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I am an undergraduate student of Zoology. I would like to know about the higher study options, including Ph.D. programmes, in the discipline. Kindly inform me about the institutes for higher learning in biological sciences in India.
To become a zoologist or scientist, a Ph.D. is required. For this, you have to first clear the National Eligibility Test for Junior Research Fellowship and Lectureship conducted by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the University Grants Commission.
To take the test, you should have an M.Sc. degree in Zoology with 55 per cent marks (50 per cent for those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) or should be in the final year of the course.
The age limit for the fellowship is 28, while there is no such ceiling for lectureship. Those who clear the test may pursue Ph.D. programmes with fellowship or scholarship.
Some universities conduct their own test for selecting research scholars. In the Department of Zoology of the University of Kerala, you can do doctoral research in Animal Physiology, Genetic Toxicology, Wetlands Biology, Environmental Biology, Ornithology or Human Genetics. The Department of Zoology of the University of Calicut and several other universities in India conduct similar Ph.D. programmes.
Zoology graduates have higher study options in Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Microbiology, Environmental Science, Wildlife Science, Anatomy, Forestry, Sericulture Technology, Forestry Management, Industrial Fisheries and Animal Biotechnology.
After taking an M.Sc. degree in Biotechnology, do research leading to a Ph.D. Specialise in Animal Biotechnology, Plant Science or Tissue Culture during the postgraduate course or at the Ph.D. level.
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, holds a combined biotechnology entrance test for admission to the M.Sc. courses in Biotechnology and Agri-biotechnology; the M.V.Sc. (Biotechnology) course; and the M.Tech, (Biotechnology) course in several universities and institutes, including the University of Calicut.
After taking an M.Sc. degree in Biotechnology, students can join an M.Tech. course in Biotechnology through the combined biotechnology entrance test.
The Department of Biotechnology, Cochin University of Science and Technology; the School of Biosciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam; the Department of Biotechnology, University of Kerala, Karyavattom, Thiruvananthapuram; the Department of Biotechnology, Kannur University, Thalassery campus, Palayad; and some affiliated colleges of these universities offer the M.Sc. course in biotechnology.
Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli, conducts the M.Sc. course in Biotechnology, Eco-biotechnology, Plant Biotechnology and Animal Biotechnology.
The University of Hyderabad offers M.Sc. courses in Plant Science (biotechnology) and Animal Biotechnology.
The School of Life Sciences of the University of Madras offers the M.Sc. course in Biotechnology. So do the Indian Institutes of Technology, Bombay and Roorkee.
It is a fusion of physical sciences, life sciences and information science and technology, combining the tools and techniques of mathematics, computer science and biology to understand the biological significance of data.
Some of the main areas of bioinformatics are data-mining and -analysis for genomic projects, protein structure prediction, system biology and developing computer databases and algorithms for biological research. Those who have an aptitude for biology and basic knowledge of mathematics, chemistry and computer science may do higher-level bioinformatics programmes.
Science graduates with an analytical mind and scientific aptitude may do the M.Sc. course in bioinformatics.
The University of Pune; Pondicherry University; Bharathidasan University; Mar Athanasius College of Advanced Studies, Thiruvalla; Mar Athanasius College, Kothamangalam; Union Christian College, Aluva; Amrita School of Applied Science, Clappana, Kollam; SAFI Institute of Advanced Studies, Vazhayur (Malappuram); and St. Mary’s College for Women, Thiruvalla; are among the universities and colleges that offer the M.Sc. course in Bioinformatics.
Zoology graduates keen on research may do courses in Microbiology, Applied Microbiology and Molecular Biology. The School of Biosciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam; the School of Life Sciences (Department of Biotechnology and Microbiology), Kannur University, Thalassery campus, Palayad; and the Department of Life Sciences, University of Calicut; Tenhipalam; offer the M.Sc. course in Microbiology.
A list of more universities and colleges that offer the above courses can be had from the University Handbook published by the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi, available for reference at the employment information and guidance bureaux of the universities in Kerala.
The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, offers integrated Ph.D. programme in biological sciences. Those with a first-class B.Sc. degree in biological sciences may apply. Selection is through the IISc entrance test and interview. Visit www.iisc.ernet.in for details.
The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, offers an integrated Ph.D. programme in Biology and M.Sc. course in Biology and Wildlife Biology and Conservation (www.tifr.res.in).
Some other courses and institutions suitable for Zoology graduates:
The School of Environmental Science, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam: M.Sc. course in Environmental Science and Management.
The School of Applied Science, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam: M.Sc. course in Fishery Biology and Aquaculture.
The School of Medical Education, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam: M.Sc. course in Anatomy.
The Cochin University of Science and Technology: M.Sc. courses in Environmental Technology and Marine Biology.
Bangalore University: M.Sc. course in Applied Genetics and Environmental Science.
University of Hyderabad: M.Sc. course in Animal Biotechnology.
Bharathidasan University: M.Sc. course in Anatomy.
Annamalai University: M.Sc. course in Environmental Biotechnology and Marine Biotechnology.
Forest Research Institute, Dehradun: M.Sc. courses in Forestry (Economics and Management) and Environmental Management.
Amrita Institute of Medical Science, Kochi: M.Sc. course in Medical Physiology, Medical Anatomy and Dialysis Therapy.
The Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute, Mysore: M.Sc. course in Sericulture Technology.
Central universities provide various courses for Zoology graduates.
The Department of Management Science of the University of Pune offers an MBA (Biotechnology) course. Selection is through the ATMA (AIMS [Association of Indian Management Schools] Test for Management Admissions) score, group discussion and an interview.
The Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, conducts a postgraduate programmes in forestry management. Graduates in any discipline may apply. Selection is through the score in the Common Admission Test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management, group discussion and an interview.