Ranchhodji Dajibhai Desai earned his DSc (1931) from the University of London with a specialization in organic chemistry and chemical technology. He became a Professor in the Department of Chemical Technology, University of Bombay and was later appointed Principal of the MG Science Institute, Ahmedabad.
Academic and Research Contributions: Desai’s achievements lie in his research on the strainless character of alkylcyclopentane and alkylcyclohexane rings, and on the basis of valency-deflexion hypothesis of Ingold and Thorpe, Kostanecki, Fries and Friedel-Craft’s reactions. His research also covered new methods of synthesis of coumarins, chromones, xanthones, quinolones and acridones; acquiring vat dyes from phenanthraquinones; y-substitution in aromatic compounds; fluorescent brightening agents; and extracting azoic dyes using hydroxy ketones as coupling components.
Awards and Honours: Ranchhodji Dajibhai was a recipient of the Sir PC Ray Memorial Medal (1965); the KG Naik Gold Medal (1958) and Golden Jubilee Commemoration Medal of INSA (1985). He was a Fellow of the Chemical Society (London), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and Indian Institute of Science, and President (1967-68), Indian Chemical Society. He became the President of the Chemistry Section, Indian Science Congress (1952).