Course Details - Astrobiology and Astrochemistry

Course Schedule

Eligibility: Open to students who are pursuing graduation with Physics / Chemistry / Biology as one of their optional subjects.

Schedule for next batch: To be announced


10 sessions of 90 mins. each, spread over 5 weekends.
Classroom sessions:      2:30 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. 
Each Saturday will have two sessions of 90 minutes each from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. to 5:40 p.m.

Course Fees:

Course fee: Rs. 4000/-
(Fees does not include field trip expenses, if any)


Phone: 080-22385956, 080-40914507
Fax: 080-22385957

Apply Now Download the application form. Click here to know how to apply.
Course Details



Enrol for the course


Participation Certificate with grades will be given to each student at the end of the course.


Course Overview


This course is designed for the students of life sciences / physical sciences who are interested and curious to know about various aspects of Astrobiology and Astrochemistry.


Prof C. Sivaram, Indian Institute of Astrophysics will be handling the course completely.



Broad Topics Covered:

Life on other planets of our solar system, General conditions for the existence of life, Probability of life on Mars, Origin of life, Evolution of intelligence, Information Biomolecules, Biogenetic carriers, Extinction of Dinosaurs, Panspermia, Building blocks of life in Deep Space, SETI update, Impact of global warming, Kyoto Protocol, Super Eruption, Astro-biology in education, Relationship between the chemical composition and the star formation, Biochemistry of planet formation, etc.

Other interesting questions to be addressed:

  • Is there life elsewhere in the universe?
  • Can we communicate with extraterrestrial beings? 
  • What are the dangers of interstellar flight?
  • What are the chemical processes that occur to give the complex molecular species in the universe?
  • How can the molecules be used as probes of physical condition like temperature, density and kinematics of the stars and galaxies?

Recommended Books / References:

  1. Astrobiology – C. Sivaram and Ajay Sastry
  2. Astrobiology: The Quest for the Conditions of Life – Gerda Horneck and Christa Baumstark-Khan

Classroom Sessions:

The classes will be held on Saturdays. Each Saturday will have two sessions of 90 minutes each from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. Interactive lectures for all theory classes are delivered at the premises of the Institute.

Enrol for the Course:

Registration and Admission:

  • Basic Requirement: Open to students who are pursuing graduation with Physics / Chemistry / Biology as one of their optional subjects.
  • As the number of seats is limited to 30, admissions will be made on first-come-first-served basis.
  • Certificates will be issued to the individual students at the end of the course. 
  • Outstation students are requested to make their own arrangements for accommodation.

How to Apply:

  • Students can contact the institute to know about the fee structure of a particular course.
  • Interested students can download the application from the internet, fill it and send it by post to the address mentioned below along with a local cheque / DD drawn in favour of "M. P. Birla Institute of Fundamental Research" (payable at Bangalore). Fee structure includes registration and admission fee.
  • Interested students may also contact the Director and collect the application forms from the institute (address given below).
  • Students can personally pay the prescribed fee (payable by cash / cheque / DD).
  • If you wish to pay the course fees through netbanking, kindly send a mail to requesting for the netbanking banking details.

M. P. Birla Institute of Fundamental Research,
2nd Floor, M. P. Birla Research Centre,
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Campus,
43/1, Race Course Road, Bangalore – 560001.

Phone: 080-22385956, 40914507
Fax: 080-22385957

You can also download the application form here.


What our students say...

It was a very interesting course taught by Dr. C. Sivaram. He is very witty, practical and as much as he delved deep into physics and mathematical equations. At the same time, he would talk about the funny side of the world. I remember having many a hearty laughs in his class. He has profound knowledge about almost everything under the sun - whether its global warming & effects of mankind, heart-beats per minute of whales, possible size of trees & wingspans of birds on an alien planet etc. !!

- Mitesh Vasa, 2009, Specialised course in Astrobiology and Astrochemistry.




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