Page 50 - Aug 2021
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         COLLECTOR’S EDITION
 House of Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray in Khulna, now in Bangladesh, where he grew up
 combining to form a stable substance. The Nature magazine wrote in its issue of May 28, 1896, ‘A paper by Dr. P. C. Ray...on mercurous nitrite, that is wor- thy of note...’. This series of work laid the foundation of the first research school of modern chemistry in India.
SCIENTIST FOR THE NATION
Ray was aware of the highly developed Indian industries existing before the arrival of the British, who deliberately destroyed the native manufacturing to promote their interest. Under an outsider and aggressive rule, gradually Indians lost the inspiration and endeavour to set up any new venture.
Bengal went through a tumultuous phase between 1880 and 1925, with its partition in 1905 invoking the spirit of Swadeshi among its educated citizens like Ray, who believed in modernising education, ushering industrial revolution in Indian products, and imparting skills to students to enable them to compete with the fast changing world.
Ray with Mahatma Gandhi at the memorial meeting after the demise of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das
He constantly felt the need for a system of scientific self-reliance which would be run by educated Indians dedicated to the service
of science.
He constantly felt the need for a sys- tem of scientific self-reliance which would be run by educated Indians dedicated to the service of science. He continued to create and develop new opportunities, establishing the first research laboratory at Presidency College, the Indian Chemi- cal Society in 1924, and the first research journal of India, The Journal of Indian Chemical Society. He affiliated himself with the Swadeshi-inspired National Council of Education (NCE).
In the charged political atmosphere of the times, he tasked himself to revive the industrial economy. With an initial investment of Rs 700, he set up India’s first pharmaceutical company with an in-house research laboratory, called the Bengal Chemicals (now Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceutical Works Ltd (BCPWL)). This Swadeshi venture proved successful and created new job opportunities. Encouraged, he set-up and supported new ventures like Acharya Prafulla Chandra Cotton Mills, Bengal Salt Manufacturing Company, Bengal
 50 SCIENCE INDIA AUGUST, 2021
        Image Courtesy: Chandrabhas Narayana
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