As long as I live so long will I learn - Sri Ramakrishna

Post-M.Sc. Research Intensive Diploma for Excellence – PRIDE

Table of contents

Introducing a new pre-PhD programme called ‘PRIDE’ for smooth transition and navigation to PhD from MSc

Programme Name: Post-M.Sc. Research Intensive Diploma for Excellence (acronym: PRIDE)

Programme Duration: 1 year (2 semesters, each of six months’ duration)

Eligibility: MSc in physics with 60% from any University/ College approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC) are eligible to apply.

Programme Launch and opening of the admission portal:

Applications will start from 13 September 2023, open up to 13 October 2023

How to Apply:

New applicants have to first register ( on the Online Admission Portal, then login and fill up the online application form.
Online Admission Portal :
After successfully submitting the application form, pay the application fee (INR 300.00) online from the same Portal. Link can be found under ‘Options’ next to the program name on the Dashboard.
While filling up the online application-form attach the scanned copies of your passport size photo, mark-sheets and other applicable certificates/documents.
Once Application-form is successfully submitted and application-fee is paid, Receipt (also Application-summary) will be available for download from the same Portal from the ‘Dashboard‘.
Admit Card: will be available for download when the dates for Admission Test / Interview are announced. Check the Website / Admission Portal regularly for updates.

Selection Process:

Selection process will comprise written and/or rigorous viva-voce examination during the period: from 16-20 and 25-27 October 2023 (details to be announced later).

Academic fees for the PRIDE programme:

Rs.20000/- (Rupees twenty thousand only) per semester (one-time plus admission fees of Rs.3000/- at the beginning).

Fellowship information:

  1. Limited number of fellowships available from our Institute,
  2. Financial assistance available from the West Bengal Government to be facilitated by our Institute.

Classes begin from 1 November 2023 (Wednesday) (Tentative)

Department of Physics—its strengths

Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute (hereafter called RKMVERI for short) exemplifies the epitome of interdisciplinary scientific education and research in India. Unique in its approach, the institute houses the Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science departments under the unified banner of the School of Mathematical Sciences. A distinguishing feature of RKMVERI’s curriculum is its advanced coursework offerings. The institute stands out with robust courses in Group Theory, General Relativity, Quantum Field Theory and Quantum Information, providing a strong foundation for specialized research areas. RKMVERI has also integrated a course on Artificial Intelligence in Physics. This course combines pioneering coding techniques with Machine Learning and positions students at the forefront of modern scientific innovation.

With its strategic emphasis on interdisciplinary education, RKMVERI prepares students for excellence and sets them on a path to redefine the contours of research and innovation. This institute’s distinctive approach is setting new benchmarks in academic excellence, making it a beacon of hope for aspiring students and researchers in the region and beyond.

About the PRIDE programme

The backdrop

The Post-MSc course in Physics was launched way back in 1953 at Professor Meghnad Saha’s initiative in the Institute now named after him, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP). The purpose was to educate highly motivated students for research in Nuclear Science. In subsequent years, the scope of the course was widened to embrace other areas of Physics. The duration of the course, which was 9 months in the beginning, was soon extended to a full year. In 1973, a similar course was launched in Biophysical sciences. An identical course in Radiological Physics was launched in 1988 which ran for four years. From the session of 1993-94 the PMSc course has become an integral part of the doctoral work in SINP in that it is only after successfully completing the course a student is allowed to carry out doctoral work (leading to PhD in the Institute).

Now that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has discontinued the M.Phil. programme which was initially conceived as a pre-PhD programme, we are proposing to revive the spirit of this programme drawing inspiration from Professor Meghnad Saha’s vision, through our new programme called ‘Post-M.Sc. Research Intensive Diploma for Excellence (acronym: PRIDE)’, which is a one-year (two-semester) research intensive academic programme meticulously designed to bridge the gap between standard postgraduate studies and intensive doctoral research by ensuring personalized and in-depth exploration into the some of the fascinating realms of Physics, both theoretical and experimental.

Uniqueness of the PRIDE Programme

PRIDE is not just another academic programme. It is envisioned as a transformative journey for motivated students passionate about research to explore and innovate. Our curriculum is structured to offer a mix of theoretical grounding, hands-on research, and a wide array of electives, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience. It is not a classroom based teaching-learning routine that is followed in the usual academic programme, but a one-on-one interactive learning with a senior Professor in the field of his expertise to which the student-scholar too is deeply interested. While there will be classroom teaching on advanced topics, there will be more of assignments, research paper discussion, seminars, interactive sessions, etc. The entire academic programme has been designed to integrate flexibility, innovation, free exchange of thoughts, in an atmosphere conducive to inquiry and investigation. The courses taught in each semester of the programme will be designed after an interaction with the students based upon their aptitude, interest and research preference.

