Kali Pada Biswas obtained his DSc degree (1937) from the University of Edinburgh, UK. His area of specialization was Botany (Taxonomy). He was Curator, Herbarium (1927-36), and Superintendent (1937), Royal Botanic Gardens, Kolkata; and Emeritus Scientist (CSIR), Department of Botany, University College of Science and Technology, Kolkata.
Academic and Research Achievements: Biswas made a thorough survey of the algal flora of Salt Lake, Kolkata and of the Chilka Lake in Orissa. He was the first Indian who worked and published original finding on Indian diatoms and iron bacterial. Biswas made a rich and extensive collection of plants from India and neighbouring countries. The specimens he collected from Nagaland, Tripura, Manipur, Orissa, Bihar, Sikkim and South Burma were found so rare and valuable that they are now housed at the Central National Herbarium, Kolkata. He was a pioneer in the botanical exploration of Tripura and did commendable work on algae and medicinal plants. Biswas wrote a prize-winning tome Bharatiya Banaushadhi.
Other Contributions: Biswas played a leading role in the revival and reorganization of the Botanical Survey of India. He authored Common Plants of Northern Sikkim (1936), Common Medicinal Plants of Darjeeling and the Sikkim Himalayas (1956), and a voluminous work entitled Plants of Darjeeling and the Sikkim Himalayas (1966).
Awards and Honours: Dr Biswas received Coronation Medal (1937). He was President, Botany Section of Indian Science Congress (1943); and was a recipient of Paul Johannes Brühl Medal of Asiatic Society (1952) and Rabindra Prize (1952).