Indian Chemical Society, its objectives and Activities
The Indian Chemical Society, a premier Scientific Society of India, was founded in 1924, as National Forum for the community of chemists and members of allied disciplines in the country. The driving force behind its establishment was the nationalistic spirit prevailing in India under British rule. J. N. Mukherjee, J. C. Ghosh and S. S. Bhatnagar while carrying out their research work in the University College, London in 1919 for the D.Sc. Degree, took a decision that after coming back to India their endeavor would be to establish a Chemical Society like the Chemical Society of London. Their cherished dream was transformed into a reality with active cooperation of many of the leading personalities in the country, and the Indian Chemical Society was founded on May 9, 1924, as a registered Society, with Sir Prafulla Chandra Ray, the doyen of Indian Chemists, as the first President. Many of the distinguished personalities in the field of Chemical Science of that time in India took active interest in nurturing the new born Society. The composition of the first Council is shown below:
Members Of The Council And Office Bearers (1924)
Sir P. C. Ray, KT., C.I.E., Ph.D., D.Sc.
Gilbert J. Fowler, D.Sc., F.I.C. J. L. Simonsen, D.Sc., F.I.C., F.A.S.B. E. R. Watson, M.A., D.Sc.
J. N. Mukherjee, D.Sc.
P. C. Mitter, M.A., Ph.D.
N. R. Dhar, D.Sc., F.I.C., Dr.es.Sc A. N. Meldrum, D.Sc.
MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL
- H. E. Annett, D.Sc.
- S. S. Bhatnagar, D.Sc.
- R. L. Datta, D.Sc., F.R.S.E.
- B. B. Dey, D.Sc., F.I.C
- H. K. Sen, M.A., D.Sc., D.I.C.
- R. N. Sen, M.A., M.Sc
- B. K. Singh, D.Sc.
- B. H. Wilsdon
The Society was established with the following objectives as laid down in its
MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION
- The cultivation and promotion of chemistry and of kindred branches of science.
- To co-operate with other organizations having similar objects.
- To do and perform all other acts, matters and things that may assist in, conduce to, or be necessary for the fulfillment of the above mentioned objects, and for the purposes of the Society.
- The Society shall not make any dividend, gift, division or bonus in money to, or between, any of its members, but may pay remuneration to any of its Office-bearers.
- The Council shall have the power to acquire land by purchase, or by lease for the purpose of fulfillment of the objects of the Society and to create charge or Mortgage on the immovable property of the Society for securing payment of unpaid purchase money or premium.
To begin with, Indian Chemical Society started its activity with the publication of a quarterly journal. Initially the Society did not have its own office, and it functioned from the office of the Secretary Dr. J. N. Mukherjee, who was then Sir Rashbehary Ghose Professor of Chemistry in the University College of Science, Calcutta. Sir P. C. Ray made gift of Rupees Ten Thousand to the Calcutta University for providing proper accommodation for the Society. This was utilized for constructing three large rooms in 1933 in the second floor of the south wing of Sir Taraknath Palit Building of the University College of Science and Technology, Calcutta. Two rooms were allotted to the Society for its use and the third one for the use of the University. The Society is housed in this location in University College of Science and Technology, Kolkata at 92, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, Kolkata-700 009, this being the address of its registered office.
In 1967, The Indian Chemical Society acquired about 660 sq. metre plot of land at Kankurgachi in north eastern part of Kolkata, for construction of a building for the Society. The foundation stone for the building was laid by Professor J. N. Mukherjee in 1970. But the construction work for the proposed Sir P. C. Ray Memorial Building at the site could not be started because of lack of sufficient funds. Generous donation from all concerned, together with the Grants from Government agencies are a dire necessity for the plan to materialize.
The first issue of the quarterly Journal of the Indian Chemical Society appeared in November 1924 and this received appreciation from several leading organizations and personalities of other countries. Professor Wynne, the then President of the Chemical Society, London, cabled to Sir P. C. Ray congratulating the Indian Chemical Society for this venture. The following report published in the renowned journal "Nature (London)" was revealing:
"The great work in chemistry which has occurred in the Indian Empire during the past ten years, had lead to the establishment of an Indian Chemical Society, the first number of the quarterly journal of the Society has now appeared. There are thirteen papers, and only one of these is published under the English names. The remaining papers are published by Indians and come from all parts of the Indian Empire. Four of these emanate from the College of Science, Calcutta, and this is as it should be, because for many years past, this Institution has been the back-bone of chemical research in India."
(Information for Authors for contribution of articles for publication in the journal is given in form A)
PUBLICATIONS OF THE SOCIETY
- 1. History of chemistry in Ancient and Medieval India [ incorporating P. C. Ray's History of Hindu Chemistry]-Edited by P. Ray
- 2. Reflections on Chemical Education - N. R. Dhar
- 3. Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray : Life and Achievements - N. R. Dhar