Raychaudhuri, SP

Raychaudhuri, SP educationist and soil scientist. Satya Prasad Raychaudhuri was born in Calcutta on 23 April 1904. He obtained BSc (Hons) degree in 1925 and MSc (Chemistry) in 1927 from Calcutta University. He was a brilliant student and he received large number of gold medals, merit scholarships and prizes including the coveted premchand roychand studentship. He had pioneering research in electrochemistry of colloids and on activated charcoal. From 1932 to 1934, he worked as Sir PC Roy Research Fellow and honorary lecturer of physical chemistry in Calcutta University and carried out research on various aspects of colloid science and soil acidity base exchange. In 1934 he went to Rothamsted Experimental Station, England and received the PhD degree of London University in 1936 for his research on tropical associated red and black soils.

At the beginning of his professional career he joined the Dhaka University in June 1937 as an Agricultural Research Chemist and taught colloid chemistry and soil science in undergraduate and postgraduate classes. Here he carried out pioneering research on 'Red and Laterite Soils of India' which earned him the DSc degree of London University in 1945. He continued the teaching profession up to 29 October 1944.

On 30 October 1944 Dr Raychaudhuri joined the Imperial Agricultural Research Institute (now Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. His most significant contributions in the IARI were on soil survey and soil classifications, soil fertility and fertiliser use. He became the Head of the division of soil science and agricultural chemistry and the Chief Soil Survey Officer of the All India Soil and Landuse Survey Organisation. On retirement in 1961 he was appointed as senior specialist (land resources) in the Planning Commission of India and served up to 1969. Since 1969, he was associated with Sriram Fertilisers and Chemicals and Sriram Khad Programme till his death.

The final report of the All India Soil Survey Scheme is on of the best research output of Dr Raychaudhuri which is subsequent enlarged as Soils of India. He was associated with large number of learned and professional societies in India, Bangladesh and abroad, and held many honoured positions. Dr Satya Prasad Raychaudhuri breathed his last at Calcutta on 3 January 1986. [DK Das]