Balai Chand Kunda did his PhD (1939) from the University of Leeds, UK. His areas of specialization were anatomy and taxation, plant breeding, jute science and technology. He was Professor of Botany, Presidency College, Calcutta; Director, Jute Agricultural Research Institute (1946-60); Assistant Director and Head, Medicinal Plants Division (1960-65) and Joint Director, Bose Institute (1965-70), Calcutta.
Academic and Research Achievements: Kundu did a great deal of work on jute and mesta, development of fibre in the stem and its physical structure. He evolved three high-yielding jute varieties, which are now grown in many parts of India. His research on the taxonomy of the family Menispermaceae is considered very significant.
Other Contributions: Kundu was also an authority on Indian charophytes. He was a Member of INSA Council (1960-62).
Awards and Honours: Kundu was President, Botany Section of Indian Science Congress (1954). He was a Fellow of Linnaean Society (London); President, Botanical Society of Bengal; Secretary (Biology), Asiatic Society; Vice-President, Vigilant Parishad (West Bengal). He was also a recipient of Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Memorial Medal and Prize (1974-75).