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 dia geologically in a scientific manner, from Kashmir to Tuticorin and from the Arabian Sea to Burma. He was also the first geologist to discover petroleum in Assam. He was also the first Indian to graduate in science from a British Uni- versity. However, he was discriminated against, at the time of promotion to the post of the Superintendent of GSI, in fa- vour of a British officer 10 years junior to him, Thomas Holland. He resigned. His consequent appointment as the May- urbhanj State Geologist by the ruler of Mayurbhanj led to the establishment of the first heavy industry in India.
He was also a major source of inspi- ration in the establishment of the Bengal Technical Institute in 1906 as well as its Honorary Principal and Rector. And he authored the History of Hindu Civilisa- tion in four volumes.
In 1892, Prafulla Chandra Ray rented a house at 91 Upper Circular Road, Kolkata and founded Bengal Chemical Works with a capital of ₹700 (equiva- lent to ₹220,000 or US$3,000 in 2019) saved from his then paltry salary. He not only initiated chemical research in India, but also chemical industry. On his 70th birthday, Jagadis Chandra Bose said: “... He was one of the first to realise the importance of Indian industries for the economic advancement of the country.
With this object in view, he risked the very little he possessed; and the venture started in this modest way has now grown into perhaps the most successful chemical industry in the whole of India. By his personal faith and enthusiasm, he has succeeded in enlisting for this work the whole hearted devotion of his col- laborators.” Ray also patronised several other industries like Bengal Potteries, Bengal Canning and Condiment, Bengal Enamel Works, Bengal Salt Manufac- turing Company, Bengal Paper, Bengal
A British officer supervising the measurement of land near Allahabad (now Prayagraj)
in 1877
nical institute, Sircar was very clear about the need for a science institute by Indians and for Indians. He was able
to manage support for this cause from many Indians as well as some Britishers through careful navigation in the given circumstances.
Swami Vivekananda inspired the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore. His disciple, Bhagini Nivedita played an important role in obtaining support from the Ma- haraja of Mysore in terms of the land.
While many had suggested the establishment of a technical institute, Mahendralal Sircar was very clear about the need for a science institute by Indians and for Indians
 Steam Navigation, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Cotton Mills at Khulna (now in Bangladesh), National Tanneries and Bharati Scales and Engineering Com- pany. While his ventures provided scarce jobs to the youth, he was also concerned about uncontrolled mechanisation.
The Indian Academy for the Cultiva- tion of Science (IACS), established by Mahendralal Sircar in 1876, facilitated the research by CV Raman which received the first Nobel Prize in Science for anybody in Asia. While many had suggested the establishment of a tech-
Significant financial support came from the Tatas too.
Lala Lajpat Rai played an important role in the establishment of the Punjab National Bank as a bank by Indians, for Indians. Many other financial institu- tions came up with similar motives.
The saga of resistance to foreign rule through endeavours for national self-reli- ance through industries, institutions and financial ecosystem during the strug- gle for Swatantrata is reflective of Indian capabilities in innovation and entrepreneurship.
*The writer is Secretary, Vijnana Bharati
        Image Courtesy: Internet

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