institutes were founded in 2008 and have been declared as Institutions of National Importance by an act of Parliament and are meant to be the IITs of basic sciences. Strategically located at Berhampur, Bhopal, Kolkata, Mohali, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram and Tirupati, IISERs aims at nurturing future champions of basic science research. All IISERs offer five-year integrated Bachelor of Science and Master of Science (BS-MS) dual degree programme in basic sciences, which students can join after Class XII. There are three ways in which students can get into IISER. The students who are eligible for INSPIRE fellowship could seek admissions by clearing an aptitude test conducted by IISERs. Currently, approximately 50% of the students admitted through the IISER aptitude test are awarded the INSPIRE scholarship. IISERs also admit students for the BS-MS dual degree programme on the basis of the rank obtained by the candidate in the JEE Advanced Examination. Students who obtain Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) scholarship may also apply. The first two years of the five-year BS-MS programme in IISERs are interdisciplinary in nature, giving students a comprehensive and broad overview of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. After two more years of coursework in the subject of their choice, each student rounds off his or her training with a year-long research project, working closely with the researchers in the institute and getting valuable exposure to the methods of modern science. A unique feature of the course curriculum of IISERs is its flexibility. A student has the option to change his or her “major” subject if he or she is not comfortable with that even after the third year and thus makes it very student -friendly. The training in basic sciences with unprecedented exposure to advanced analytical techniques and methods that the students receive at the IISERs stand them in good stead for whichever career they may choose. A majority of students graduating from the IISERs have opted to take up higher studies, for example, PhD in leading research institutions and abroad. IISERs also have a well-functioning placement cell which is in constant touch with several companies that recruit young and budding talents. Besides these, the entire world of academics is wide open for IISERites to venture out. Currently, I am a PhD student at Department of Chemistry at IISER Bhopal. I feel so lucky that I am getting the chance to do the experiments which we learned in our textbooks in the labs under the guidance of very talented faculty members. This world is grand and there lies an ocean of undiscovered findings that are waiting for eager and curious minds.Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Louis PasteurFurthur details of the aptitude test conducted by SIET test can be found at this link http://www.sietkerala.gov.in/news.html.