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         tion and used modern tools to extract our resources. As they were severely in need of a supporting and cheap work- force to meet their dark goals, they em- ployed in their service local people with sharp acumen and those who had the best knowledge about their area’s geog- raphy and the respective field of science. However, Britishers gave them second- ary status.
The opening of new educational institutions in Calcutta, Madras and Bombay by the British was in line with their intention to prepare a more skilled and learned workforce. The young bri- gade of scientists coming out of these institutions soon realised that they would never have an independent voice of their own as the British would always overshadow them. Moreover, this new generation of scientists also wanted to break the shackles of the myth that In- dians could not think scientifically, did not have logical thinking, and could not do original research in the prevailing fields during those days. They revolted against this mindset of the colonisers and started their ambitious experimen- tation, though with limited resources but with the support of philanthropists.
One of the noteworthy incidents is how a once blue-eyed Dr Mahendralal Sircar, a well-known allopathic doctor from Kolkata, became an antagonist for the Britishers. The story goes back to 1863 when he received his professional degree of MD from Calcutta Medical College. Soon, he became a very successful medi-
The meaning of discriminatory acts by the British was not lost upon Indians. The idea of having our own establishment to support scientific research by Indians was born.
 cal practitioner and was selected to be the secretary of the British Medical As- sociation, Bengal branch. By 1867, he realised that specific treatments were not successful through allopathy. More- over, allopathy treatments with western medicine were a costly affair for ordi- nary Indians. In search of alternatives, he came across the well-known homoe- opathy practitioner Dr Rajendralal Dutt from Calcutta and got attracted towards homoeopathy. He was perfect in his pro- fession; he used all the scientific princi- ples to study and practice medical treat- ment and started using homoeopathy to treat certain patients. This did not go down well with the British. For them, support to homoeopathy was like sup- port to Germany as it originated from there, which was unacceptable to their belief and notion. Therefore, Dr Mahen- dralal Sircar became an enemy of the British and they started taking revenge. He was immediately removed from the position of the secretary of the British Medical Association, they started reject- ing his research publications in many journals and restricted his practise in many ways.
The meaning of such blatant, unlaw- ful and discriminatory acts was not lost upon Indians. The idea of having our own establishment that would support science and cultivate the true spirit of
science among the Indian researchers and enthusiasts was born. Therefore, with the help of Indian philanthropists, nationalists and other supporters, Dr Sircar founded the Indian Associa- tion for Cultivation of Science (IACS), which was inaugurated on January 15, 1876, in Calcutta with the then princely collection of Rs 61,000. The uniqueness of this institution was the vision of its national objectives in science and au- tonomy from the colonial government.
During his campaign for the as- sociation in 1875, Sircar stated, “The objective of the association is to enable natives of India to cultivate science in all of its departments with a view to its advancement by original research, and (as it will necessarily follow) with a view to its varied applications to the arts and comforts of life”.
The IACS started with seven front- line areas of work viz. Physics, Chem- istry, Astronomy, Systematic Botany, Systematic Zoology, Physiology, and Geology. Dr Mahendralal Sircar, Prof Lafont, Tara Prasanna Roy, Nil- ratan Sarkar, Chunilal Bose, JC Bose, Ashutosh Mukherjee and Pramatha Nath Bose were some of the Indian sci- entists and intellectuals who delivered lectures at the IACS. The most signifi- cant contribution of IACS was the devel- opment of the idea of nationalism in the cultivation of science. It is well-known that the first Nobel Prize in science in Asia — won by Sir CV Raman in 1930 for Raman Effect — is credited to the IACS, where Raman had carried out his experiments leading to the most presti- gious award in the world.
The role of IACS was limited to Ben- gal; however, it led to the emergence of various institutions across various princely states. One of the members, and a hardcore geologist, Pramatha Nath Bose, established the Indian Industrial
 The Calcutta Mathematical Society created opportunities for Indian students
        Image Courtesy: Internet

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