Amolak Chand Jain obtained his BSc (Hons) (1948) and MSc (1950) from Delhi University. He was appointed as a Research Assistant (1950) and then Lecturer (1952) in the Chemistry Department of Delhi University. He worked under the supervision of TR Seshadri to obtain his PhD degree (1954). Subsequently, he was admitted to the Chemistry Department, Cambridge University (1956) where he worked under the supervision of GW Kenner on synthetic studies in chlorophyll. He obtained a second PhD from Cambridge University (1958). Jain returned to Delhi University (1958) and was awarded the Senior Research Fellowship of INSA. He became a Reader (1961) and went on UNESCO Fellowship to the Institute of Natural Compounds and Institute of Organic Chemistry (1966). He obtained his DSc degree (1967) from Moscow. In 1969, Jain became Professor and Head of the Chemistry Department, University of Jammu. He was appointed as Senior Professor (1973) and became Head of Chemistry Department and Dean of Science to Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla before returning to Delhi University as a Professor of Chemistry (1978). Jain went to Texas A&M University as a Visiting Professor (1986), to Budapest University, Hungary as a Senior Fellow, and to Mauritius (1989-90) as Professor. He was a Senior Scientist of INSA (1995-2000).
Academic and Research Achievements: While in Cambridge, Jain postulated the biogenesis of chlorophylls by ?-oxidation of the propionic acid of the c-ring of prophyrin and cyclisation to the r-position to give isocyclic ring and protonation of 7, 8 double band. He worked on the chemistry of phenol compounds, flavonoids and isoflavonoids. He isolated compounds for plant, and devised various methods of their synthesis. Thus, he achieved synthesis of a number of natural compounds belonging to flavonoids, isoflavonoids, ?-methyl deoxybenzoins, 3-phenyl 4-hydroxy coumarins, etc. He has published 275 research papers in national and international journals and written a book on organic chemistry. He has mentored 30 PhD and 30 MPhil Students.
Other Contributions: Jain as coordinator for restructuring courses at Delhi University (1985-91). He is a Life Member of Indian Chemical Society, Indian Science Congress and Chemical Research Society of India, Bangalore.
Awards and Honours: Professor Jain received the SS Bhatnagar Award (1969) and the UGC National Professorship (1976). He was elected a Fellow of National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (1979).