Thiruvanthanapuram not only produces engineers but also scientists. The city is a research and development hub and is home to a cluster of research centres. A number of institutions are engaged in science and technological research. Their area of research includes engineering, information technology, bio-medical technology, medicine, space science, agri-technology, bio-technology, bio-informatics, genetics and plant breeding, imaging technology, geology and earth sciences.
Among the eminent personalities who contributed to the development of Indian space technology is Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. He was an Indian scientist, an innovator widely regarded as the father of India’s space programme. Along with Dr. Kalam (former President of India) he contributed significantly to the space revolution. Incidently Dr. Kalam was nurtured in Trivandrum and spent some twenty years during the formative years of Thumba Equitorial Launching Station(TERLS ) involved in the space programme. His contribution to the ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology earned him the household name of the “Missile Man of India“.
Rajiv Gandhi- the technocrat Prime Minister of India took the initiative in leading the IT revolution with the assistance of Sam Pitroda the knowledge manager. Sam Pitroda played a significant role as a consultant and adviser in the development of telecommunication in India. Pitroda is credited with having laid the foundation for India’s telecommunications and technology revolution of the 1980s,. He had been a leading campaigner to help bridge the global digital divide. Pitroda launched the Center for the Development of Telematics (C-DOT), and served as Advisor to the Prime Minister on Technology Missions related to water, literacy, immunization, oil seeds, telecom, and dairy. He was also the founding Chairman of India’s Telecom Commission. Together they laid the foundation for the technology which currently benefits the masses in various sectors. Mobile phone revolution has certainly impacted the lives of rural-urban population in India.
Trivandrum is home to several established R& D institutions.
Indian Space Research Organization
ISRO which is the pride of Trivandrum is one of the most important research centres in space technology and one of world’s leading scientific organizations engaged in space research and space applications The launch of the first sounding rocket from Thumba Equatorial Launching Station (TERLS) on 21 November 1963, marked the beginning of the Indian Space Programme and made the city famous.
ISRO is currently located at about 12 km from city centre This place is a must visit for tourists coming to Trivandrum. The Space Museum situated inside Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre offers a glimpse into India’s glorious space research history. The marvels of space , moon and planets which was considered a mystery is now unraveled to the people through research and discoveries.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre
VSSC at Thiruvananthapuram is the major center of ISRO, where the design and development activities of satellite launch vehicles and sounding rockets are carried out and made ready for launch operations. . Since its inception, the Indian space programme has been orchestrated well and had three distinct elements such as, satellites for communication and remote sensing, the space transportation system and application programmes. The centre pursues research and development activities for associated technologies such as launch vehicle design, propellants, solid propulsion technology, aerodynamics, aero structural and aero thermal aspects, avionics, polymers and composites, guidance, control, and simulation, computer and information, mechanical engineering, aerospace mechanisms, vehicle integration and testing, space ordnance, chemicals and materials
Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST)
IIST , a deemed to be University functions as an autonomous body under the Department of Space, Government of India. The idea of such an institute was mooted keeping in mind the need for high quality manpower for the Indian Space Research Organization. The institute is the first of its kind in the country, to offer high quality education at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral levels on areas with special focus to space sciences, space technology and space applications. The campus is fully residential for students. It has an area of about 100 acres, and is located inValiamala ,about 25 kms from Thiruvananthapuram city, on the way to the famous hill resort of Ponmudi. IIST was formally inaugurated on 14 September 2007 by Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, the then Chairman, ISRO and was temporarily housed in the premises of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, very close from where ISRO built and launched its first rocket. India’s interest in space travel began in the early 1960s, when scientists launched a small rocket from Thumba in Trivandrum. Under Vikram Sarabhai the program focused on the practical uses of space in increasing the standard of living. Remote sensing and communications satellites were placed into orbit. Important initiatives pursued by ISRO towards societal development include Tele-education, Tele-medicine, Village Resource Centre (VRC) and Disaster Management System (DMS) Programmes. The satellite communication technology has touched our daily lives in many ways . It has influenced students, classrooms, teachers , hospitals even in remote villages of India.
Indian Institute of Science Education & Research
Indian Institute of Science Education and Technology started functioning in August 2008 in Trivandrum. It aims to provide high quality education in modern science, integrating it with outstanding research at the undergraduate level itself, and develop a spirit of research cutting across disciplines. is dedicated to scientific research and science education of international standards. Traditionally, teaching has been segregated from research in undergraduate science curricula in our country, therefore this institution was established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, to bridge this dichotomy. The faculty are engaged in research in the frontier areas of basic sciences, with a high degree of autonomy and creativity.
IISER is a fully residential institute. Separate hostel accommodation is provided for boys and girls. The transit campus of the institute is located in the Computer Science building of the College of Engineering, Trivandrum. The permanent campus of 200 acres is under construction at Vithura, at the foothills of the Ponmudi hills, about 40km from Thiruvananthapuram. It is expected to be ready shortly.
Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala
IIITM-K is a non-profit autonomous institution located in Technopark .The institute has been a pioneer in conceptualizing, developing, implementing, commissioning and servicing some of country’s well recognized IT initiatives in Education, Agriculture, E-Governance applications and its services. Thus it has already established linkages with the scientific and academic community.The management of the Institute is vested with Board of Directors comprising of eminent industrialists, academicians and senior Government officials appointed by the Government of Kerala. At the international level IIITM-K has signed an MOU with STUTTGART University, Germany to work together in research and teaching areas of geoinformatics and allied areas.
Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences
Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), is one of the premier autonomous Medical school, and Institute of National Importance in India established in 1973 at Thiruvananthapuram. SCTIMST signifies the convergence of medical science and technology, which makes it a unique institution of it’s kind. The main objectives of the institute are promotion of biomedical engineering and technology, demonstration of high standards of patient care and the development of postgraduate training programs of the highest quality in advanced medical specialties and in biomedical engineering and technology. The institute has a 233-bedded specialty hospital, which serves as tertiary referral dcentre for all cardiovascular, thoracic and neurological diseases. It is a super-speciality hospital but patient care is limited to cardiology and neurology.
The genesis of SCTIMST dates back to 1973 when the Royal Family of Travancore gifted a multi-storied building for the benefit of the people of Kerala. Subsequently, the Royal Family also gifted the Satelmond Palace in the city consisting of the Biomedical Technology Wing. A third addition was the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies (AMCHSS), which is recognized as a centre of excellence for public health training. The center focuses on research in the areas of non-communicable diseases, gender and health, health policy and management. AMCHSS conducts a Master of Public Health program, which is the only MPH program in the country recognized by the Medial Council of India. The amalgamation of three centers in one location, with their clinical and research activities, fulfils an abiding commitment to high quality health care to the community in the areas of cardiology and neurology. It has exchange and training programmes with foreign countries especially with Germany and the U.K.
The Regional Cancer Centre
RCC established in Thiruvananthapuram in 1981 is a comprehensive cancer centre catering to the population of the State of Kerala and the adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. RCC has been carrying out innovative and pioneering work in cancer control, treatment, research and training.
From a modest beginning, the Regional Cancer Centre has evolved into an internationally recognized centre for conducting a wide range of cancer research and providing state-of-the-art facilities for cancer diagnosis, treatment, palliation and rehabilitation. The Regional Cancer Centre undertakes basic, translational and clinical research and disseminate the knowledge. The Regional Cancer Centre generates trained manpower for the region in various specialties of oncology-medical, para-medical and non-medical areas. It is located in medical college campus.
Centre for Development Studies
Set up in 1971 by legendary economist Professor K.N. Raj the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) is an internationally renowned, self-governing institution known for its cutting edge research in applied economics and topics germane to socio-economic development, impeccable pedagogy, and extensive and exhaustive training programmes. Tucked away from the maddening world of city life, CDS is housed in Prasanth Nagar, a serene, picturesque hamlet 10 Kms off Thiruvanathapuram. The sprawling 10 acre campus is designed and delivered by the renowned architect, Laurie Baker whose love for nature has few parallels in history. The CDS campus , exemplify the cost-effective techniques in construction. It is also a green campus with a prize-winning garden.The state-of-the-art CDS library is one of the biggest repositories of wisdom in South India with over 1,50,000 titles in economics and related disciplines The teaching programme of the CDS includes a two year M.A. Programme in Applied Economics, M. Phil and four year Ph.D. Programme in Economics.All three programmes are affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB)
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) has its main campus at Jagathy in Trivandrum. It is a dynamic centre and a key player engaged in research related to biotechnology, life sciences and medicine. Their concentration is on Disease Biology Research and innovative research in cellular and molecular mechanisms of human, animal and plant diseases. RGCB began in 1990 amongst humble surroundings as a small charitable society called the Centre for Development of Education, Science and Technology (C-DEST). In 1991, recognizing its potential, the C-DEST was made a “Grant-in-Aid” institute of the Government of Kerala and renamed it as Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Development of Education, Science and Technology. RGCB, became the first institute in the country to be named after Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minster of India. Very soon the institute attained national and international recognition with leading discoveries and findings in medical and plant biotechnology. The institute also received honors for being among the top PhD schools in biotechnology. In 2007 the Government of India took the landmark decision to make RGCB a national research centre.
Kerala State Council for Science, Technology & Environment
KSCSTE is an autonomous body under the ministry of Science &Technology, Kerala. It was constituted in November 2002 to be an agency for change and development through science and technology. The council promotes and activates programs for increasing the stock of knowledge in science, and fine tunes policies which are significant for the sustained development of humanity. The council prepares the road map for development through scientific research and innovation in technologies. Achieving excellence in basic research, academia-industry interactions, strengthening indigenous initiatives, and building strong infrastructure and developing a high quality science education system in the state are our targeted goals. This has been achieved through various schemes and programs and by the R &D organizations established by the council. The Council headquarters in located in Pattom,Trivandrum and housed in the Sasthrabhavan building. All the schemes and programs as well as administrative affairs are controlled by this office. R&D Institutes under KSCSTE are as followsCentre for Earth Science Studies,Centre for Water Resources Development and Management , Kerala Forest Research Institute,National Transportation Planning and Research Centre, Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute,Kerala School of Mathematics ,Kerala Science Congress, Sophisticated Test and Instrumentation Centre ,Integrated Rural Technology Centre.
