Pranakrushna Parija received Tripos Part II from University of Cambridge, UK, and DSc (h.c.) from Patna and Utkal universities. He was Professor of Botany, Ravenshaw College, Cuttack; Vice-Chancellor, Utkal University (1940-48, 1955-66); Honorary Professor of Botany (1949-51); and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (1955-58).
Academic and Research Achievements: Professor Parija was a scientist of international repute, a great scholar and an eminent teacher. His research work comprised mainly fundamental and applied aspects of plant physiology, experimental plant morphology, and ecological studies of plant environment. He studied water hyacinth and other aquatic weeds, respiration in leaves and apples, transpiration and heat resistance in plants, rice and algae and storage of apples.
Other contributions: Parija’s contribution to the development of science and technical education in Orissa is noteworthy. He was also MLA in the Orissa assembly. He was the first Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University.
Awards and Honours: Professor Parija was conferred the OBE (Order of the British Empire) Award, and also Padma Bhushan (1955). He was elected President, Botany Section (1930) and General President (1960), Indian Science Congress Association.