Well, that primarily depends on what you plan to do in IISc or IITs. IISc, along with very well established engineering departments, has some departments that are unique to IISc. These include Centre for Ecological Sciences, Centre for Earth Sciences among many others.
There is only one IISc, as opposed to there being many IITs. Most IITs are well known for a particular department or two. With IISc its easier to judge a department, since there will be only one! Also, with many more IITs being added in the past decade, there could be a ‘dilution effect’ to the brand IIT.
There seems to be a misconception that IISc is for basic research only. In addition to being a great avenue for basic research in many subjects ranging from physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, etc. it is also very application-friendly institute. Recently opened Centre for Nanoscience is a point in case. Many engineering departments keep featuring in the news for their cost-effective inventions most useful in the Indian scanrio. There are cells for start-ups that are supported for 2 years by the institute.
But it all boils down to what you really plan to apply to either IIT or IISc for.
- In terms of Quantity (No. of Research Papers) or Quality (Citation / Paper), it is way beyond any IIT.
- Due to presence of Bachelors students in IITs, life will be happening.
- You may see many grand Tech and cultural fests in IITs.
- Opposite to that Life in IISc is peacefuland without any noise, that will make you fall in love with nature.
- If we talked about the faculty and teachers, you would be amazed to see people who with noble laureates and few were nominated for noble prize too still love their lab and work in IISc.
- You hardly find a match anywhere close to this.
Many well written answers are available. I appreciate all of them for their valuable opinions. My answer for this question will be divided into two parts. The first part deals primarily for the students who want choose IITs or IISc for their studies, while the second part deals for the young doctorates who want to spend their career at IISc or IITs as faculty.
- IISc is well known for its research contributions in the world. If someone wants to pursue his/her career in research, there is no doubt that IISc is the best option.
- The strength of IISc is its world class research infrastructure and its highly qualified and reputed faculty. The faculty spends their full time in contributing for research and development, along with their regular minor teaching loads. Students usually get more time to interact with their faculty for discussions.
- The teachings of IISc faculty are mostly oriented along the directions of the fundamental understanding of the concepts involved. The faculty give more importance to train the brains of students to think along new directions rather than spending time on designing more complicated question papers for semester exams.
- Since IISc is a research institute. Students usually don’t find entertainment. They mostly engaged in their work.
- The products of IISc are mostly research oriented. They generally don’t worry about their placements. I have seen many IISc students who were working in some reputed corporate organizations, have left their job and chose research as their career path.
- IITs are primarily well known for their bachelors engineering program. Of course, IITs are the best option for the students who want to get some job immediately after their bachelor’s program.
- The major strength of IITs is their government funds to attract more students for bachelors and other master programs. Most of the funds are generally spend in designing and shaping of IITs. Students can easily find entertainment stuff.
- Well qualified faculty are available at IITs as well. IIT faculty mostly engaged with their major teaching loads and in designing complicated question papers for semester exams.
- Due to heavy teaching loads most of the research students they generally find difficulty in interacting with their advisors especially at assistant and associate professor level.
- The products of IITs are usually interested in choosing corporate life style. I may be partially wrong at this statement.
- IISc is the best option for the young doctorates who want to spend their full time career in research. In contrast, IITs are the best option for the candidates who are interested especially in teaching.
- Teaching loads will be minor for the faculty at IISc when compared to IITs. Of course, the research pressure will be more at IISc when compared to IITs.
- Research start up grants will be provided in both the cases.
- The advantage with IISc is, flexibility will be given to the faculty to design his own subject course for teaching in addition to the departmental core courses. This will give a chance to introduce more advanced and innovative topics to students along with the conventional core courses.