Mata Prasad obtained his DSc (1925) from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi specializing in inorganic and physical chemistry. He served as the Professor, Physical and Inorganic Chemistry, and Principal (1946-53), Institute of Science, Mumbai; First Director, Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar; Vice-Chancellor, Vikram University, Ujjain (1956-60) and Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, St. John’s College, Agra.
Academic and Research Achievements: Mata Prasad’s early work on colloidal systems, particularly inorganic sols, the phenomena of sol-gel transformations in silicic acid and thorium phosphate systems won him recognition as one of the pioneers in the field. His other contributions related to thixotorpy, electrical conductivity of aqueous solutions of sodium aluminate; and preparation, characterization and properties of the oxides of nickel. He did much work on the correlation of magnetic susceptibility with the structure of complex molecules and established a flourishing school in this field. He developed a method of producing high-purity salt from seawater and also for increasing the yield by about 50 per cent by realigning the saltpans. Also showed that potassium chloride and bromide could be recovered from bitterns.
Other Contributions: Mata Prasad was the Chairman, Salt Research Committee (CSIR); Member, Central Advisory Board, Government of India. All India Council of Technical Education and Advisor, Government of Afghanistan on Scientific Education and Research.
Awards and Honours: Mata Prasad was the recipient of PC Ray, HK Sen and JC Ghosh Memorial Lectureships of Indian Chemical Society. He was awarded DSc (hc) from Vikram University, Ujjain. He was the Fellow, Royal Institute of Chemistry (UK), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad and Indian Chemical Society (President, 1953-54). He was the President, Chemistry Section, Indian Science Congress (1941).