Harish-Chandra Research Institute (HRI) is a research institution, named after the mathematician Harish-Chandra, and located in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. It is an autonomous institute, funded by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India.
Research at HRI is focussed on Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. The academic community at HRI consists of faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students.
The Institute has a graduate programme leading to the Ph.D. degree. Degrees for the programme are awarded by the Homi Bhabha National Institute. Admissions to the graduate program take place through a Joint Entrance Screening Test, which is organized in collaboration with several other institutions, and an interview. Further, the Institute offers post-doctoral fellowships, and visiting positions at various levels.
The Institute started in 1975, on an endowment from the B.S. Mehta Trust, Calcutta. Indeed, until October, 2001, the Institute was named the Mehta Research Institute.
During its initial stages, the Institute was managed by B.N. Prasad, and later, by S.R. Sinha, from the University of Allahabad. The formal leadership structure of the Institute came into being with P.L. Bhatnagar, who took charge, as the first Director, from Sinha. After Bhatnagar, the stewardship of the Institute returned to Sinha, until January 1983, when S.S. Shrikhande of the Bombay University joined the Institute as the next Director.
During Shrikande's tenure, an ongoing dialogue with the DAE, regarding the future of the Institute, entered a decisive stage. The DAE constituted a review committee to examine the issue. Following that committee's report, in 1985, the Government of Uttar Pradesh agreed to provide land for the Institute campus, and the DAE promised financial support for meeting both the recurring and non-recurring expenses of the Institute.
In January 1992, finally, the Institute acquired about 66 acres of land in Jhusi, Allahabad. Another important event in the Institute's short history occurred at this point — H.S. Mani took over as the Director from Shrikande. With Mani's arrival, and the move, in 1996, to the new campus at Jhusi, the activities of the Institute gained a fresh impetus, marking a period of rapid growth that still continues.
HRI seeks to expand its activities. New additions are made to the faculty every year. We expect the faculty strength to rise to 50 in the current phase of development. The number of graduate students, and of post-doctoral fellows, will increase correspondingly.
We also hope to see more interaction between the Institute and the university system in the country. Already, we have various programmes which enable undergraduate and graduate students, from various universities, to visit HRI for periods ranging from a few weeks to a couple of years. We envisage expansion in such programmes over the next several years.