The Centre for Earth Science Studies is an autonomous research centre for scientific, technological research and development studies in the earth sciences. CESS pursues problems related to land, sea and atmosphere. It was instituted by the government of Kerala in 1978, in Akkulam, Thiruvananthapuram. CESS was the earliest institute in the country to embrace the concept of Earth System Science . Its contribution over the years have enhanced knowledge of the geological evolution of South India, the complexity of coastal processes and natural hazards, as well as in proposing mitigatory measures to deal with natural hazards.
CESS carries out studies in river basin evaluation, ground water management, coastal erosin, research in earth system, micro-level watershed planning, natural hazards management, chemical analysis, and studies of air, water, land, noise pollution, etc. Besides, CESS does environmental impact assessment, coastal and estuarine management, terrain analysis, natural resources management, laser applications, river sand mining, and micro level planning. CESS conducts research courses leading to doctoral degree.
Charles Lyell ( “Principles of Geology” )was perhaps the first to appreciate the scientific value of landscape changes, created by earthquakes.
CSIR:Regional Research Laboratory
CSIR or the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology is located in Pappancode Trivandrum . Currently NIIST is engaged in R & D programmes in areas related to Agroprocessing, Chemical Sciences ,Materials Science and Technology, Biotechnology, Process Engineering and Environmental Technology. The institute has also been playing a significant role in Human Resource Development by training post graduate/graduate students, with over 252 Ph.D degrees awarded till date, based on research conducted in the institute.
Central Tuber Crops Research Institute
The Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, a constituent Institute under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research is the only research organization in the World dedicated solely to the research on tropical tuber crops. The Institute established in 1963 with its Headquarters at Sreekariyam Thiruvananthapur has grown over the years into a premier research organization of international repute. Research on tropical tuber crops is the primary mandate of CTCRI. Each division CTCRI concentrate its research programmes on separate aspects of tuber crops. The Institute Scientists have won national and international recognition in the past comprising of the J.J. Chinoy Gold Medal and. three ICAR Team Research Awards
Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden & Research Institute
JNTBGRI is the only organization in India, which maintains a 300 acre conservatory garden for the wild tropical plant genetic resources of the country, besides a well integrated multidisciplinary R & D system dealing with conservation, management and sustainable utilization of tropical plant resources. The institute is recognized as a ‘National Centre of Excellence in conservation and sustainable utilization of tropical plants diversity’. JNTBGRI enjoys the membership of Botanic Gardens Conservation International . The institute is a centre of research for post graduate and doctoral research of several universities, within the country. A large number of visitors turn up at the garden of the JNTBGRI during the June-October season to see the Dove Orchid in bloom. More than 20 plants grown in the orchidarium of the JNTBGRI were used for the project which began in 1995. About 5,000 seedlings were distributed to the public and the majority of the plants produced flowers after two years.
HLL Lifcare. Akkulam
HLL Lifecare is investing heavily into a corporate R D centre in Akkulam, Thiruvananthapuram, This centre dedicated to contraceptive research. It is envisaged as a centre of excellence with world class laboratories and state of the art equipment. The Akkulam Factory manufactures Blood Bags, Surgical Sutures and many medical devices . The products are exported to more than 20 countries.AFT has won awards for pollution control, productivity and innovation.
KELTRON is the first State Electronics Development Corporation in India owned by the Government of Kerala. It is housed in a former palace and located in Vellayalam junction in the city. Since its inception in 1973, Keltron has transformed the capital city of Kerala, into one of the major electronics hubs of the country.
KELTRON’s history is a saga of innovation in electronics. From being a pioneer in 1973, to the role of a trend-setter today, Keltron has been the catalysis for the development of electronics industry in Kerala. Within five years since its inception, Keltron had set up several production centres and engaged more than 5,000 people directly or indirectly for the manufacture of electronic goods.
KELTRON manufactures and markets Electronic components, Equipments and systems for Communication, Defense, Industrial and Home applications. Coupled with high caliber of technical expertise available in house, KELTRON has re-positioned itself as a Total Solution Provider in Electronics. The Current Capabilities of Company include System Integration,Project Management and Consultancy. Electoral Photo Identity Card and many more.
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing
C-DAC is the premier R&D organization in software technology located in Vellayambalam , Trivandrum. It fosters R & D activities in the following sub-domains of software technologies: – Software-Intensive Systems Engineering, Emerging Software Technologies, Distributed Systems and Database Technology. C-DAC focuses research in software technologies under the following major areas:Free/Open Source software- (C-DAC is spearheading the Free/Open Source software), E-Governance and M-Governance, Spatial Sciences & Disaster Management,IT solutions for social development &E-learning.