Though the interests in silicon photonics research among Indian scientists and engineers were noticeable here and there, no planned long-term research goals were set until IIT Madras took the lead to start a silicon photonics research group in 2006. Since then the group at IIT Madras has been actively engaged in novel design, fabrication and characterizations of silicon photonics devices for communication systems and sensor applications. By the end of 2011, various prototype devices were demonstrated by making use of conventional i-line lithography technology (1-μm node) available at IIT Madras. With the availability of nanofabrication facilities at the Centre for NEMS and Nanophotonics (funded by MeitY Govt. of India), the research program was raised to the next higher level – research outcomes have been presented in international conferences, published in peer reviewed journals, and as filed patents. The goal of the research group is now set to carry out world class silicon photonics research encompassing novel device designs, CMOS compatible fabrication process optimizations and experimental demonstrations leading towards cost-effective multi purpose programmable photonic processor chips for microwave and quantum photonic engineering applications. The CoE-CPPICS is the latest addition in our timeline.