Sir Jnan Chandra Ghosh obtained his DSc degree from the University of Calcutta. His area of specialization was physical chemistry. He was Professor and Head, Department of Chemistry, University of Dacca (1921); Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Director-General of Industries and Supplies, Government of India (1947); Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; Vice-Chancellor, University of Calcutta (1954) and a Member of Planning Commission (1955-59).
Academic and Research Achievements: Ghosh’s contribution to the theory of strong electrolytes is of fundamental importance. He and his fellow workers suggested the formation of complexes involving the catalyst in the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of liquid fuel from carbon monoxide and hydrogen. He and his team studied a large number of catalysts including iron-copper systems incorporated with rare oxides and the effect of promoters and supporters. They also elucidated the stepwise mechanism of ammonia synthesis from its elements. Ghosh authored/co-authored many books among which mention may be made of Some Catalytic Gas Reactions of Industrial Importance (1960).
Other Contributions: Sir Jnan Chandra Ghosh is a great name in education, science and technology and industrial development. He introduced several subjects for study and research like power engineering, fermentation technology, and high-pressure and industrial gas reactions. The universities of Dacca and Calcutta, IIT (Kharagpur) and IISc all bear his imprint.
Awards and Honours: Ghosh was the President of Indian Science Congress Association (1939) and was Knighted. He was a Member of Royal Society Empire, Scientific Conference (London) and Commonwealth Scientific Conference (London). He was a Member of Indian Scientific Mission to the UK, USA and Canada, a mission sponsored by Sir Winston Churchill and organized by the Nobel Laureate AV Hill. Ghosh was President of INSA (1943-44).