Karam Chand Mehta obtained his PhD (1922) and ScD (1941) from University of Cambridge, UK specializing in plant pathology. He served as the Professor of Botany (1923) and Principal (1945), Agra College, Agra and Dean, Faculty of Science, Agra University (1944).
Academic and Research Achievements: Mehta investigated the effect of temperature on the viability of uredospores of rust fungi attacking wheat, namely the black, brown and yellow rusts. These rust fungi were being killed owing to the high temperature in the plains. To investigate their sources, he established laboratories at Agra and Simla to work all round the year in both warm and cooler climates. He proved that the rust fungi spores were blown by the wind from the hills to the plains, and they could be controlled by eradication of “out of season” wheat and barley plants in the hills by replacement of oats, which is not infected by these rusts.
Awards and Honours: Mehta was the Fellow, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad and Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; Charter Member and Vice-President, Indian Phytopathological Society: President, Indian Botanical Society (1939). He received Barclay Memorial Medal (Asiatic Society) (1948); President, Botany Section, Indian Science Congress (1929); Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Memorial Lecture (Bose Research Institute, Kolkata) (1949) and The Indian Phytopathological Society published KC Mehta Memorial Volume in 1950 in his honour.