Semester highlights in detail

First Semester Highlights:

  1. Theoretical Minimum: A core, mandatory course that encompasses the foundational theories every physicist should grasp before embarking on research. This module ensures a uniform knowledge base, equipping students with the essential theoretical tools required for advanced exploration.
  2. Elective Course: Students can choose an elective (from a wide range of choices) tailored to their budding research interests, ensuring depth in a specialized area of physics.
  3. Research Guidance: Unlike traditional programs, PRIDE emphasizes hands-on research from the very first semester. Students learn from and collaborate with a senior Professor as the Guide/Supervisor, delving into original research topics that hold the potential for research publication(s) at the end of the programme.
  4. Flexibility and Exploration: By replacing conventional examinations by assignments, seminars, paper presentations, problem-solving, etc., the student-scholars are enabled to immerse themselves in the joy of discovery and exploration. Those with greater thirst for knowledge the option to undertake additional courses is open.

Second Semester Highlights:

  1. Continued Elective Study: The learning journey continues with at least one elective course, allowing students to delve deeper into specialized domains of physics. As mentioned, students with greater motivation are free to choose more electives upon recommendation by their respective Guides/Supervisors.
  2. Research and Project Work: The essence of the second semester lies in its focus on research, project work and dissertation. Students will have the liberty to continue their first-semester research and/or embark on any new project—experimental, computational and/or theoretical.
  3. Integration with Master’s Courses: In a bid to offer a holistic educational experience, PRIDE students may choose to attend the combined classes of the M.Sc. students in the various elective courses. They may also attend some courses from the other Departments of Mathematical Sciences like Mathematics, Computer Science, Data Science etc. They may even choose courses like Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Biotechnology, etc. offered by the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technology under the School of Biological Sciences. Such an integration allows for a broader academic exposure, networking with a larger student community, and optimizing available resources.


Distinguished Faculty and Course Offerings:

While all the faculty members will be involved in the PRIDE programme, the following senior Professors will be available to bring their expertise, knowledge and experience to bear upon this unique programme:

Key players, senior and experienced faculty at the Professor’s level, who will be offering advanced courses, are the following:

On the theoretical side, Professor Biswajit Chakraborty’s offerings will be a treasure trove for students inclined towards high-energy physics and quantum gravity. Spanning topics such as Group Theory, Basic Topology, Differential Geometry, and applications in Physics, his courses are structured to cover materials in a two-semester timeline. The details of the courses that he is willing to offer, depending upon the students’ motivation, aptitude and inclination are appended herewith (See Annexure 1).

Professor Sindhunil Barman Roy (S.B. Roy), a Distinguished Professor, brings with him both theoretical and experimental knowledge and expertise. Apart from our own experimental facilities, the students may utilize Prof S.B. Roy’s connect with some of finest laboratories and research institutes across the country under the Department of Atomic Energy, which is a special advantage for the students who may wish to conduct experimental research in these institutes. Annexure 2 gives in detail the courses that he will glad to offer.

Professor Tapan Nandi will offer courses ranging from experimental methodologies of physics to innovative explorations like seeking experimental signatures of dark matter. His curriculum promises a deep dive into experimental physics, emphasizing innovative experiments, heavy-ion accelerator technology, and the boundaries of atomic and nuclear physics research.

Apart from these, all the other faculty members of the Department of Physics as well as those from Mathematics, Computer Science, etc., will be available to the students for any courses they may wish to choose as well as for interaction, discussion, etc. Specifically, Dr Abhijit Banyopadhyay, Head of the Department of Physics, will offer some courses in emerging areas as detailed in Annexure 4.

Recognition and Future Prospects:

On successful completion of the programme, the student-scholars will receive ‘Post-MSc Research Intensive Diploma for Excellence’ in Physics along with a Transcript stating the courses completed, research publications if any, dissertation done, etc.

Being a University recognized by UGC, this Diploma, PRIDE, will receive automatic recognition in all the Universities/Institutes in India and abroad. Further, the credits gained through this Post-MSc Diploma will be counted as valid for the PhD course work mandatory in any University/Institute so that those possessing this PRIDE Diploma will receive waiver from PhD course work if they join for PhD research in any University/Institute, including our own University.

Beyond academic recognition, the program is structured to foster innovation. The intensive research components, coupled with the guidance of our senior research faculty, will provide great research orientation to the students who will now feel empowered to contribute original ideas to the ever-evolving world of physics research. This will not only help in finding a suitable PhD scholar position in any prestigious University/Institute in India and abroad but also promises a doorway to groundbreaking research performance in the long run.

It is our conviction that the Post-MSc Research Intensive Diploma for Excellence, PRIDE, is a gateway to advanced research, both theoretical and experimental, in several areas of Physics. It promises more than just knowledge; it offers an opportunity to investigate, explore, innovate, and contribute. For those ready to embark on this exhilarating journey, welcome aboard!

