life sciences and environment

The branches of science that relate to the study of living organisms and life processes are together called life sciences. It includes the study of the anatomy, physiology and behaviour of microorganisms, plants and animals including humans. It also covers areas such as evolution of life forms and interaction of living organisms with their environment.

Various disciplines under Life sciences

Botany

It is the study of plants including their classification, characteristics, life processes, diseases and environmental interactions.

Zoology

It deals with the evolution, anatomy, physiology, behavior, diseases, ecology and conservation of animals

Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms like viruses, bacteria, algae and fungi.

Biochemistry

It is the branch of science that explores the chemical processes that occur at the cellular and molecular level inside living organisms.

Biophysics

It is the study of the physical principles that are involved in the biological processes occurring in living organisms.

Ecology

It is the study of the interrelations between different living organisms and between organisms and their environment.

Genetics

It is the branch of science that deals with the study of genes and their functions. It also deals with the principles of heredity and variation in living organisms.

Neuroscience

It is a multidisciplinary science that deals with the study of the brain and other parts of the nervous system.

Pharmacology

It is the branch of science that deals with the effects of medicines and other drugs on biological systems.

Physiology

It is the branch of science that deals with the effects of medicines and other drugs on biological systems.

Main Admission/Entrance exams

Name of Exam Institutions Languages Application Period Exam Dates Website
Undergraduate - (UG)
KVPY
  • IISc
  • IISER
English, Hindi July - Sept November http://kvpy.iisc.ernet.in/main/applications.htm
  • IISc
  • IISER
AIIMS (multiple locations) English , Hindi First week of may First week of may https://jeeadv.ac.in/
NEET IISc English,Hindi, Assamese, Oriya, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarathi November First Sunday of May https://www.iisc.ac.in/ug/
NEST
  • NISER, Bhubaneswar
  • Center for Excellence in Basic Sciences, Mumbai
English, Hindi Jan-March June https://www.nestexam.in/
Postgraduate - (PG)
IIT JAM IISc (Integrated PhD) English Sept - Oct February https://www.iisc.ac.in/admissions/ph-d-integratedprogrammes/
JGEEBILS TIFR NCBS NISER IISER (Most of the major institutes accept JGEEBILS for Integrated PhD programs) English November December https://www.ncbs.res.in/academic/admissions-JGEEBILS
JNU CEE JNU English January May https://www.jnu.ac.in/admission#
UDET Delhi University English May-June June http://microbio.du.ac.in/web4/index.php?page=admission-2018

What would help you build a good profile for admission at the UG level?

Stream to Choose at +2 level:

Choose Science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Biotechnology. For admission to some disciplines in life sciences, biology is a compulsory subject at the +2 level.

Subjects to focus:

Life science courses require a basic knowledge of biology in most cases. Hence special importance may be given to the subject of Biology at the +2 level. For admissions to good institutions, a high aggregate percentage is important. So the student should aim to score high in all subjects.

Some skills to acquire:

Life sciences courses and careers are mostly research oriented. Therefore students should develop critical thinking ability and research skills. Good communication skills and command over english language would also be an advantage.

Minimum marks:

A minimum aggregate of 50% in the +2 examinations is prescribed for admission to UG courses in Life Sciences. Admission to some institutions also require a minimum of 45% aggregate score in Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Scholarships

Name Eligibility Website
KVPY Undergraduate students in basic sciences namely B.Sc./B.S./B.Stat./B.Math./Int. M.Sc./M.S. in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Needs to give the KVPY exam and subsequent personal interview in order to be awarded this fellowship. http://www.kvpy.iisc.ernet.in/main/index.htm
INSPIRE Scholarship for Higher Education Offered to students pursuing bachelor and master level education in natural and basic sciences, and is satisfying any of the following criteria
  • Top 1% in 12th standard at their respective Board Examinations
  • Students who have secured a JEE-Advance top 10,000 rank, JEE-Main top 10,000 rank, or those clearing NEET (top 10,000 ranks)
http://www.inspire-dst.gov.in/SHE.html
NEST Senior This scholarship test is for individuals pursuing a degree in professional courses like Medicine, Science, and Engineering. The students must be studying in an Indian college or University to be eligible for this program. Suitable candidates are shortlisted based on their performance in an online test conducted by the NEST team every year. http://www.nest.net.in/nest-junior.htm
Prathibha Scholarship Offered to students pursuing B.Sc or Integrated M.Sc in Basic/ Natural Sciences and satisfying the following criteria.
  • Minimum marks of 90% or equivalent grade for all subjects put together and minimum 90% marks or equivalent grade for all science subjects put together, for the Higher Secondary Board Examination.
http://www.kscste.kerala.gov.in/index.php/programmes-initiatives-schemes/h-r-development-in-s-t/pratibha-scholarship
Women Scientists Scheme Fellowship of Rs.30000 - Rs. 55000 per month for women scientists and technologists between the age group of 27-57 years who desire to return to mainstream science and work as bench-level scientists. http://online-wosa.gov.in/wosa/public/doWelcome.action#
Post-Graduate Merit Scholarship For University Rank Holders For PG Programs Rank holders in B.A., B.Sc., and B.Co. https://www.ugc.ac.in/urh/default.aspx

Future of Life Sciences

Research in life Sciences are given priority by governments all around the world due to the likelihood that this research will improve the well-being of our population. Hence opportunities abound for life science graduates around the world in the future. However prospects for some fields, for example neuroscience and genetics are better than for others. Additionally, multinational pharmaceutical corporations are always on the lookout for trained pharmacologists and senior scientists, while environmental consulting firms continuously hire biologists, ecologists and botanists.

Other career areas a life science graduate can enter

Food & Agriculture

This field involves work on techniques for food production and distribution, weed and pest control, crop disease eradication and selective breeding of plants and livestock for food and other products. A grasp of the fundamental principles of botany would be useful for working in this career field.

Nutrition

This field deals with study of nutrients in food and utilisation of nutrients by the body. A nutritionist would provide consultation and advice on a balanced diet and the effects of diet on health and disease. A life sciences degree would be a good academic background to take up this field, although it might require you to do some short term courses in this field.

Education and Training

With postgraduate and research qualifications in respective disciplines of life sciences, careers as professors/trainers in educational institutions can be taken up.

Government Services

Life sciences graduates can enter various positions in government services by qualifying in civil services/ PSC examinations.

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