Bawa Kartar Singh obtained DSc from University of Dublin, Ireland and ScD (1941) from University of Cambridge, UK. He worked as Professor of Chemistry, Government College, Dacca (1910): Head, Department of Chemistry, Government College, Lahore (1918); Professor of Chemistry, Patna College, (1921); Ravenshaw College, Cuttack; Head, Department of Chemistry, Science College, Patna (1936); Chemical Adviser, Government of Bihar; Professor of Chemistry (1940), Emeritus Professor (1946), University of Allahabad; Honorary Professor and Associate Director, Punjab Institute of Chemistry, Lahore; and Honorary Professor, Banaras Hindu University (1948-60).
Academic and Research Achievements: Singh’s major contribution were in stereochemistry. He prepared and resolved several substituted azonium compounds containing an asymmetric nitrogen atom and worked out a new method for preparing tertiary amines. He studied the optical rotatory power of substituted quaternary azonium compounds in solution; correlated optical activity with the chemical constitution of organic compounds; investigated the structure and kinetics of mutarotation of stereoisomeric oxymethylene camphors; and attempted to find how the optical rotation of an organic substance could be calculated if its constitution is known. He also did work on condensation products of deoxybenzoin with aromatic aldehydes, determination of sucrose by double viscosity method, and chemical examination of the fruit and kernel of palmyra palm. He co-authored a book entitled Optical Activity and Chemical Constitution and wrote two chapters to Acharya PC Ray’s Commemoration Volume.
Awards and Honours: Professor Singh was President of the Chemistry Section of Indian Science Congress (1920). He was Foundation Fellow of the Indian Chemical Society (sometime Vice President and President), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (Vice-President, 1934-38), National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (Foreign Secretary, 1944-46); and Additional Vice President, INSA (1935-36, 1944-46).