Annexure 1A:

Advanced Courses to be offered by Professor Biswajit Chakraborty
Broad areas: Noncommutative Geometry, Quantum Field Theory, Theoretical High Energy Physics

Topics in detail:

  • Group theory:
    Discrete and Lie groups, Lie algebras, Representation theory, Lorentz group (homogeneous and inhomogeneous), Spinors (Dirac, Weyl, Majorana), Induced representation, Wigner’s little group and concept of helicity for massless particles, Simple and semi-simple Lie algebras and Cartan’s criterion, Casimir operators.
  • Basic Topology:
    Topological spaces, Neighbourhood, Closed and Open sets, Compact spaces, Homeomorphism, homotopy and topological invariants, Fundamental group of a topological space, Simplicial complexes and Calculating theorem, Basic Concepts
    in Homology, Exact sequences, Higher homotopy groups, Basic concepts in De Rham cohomology, Poincare Lemma.
  • Basic Differential Geometry:
    Differentiable manifold, Tangent and Cotangent spaces, Tensor fields, Calculus of
    forms, Lie derivative, Connection, Parallel transport and geodesic, Cartan’s equations of structures for torsion and Curvature, metric, Number of independent components of Curvature tensor, Ricci tensor and scalar curvature, Cyclic and Bianchi identities.
  • Elementary theory of Fibre bundles:
    Vector and Principal bundles, Tangent and Cotangent bundles, Sections, Connections (Levi-Civita and Yang-Mills) and Curvature. Basic
    notions of Characteristic classes (Chern, Pontrjagin and Euler), Global invariants and
    local geometry, Almost Hamiltonian and Almost Complex structures. Maurer-Cartan left invariant one forms.
  • Applications in Physics:
    Symplectic transformations as Canonical transformations in Classical Mechanics, Singular Lagrangians and Constrained systems, Dirac brackets and Quantization, Nonrelativistic spinning particles and the associated principal bundles, Monopole bundles, Wess-Zumino terms and path spaces and their Quantum symmetries, Quantum theory for multiply-connected configuration spaces, Topological solitons and non-linear sigma models as gauge theories, Chern-Simons term.
  • General Theory of Relativity:
    (3+1)D pseudo-Riemannian differentiable manifold as a model for space-time, Rindler frames, Riemann normal coordinates, locally inertial frames and
    principle of equivalence, Newtonian approximation of a geodesic in a static and weak gravitational field, Principle of General Covariance, Einstein’s equation and Schwarzschild solution.
  • Some additional topics:
    Anomalies in Quantum Field Theory, Atiya-Singer Index theorem, Elementary topics in Noncommutative Geometry: Gelfand-Naimark theorem, Spectral triples, Almost Commutative spaces, Gauge symmetries as Inner-automorphism, Higgs field as a gauge field, Connes spectral action principle and Standard model of particle physics, Quantum groups/Hopf algebras.

Annexure 1B:

Advanced Courses to be offered by other faculty of the High Energy Group

  1. Cosmology
  2. Advanced Quantum Field Theory
  3. Advanced topics in Mathematical Methods

Annexure 2:

Vision of the PRIDE programme according to and Advanced Courses to be offered by Professor Sindhunil Barman Roy (S.B. Roy)
Broad areas: Condensed Matter Physics and Energy Materials

  • Purpose of the PRIDE programme:
    Postgraduate students from different Indian universities usually do not have a uniform academic standard/background, and often found to be unfamiliar with research methodologies. This post-MSc diploma course aims to bridge this academic gap for the students interested in pursuing their career in scientific research, and also to introduce them to the various front line areas of basic and applied physics.
  • Essential Ingredients:
    Specially designed core courses on classical mechanics, electrodynamics, thermodynamics & statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics to enhance the analytical skills of the students, and elective courses to introduce the students to the front line areas of high-energy & particle physics, gravitation & cosmology and condensed matter & materials physics.
  • Distinctive features:
    Pedagogical lectures, student term papers and mini experimental projects to provide exposure to the state of the art laboratory-based facilities as well as central mega-science facilities like synchrotron radiation and neutron scattering sources.
  • Philosophy:
    Development of the students’ analytical and experimental skills as well as research aptitudes for achieving excellence in research in the frontline areas of physical sciences.

Possible Courses in Condensed matter physics and energy materials

  1. Hydrogen: simplest elemental atom to exotic condensed matter
  2. Strongly correlated electron systems and energy materials: Basic physics and applications
  3. Condensed matter phase transitions: broken symmetry and critical phenomena
  4. Experimental techniques in condensed matter

Any two of the first three courses may be introduced in the first year. The fourth course will only be meaningful in the subsequent years, subject to successful running of the Diploma programme and generation of experimental interest among the researchers in Bengal where there seems to be a bias towards theoretical work only.

