Biography of Prafulla Chandra Ray

Prafulla Chandra Ray (1861–1944) was a renowned Indian chemist, educator, and entrepreneur, often considered the father of the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Here is a detailed biography of his life:
Biography of Prafulla Chandra Ray
Biography of Prafulla Chandra Ray

Early Life and Education:

Prafulla Chandra Ray was born on August 2, 1861, in Raruli-Katipara, a village in the Khulna district of Bengal Presidency (now in Bangladesh). He showed an early interest in science and pursued higher education at Edinburgh University and University College, London, where he earned his Doctorate in Science.

Prafulla Chandra Ray’s Contribution to Chemistry:

Upon returning to India, Ray embarked on a mission to promote scientific education and research. In 1902, he established the Bengal Chemical & Pharmaceutical Works Ltd., the first pharmaceutical company in India. Under his leadership, the company produced affordable medicines, making a significant impact on public health.
Ray was also a prolific researcher and made substantial contributions to the field of chemistry. He discovered the stable compound mercurous nitrite, and his work on the chemistry of colloids led to important findings. He published several research papers and authored the book “A History of Hindu Chemistry from the Earliest Times to the Middle of the Sixteenth Century,” a significant work in the history of chemistry.

Educational Initiatives:

Ray was a strong advocate for education. In 1916, he founded the Bengal Chemical & Pharmaceutical Works Ltd. School, an institution that aimed to provide quality education to children. He also established the Science Club in 1918 to foster scientific temper among students.

Recognition and Legacy:

Prafulla Chandra Ray received numerous accolades during his lifetime, including being knighted in 1919. He was also elected as the President of the Indian Science Congress in 1920. His contributions to the field of chemistry and education left a lasting legacy, and he is remembered as a pioneering figure in the development of scientific research and education in India.

Death of Prafulla Chandra Ray:

Prafulla Chandra Ray passed away on June 16, 1944, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire generations of scientists and researchers in India. His contributions to the pharmaceutical industry and scientific education remain invaluable to the nation’s progress.