Deb, BC

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Deb, BC (1912-1991) scientist and soil chemist. Bhupendra Chandra Deb was born on 5 July 1919 in the village of Kadipur in sylhet. He received his early schooling and undergraduate education in Sylhet and obtained the BSc (Honours) degree in Chemistry from Calcutta University in 1933. He received his MSc degree in agricultural chemistry from Dhaka University in 1935 and obtained a gold medal for standing first in class first. After two years of teaching at Mandalay in Burma (presently Myanmar), he joined Dhaka University. BC Dev carried out his doctoral research in soil chemistry under the supervision of the renowned soil scientist Dr AT Sen and received the DSc degree in 1944. In 1946 BC Dev went to the Rothamsted Experimental Station in London with a research scholarship. He developed new methods for determining free iron oxides and gypsum in soils and was awarded the PhD degree by the University of London in 1948.

In 1949 he joined the Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS) in Pune, India as Chief Research Officer and served for 21 years till his retirement as Deputy Director. From 1962 to 1969 he served as soil expert in two FAO assignments first in Cairo, Egypt and second at the Agricultural Institute at Suwon in South Korea. After retirement from CWPRS in 1969 he worked as an FAO expert till 1975 at the Soil Research Institute in Kumasi, Ghana.

Dr Dev's research interests ranged from the formation of podsol soil and soil testing to the quality of river water. He developed a number of soil testing methodologies. The Indian Science Congress Association, calcutta has instituted two awards in his memory. Bhupendra Chandra Dev died on 19 July 1991. [DK Das and SK Sanyal]