Interview with Dr. H C Verma, the Author of ‘Concepts of Physics’

Interview with Dr. HC Verma

Dr. H C Verma needs no introduction. All engineering aspirants best recognize him as the author of their Bible – ‘Concepts of Physics’. The idol for all JEE aspirants, the favorite of all students who have ever attended his Introductory Physics Class (PHY102 or PHY103) class, the godfather of all children from various underdeveloped localities close to IIT Kanpur, the pedagogical ‘Guru’ and a great social engineer- he is all of them.

Interview with HC Verma:

Q1: Your book ‘Concepts of Physics’ is nationally reputed and respected as the Bible of Physics. What was your motivation and inspiration for authoring that book?

Dr. Verma: (Laughs) I started teaching Physics at the reputed Patna Science College in 1979. I was asked to teach students in B.Sc., M. Sc. as well as those in standards 11 and 12. I was a big fan of the book by Resnick and Halliday, but I was unable to motivate students of standards 11 and 12 for understanding physics by teaching with that book. It was indeed a shock for me.

Over the years, I realized that I enjoyed that book because I studied it in my M.Sc. when I was mature enough to appreciate its beauty. I looked for other physics books for my students but could not find one containing the same implicit beauty of physics. Finally, I decided to give a try at authoring one such book and took 8 years to complete it.

Q2: It has been felt that the very instinct for gaining knowledge is drastically low among students once they clear JEE. What are your thoughts?

Dr. Verma: The roots for this problem lie in the school education, which is unable to set a nice goal for the students. I receive mails from students of class 11 and 12 that the goal of their life is to crack JEE. These are all false targets. Once the goal is achieved, they have nothing to do.

The education in science has such a beautiful path to follow, but science is taught in history fashion in schools. The bigger joy of discovering nature is not experienced and put forth.

Q3: What do you think was the vision of setting IITs? How far have we realized it in half a century?

Dr. Verma: IITs were set up to develop a technological base which can drive India into a global competition. Yes, IIT is an international brand name now. I have seen a significant contribution of students recently in managing the show, despite the fact that they come after 15 years of forging.

Q4: Do you have any suggestions for Teachers and students across India?

Dr. Verma: The education system is not controlled by the government or the HRD ministry, but the first authority to spoil a child is the teacher. Teachers have to be made realized that they are in a noble profession and shoulder a great responsibility. This has been my part-time effort and I will dedicate myself completely to it soon.

My message for the students is that there is much more to explore in nature. Don’t focus just on the course content. If you can appreciate the implicit beauty of science and engineering, it will be great.

Credits: Better Science Journalism

A look at the Career of Dr. HC Verma

After obtaining his B.Sc. (Honors) Degree in Physics from the Patna University, Dr. HC Verma joined IIT Kanpur (from 1975-1977) to pursue M. Sc. He was placed as a top student with a performance index of 9.9 out of 10.0. He then chose to remain at IIT Kanpur for his doctorate. Dr. Verma received a Ph. D. degree in less than three years.

In 1980, Dr. HC Verma joined the reputed Patna Science College as a lecturer and chose to remain there as a lecturer and a reader for 15 years before moving to IIT Kanpur.

Dr. Verma joined IIT Kanpur in 1994 as an assistant professor. AT IIT Kanpur, he taught many courses, guided M. Sc. and Ph. D. students, authored a book “Quantum Physics”, and pursued research in experimental nuclear physics. While at IIT Kanpur, apart from his regular assignments, he took many socio-educational initiatives for the benefit of education and society. Some of these initiatives are School Physics Project, Shiksha Sopan, and Utsahi Physics Teachers. After 38 years of teaching physics, Dr. Verma retired from formal teaching on 30th June 2017.

In a remarkable career, Dr. Verma has published 139 research papers for various reputed journals. He has also written several books on Physics for school and intermediate levels. Out of these books, ‘Concepts of Physics’ has become a widely known and recommended book on the subject.

Research Interests & Social Initiatives

Dr. HC Verma has research interests in Nanofabrication using focused ion beam, Magnetism in Graphite on irradiation by ion beam, Nanosize (4 nm-20 nm) magnetic materials, Fe-based alloys, Earth Science etc. He has developed more than 600 physics experiments which can be used by teachers as DEMOs in their classrooms. He has also produced a set of 45 video lectures in Hindi at the school level. Dr. HC Verma is an Executive Committee member of Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) which works for physics education in schools and colleges.

Through his extensive series of workshops, Dr. Verma has motivated a large number of Physics teachers and these teachers have transformed a great deal with respect to the way physics is taught in our schools. So far, Dr. Verma has given training to around more than 8000 teachers. Out of these 8000 teachers, approximately 800 have changed their teaching approach and now they are enjoying Physics much more than used to. From these teachers, Dr. Verma has made an informal group called ‘Utsahi Physics Teachers’. Every year in summers, Dr. Verma conducts a 6-day workshop for about 50 utsahi physics teachers of which about 35 are new additions. This activity is financially supported by the National Academy of Sciences India (NASI).

Dr. Verma also has a deep interest in the glorious traditions of science in Ancient India. He has researched through the literature available in various journals and gives talks on this topic. His talks on Mathematics before ZERO, Computation sciences in Ancient India, Surgery: A 9000 – years old tradition in India, etc. have been widely appreciated by the audiences.

Books Published

Given below are the books published by Dr. HC Verma on Physics:

  • Foundation Science: Physics- For Class 9 CBSE.

(Publisher: Bharati Bhawan Publishers & Distributors)

  • Foundation Science: Physics- For Class 10 CBSE

(Publisher: Bharati Bhawan Publishers & Distributors)

  • Concepts of Physics: Part 1 – For Intermediate Level

Publisher: Bharati Bhawan; Revised Reprint 2015 edition

  • Concepts of Physics: Part 2 – For Intermediate Level

Publisher: Bharati Bhawan; Revised Reprint 2015 edition

  • Quantum Physics

Surya Publication

For more inspiration from famous personalities, read up 20 inspirational quotes or 10 Steve Jobs quotes.



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