Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), situated at Thiruvananthapuram is a Deemed to be University under Section 3 of the UGC Act 1956. IIST functions as an autonomous body under the Department of Space, Government of India. The idea of such an institute was mooted keeping in mind the need for high quality manpower for the Indian Space Research Organization, one of world’s leading scientific organizations engaged in space research and space applications. The institute is the first of its kind in the country, to offer high quality education at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral levels on areas with special focus to space sciences, space technology and space applications. IIST was formally inaugurated on 14 September 2007 by Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, the then Chairman, ISRO and was temporarily housed in the premises of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, very close from where ISRO built and launched its first rocket. Both the founding fathers of the institute, Dr G Madhavan Nair and Dr B.N. Suresh, the latter being the first Director of IIST, played a very important role in the formation of the institute, facilitating its establishment and contributing to its vision. Dr B.N. Suresh piloted the institute from the conception of the idea to its realization in a permanent campus near Thiruvananthapuram in 2010.
Carrying the mantle forward, the next Chairman, ISRO and Chairman, Board of Management, IIST, Dr. K Radhakrishnan and the present Director of IIST, Dr. K.S Dasgupta have been guiding the institute to achieve its mission of creating a unique learning environment enriched by the challenges of the Space exploration, by nurturing the spirit of innovation and creativity. Shri A.S. Kiran Kumar has assumed charge as Secretary, DoS very recently and IIST is looking forward to Shri Kiran Kumar to take the institute to the next higher level of excellence.