IIST: Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology

Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) is a government-aided institute and deemed university for the study and research of space science, located at Valiamala, Nedumangad Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

It is the first university in Asia to be solely dedicated to the study and research of Outer space. It was inaugurated on 14 September 2007 by G. Madhavan Nair, the then Chairman of ISRO.

IIST was set up by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the Department of Space, Government of India.

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, was the Chancellor of IIST. IIST offers regular engineering undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate programmes with focus on space science, technology and applications.

Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST)
Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST)


Key Description of IIST:

Motto: विद्या सन्धि: प्रवचनम् सन्धानम्। (Sanskrit)

Type: Deemed University

Established: 2007

Chancellor: B. N. Suresh

Director: V. K. Dadhwal

Location: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Campus: 100 acres (0.4 km2)

Affiliations: Department of Space, Indian Space Research Organisation

Official: Website



Envisioned to fulfill the requirements of scientists and engineers in the Indian Space Program, by offering undergraduate and postgraduate education and research programmes in space science and technology, the institute started functioning from the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) campus, Thiruvananthapuram, on 14 September 2007 with an initial investment of ₹270 crore (equivalent to ₹656 crore or US$92 million in 2019) and annual recurring cost of ₹40 crore (US$5.6 million) by the Department of Space.

It is the only institute of its kind in India, which offers a BTech degree in Space Technology, and subjects exclusive to the arena of space science and technology.

B. N. Suresh, former director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, is the founding director of the institute.

On 14 July 2008, the Union Human Resource Development Ministry, on the advice of the University Grants Commission (UGC), conferred deemed university status, under a new category, to the institute for a period of five years.


Campus of IIST:

At its inception, the institute started functioning at the ATF Campus, under Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala.

Modern environmentally friendly buildings of unique architecture merge well with the thickly wooded campus of 100 acres situated on the foot hills of Sahyadri.

A state-of-the-art residential campus built near Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in Valiamala, Nedumangad, Thiruvananthapuram was inaugurated by Dr. Manmohan Singh, the then Prime Minister of India on 25 August 2009.

Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) - Campus
IIST Campus

The institute started functioning in its new campus from 15 August 2010. The campus has an extension in the picturesque Ponmudi Hills, Thiruvananthapuram, for an observatory.




IIST offers undergraduate (BTech), master's (MTech) and PhD programs in space science and technology, and also serves as a research centre.

Doctoral programs in basic sciences and post-doctoral programs are also offered. Till 2013 batch, three different courses in BTech were offered, namely BTech in Aerospace, Avionics and Physical Sciences. As of 2014 admissions, a new 5-year Dual Degree (BTech + MTech/M.S) in Engineering Physics replaced the existing Physical Sciences branch.

  • The MTech/M.S can be done in any of the following –
  • M.S. in Astronomy & Astrophysics
  • MTech in Earth System Science
  • MTech in Machine learning and computing
  • MTech in Geoinformatics
  • MTech in Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics
  • MTech in Structures and Design
  • MTech in Thermal and Propulsion
  • MTech in Control Systems
  • MTech in Digital Signal Processing
  • MTech in RF and Microwave Engineering
  • MTech in Power Electronics
  • MTech in VLSI and Microsystems
  • MTech in Material Science and Technology
  • MTech in Solid State Physics and MTech in Optical Engineering.

The seats are limited to 20 in the dual degree program from the existing 36 in Physical Sciences. 60 students each are admitted to the Aerospace and Avionics branches.


Admission in IIST:

The admissions to the undergraduate (BTech) programmes for 2013 to 2016 were made through the All India Rank List prepared and published by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), based on the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) – Main. Previously, IIST admitted students through the IIT-JEE rank lists from 2007 to 2009, and conducted its own entrance exam called ISAT) from 2010 to 2012. However, applicants will need to qualify the JEE Advanced exam, and marks obtained in the same will be used in determining the eligibility of the candidate IIST offers 140 seats for admission to its B.Tech. programmes in aerospace engineering, avionics and engineering physics.

The BTech branch of physical sciences was replaced with a dual-degree (BTech and MTech) engineering physics branch starting from the batch which joined in 2014. Over 100,000 aspirants applied for these seats in ISAT 2012 making IIST one of the most selective institutes in India. From 2017 onwards, the admissions are based on JEE Advanced scores.

The applications for admission to MTech courses are invited directly and students are shortlisted based on undergraduate academic performance, GATE score, interview and projects undertaken by them.



  • Department of Mathematics
  • Department of Physics
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Earth and Space sciences


  • Department of Aerospace Engineering
  • Department of Avionics


  • Department of Humanities