Sir Lewis Leigh Fermor was an Associate (1901) of Royal School of Mines, UK. His specialization was in geology. He held the position of Deputy Superintendent (1904), Geological Survey of India; Curator, Indian Museum (1905-07); Superintending Geologist (1910-21), Officiating Director (1921-30), and Director (1931-35), Geological Survey of India, Kolkata. Sir Lewis left a prominent landmark in the history of Indian geology.
Academic and Research Achievements: Sir Lewis’s major interest was in Archaean geology and in the various types of igneous and metamorphic rocks occurring in the different regions of India. His principal contribution was to the Precambrian rocks of peninsular India, particularly, in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, with their rich mineral wealth. He did a monumental piece of work (1,294 pages) on the manganese ores of India. He also worked on copper deposits of Singhbhum and Sikkim, iron ores of Ratnagiri and Goa, Korea and Bokaro coal deposits, chromite deposits of Baluchistan and Orissa, and the volcanic rocks of the Deccan trap.
Other Contributions: Fermor played an important role in the advancement of science in India. The Indian National Science Academy owes a great deal to Fermor as the first President of the Academy known at that time as the ‘National Institute of Sciences of India’. The Academy was inaugurated on January 07, 1935, when Fermor delivered his Presidential Address on the Organization of Scientific Research in India. He was a consultant on economic geology in South Africa, Malaya and many other Asian countries.
Awards and Honours: Fermor received Bigsby Medal of Geological Society, London (1921) and PN Bose Memorial Medal (1944). He was a Fellow of Royal Society of London; Mining and Geological Institute of India (President, 1922); Asiatic Society (President, 1933); and Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, London (President, 1951); President of Indian Science Congress Association (1933); and was Knighted (1935). Sir Lewis Leigh Fermor was the First President (1935-36) of INSA.