Each of the courses will have 40% weightage in pedagogical/class room lectures and 60 % weightage in ‘term papers’ (for theoretically inclined students) and experimental mini projects (for students with some experimental interest). There will be multiple options for ‘term papers’ and experimental mini projects to choose from. The experimental projects can be done preferably using in-house facilities. We have also the option of using the central facilities at Kolkata (West Bengal), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Mumbai (Maharashtra) and Kalpakkam (Tamil Nadu) via UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific Research, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UGC-DAE CSR.

Apart from Prof S.B. Roy himself, the other faculty members of the Condensed Matter Physics Group will also get involved as the course work proceeds, in teaching as well as in guiding ‘term papers’ and experimental projects as per their expertise.

Success of this PRIDE programme will be essential for attracting major research funds from the agencies like DST, BRNS, DOIT, etc., in order to establish a vibrant Condensed Matter Sciences (theory + experiment) programme at the University.

Annexure 3:

Advanced Courses to be offered by Professor Tapan Nandi
Broad areas: Atomic and Nuclear Physics

  • Experimental methodologies of physics:
    A foundational exploration into various experimental techniques employed in the realm of physics research, providing students with practical insights into the methods that drive discoveries.
  • Physics of highly charged ions through innovative experiments:
    A specialized course delving into the behaviors, properties, and characteristics of highly charged ions, explored through state-of-the-art experimental techniques.
  • Heavy ion reactions leading to the formation of superheavy elements (Z>118):
    A deep dive into the intricate processes that lead to the formation of superheavy elements using heavy ion reactions.
  • Charge exchange of fast heavy ions inside a solid target:
    A focused study on the interaction mechanisms of fast heavy ions with solid targets, particularly emphasizing charge exchange phenomena.
  • Renaissance of heavy-ion accelerator technology:
    A comprehensive overview of the latest advancements and innovations in heavy-ion accelerator technologies, charting the evolution and future of the field.
  • Physics around the Coulomb barrier: a boundary of atomic and nuclear physics research:
    An investigative journey into the domain where atomic and nuclear physics converge, providing insights into phenomena around the Coulomb barrier.
  • Looking for an experimental signature of dark matter through detection of weakly interacting massive-particles (WIMP):
    A dedicated exploration into the elusive dark matter, focusing on the potential detection methodologies and the role of WIMPs in this cosmic mystery.

Note: Students taking any project from the broad topic of atomic and nuclear physics may get the opportunity to have exposure to online accelerator based experiments in any Indian research laboratories (TIFR/BARC/IUAC/SINP/VECC).

Annexure 4:

Courses to be offered by Dr Abhijit Bandyopadhyay

Courses on: (i) Quantum Computation and (ii) Quantum Information Theory

  • Quantum Computation: Quantum Mechanics and Quantum bits, Quantum Algorithms, Quantum Programming Languages, Quantum Cryptography, Quantum Machine Learning and Quantum Optimization.
  • Quantum Information Theory: Entropy and information, Asymptotic Equipartition, Entropy Rates of a Stochastic Process, Data compression: various codes, Channel Capacity, Differential Entropy, Gaussian Channel, Rate Distortion Theory, Information Theory and Statistics, Maximum Entropy theorem, Universal Source Coding, Kolmogorov Complexity, Network Information Theory, Information Theory and inequalities in it.

The above courses will require fairly sound knowledge of:

  1. Fundamental knowledge of quantum mechanics
  2. Basic proficiency in linear algebra
  3. Understanding of probability theory and random variables

Additionally, proficiency in basic algorithm development in any programming language will be an advantage.

Apart from the Post-MSc (PRIDE) students, MSc students in any semester may choose any or both of the courses on Quantum Computation and Quantum Information Theory as part of their mandatory or elective courses.

For PhD students specializing in Quantum Computation and Information, both of these courses will be are obligatory components of their coursework. Further, BSc students in their 3rd or 4th year from highly ranked institutions with aptitude for and keenness to learn more may be allowed to choose one or both of these courses as credit or audit courses after a rigorous selection procedure.

Annexure 5

Special Course on ‘Artificial Intelligence in Physics’

With the arrival of Large Language Models (LLM) like GPT many of the previous skills can be automated. Even research level coding can be done in a fraction of previously needed effort. Now it is hardly necessary to be an expert in any language (python/c) as such.

A special course on AI has been designed to arm the students with very sophisticated coding tools. At the end of the course the students will be able to write a research level code or make their own application. The first part of the course will be devoted to learning techniques in python using ChatGPT—file handling, parallelizing, web automation, advanced applications of Numpy, Scipy and Sympy, and how to convert python codes to machine language using Cython and Numba. The second part will be dedicated to Machine Learning theory and applications in physics such as phase transition, material discovery, turbulence modelling etc.