Biraja Sankar Guha did his PhD (1924) from the Harvard University, USA. His specialization was in Anthropology. He was the Director of Anthropological Survey of India and Bihar Tribal Research Institute.
Academic and Research Achievements: Guha discovered the remnants of Negrito tribe amongst the aboriginal population in Cochin and Travancore (1927-28). He collaborated with Morgenstierne in the scientific expedition sent by the Government of India (1929) to Central and Eastern Kaffristan to study the racial types and social institutions of the Khafi and Khalash tribes of the localities (racial composition of the Hindukush tribes 1928). He made detailed studies in situ and on excavated remains of human and animal skeletons in Mohenjodaro, Harappa, Kaski and other prehistoric sites of India, first in collaboration with Seymour-Sewell (1926-32) and later independently. He studied physical anthropology, criminal anthropology, race mixture, applied physical anthropology, prehistoric European archaeology, African ethnography, and European ethnography with Professor EA Hooton. He studied American archaeology, ethnography of Asia, America and Oceania, primitive arts and industries and general ethnology with Professor RB Dixon of Harvard University. Professor AM Tozzer was his mentor in studying primitive sociology. He attempted a study to Chittral in Northwest Baluchistan, now in Pakistan to discern the linguistic affinity of the tribes of Central India and Brahui of the North West Frontier. He also worked among the Polyandrous Khasis of cis-Himalayan region.
Other Contributions: Guha was deputed to the Census Commission of India for carrying out a systematic anthropometric survey of the tribes and castes of India (1930-33). He succeded and established the Department of Anthropology, Government of India (presently named as Anthropological Survey of India). Since its inception, Guha was the Founder-Director and Anthropological Advisor to the Government of India till his retirement in 1954. He was Member, Executive Council of the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. He was also a Member of International Commission on Standardization of Anthropometry. He was attached as an Editor / Executive Member of several journals like Mankind Quarterly (Scotland), Homo (Germany), The Anthropologist (Delhi), Bulletin of Anthropological Survey of India (Calcutta), etc. He also took special interest to create a separate Department for Anthropology in Delhi University.
Awards and Honours: Guha received Annandale Memorial Medal of Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal (now Asiatic Society). He was the President of Anthropology Section of the Indian Science Congress (1938). He was a Fellow of Asiatic Society (also Secretary, 1939-42) and Treasurer of INSA (1938-42).