Dukhaharan Chakravarti obtained his DSc degree (1934) from the University of Calutta. His specialization was in organic chemistry. He was Registrar (1954-61), Sir Rashbehari Ghose Professor (1961-66) and Head, Department of Chemistry (1966-69), and Dean, Faculty of Science, UGC Professor of Chemistry (1969-72) all at University of Calcutta.
Academic and Research Achievements: Chakravarti was well known for his contributions to synthetic organic chemistry especially (synthesis and reactions of benzo-2-pyrones (coumarins) and benzo-4-pyrones (chromones) which ultimately brought him glory and success. His major contribution was the study of Pechmann synthesis of coumarins and Simonis synthesis of chromones from phenols and β-ketonic esters with special reference to the part played by condensing agents and the influence of substituents present in the two reacting species. He also developed his own method of synthesis of coumarins. With time, his interest extended to other fields and he took up the isolation and structure determination of natural products from a group of Indian plants different species of prunus and pyrus. Towards the end, he and his associates carried out Friedel-Crafts reaction using acid chlorides derived from a few aliphatic dicarboxylic acids and aromatic substrates specially polyhydric phenols and their methyl ethers. Some bicyclic systems, useful intermediates for steroid synthesis were also prepared. His work also covered preparation, on a commercial scale, of synthetic drugs, e.g. novocaine, luminal sulphathiazole and enterovioform. He authored Ranjan Drabya in Bengali (Visva Bharati) and contributed scientific articles to Jnan-o-Vijnan.
Other Contributions: Chakravarti was deeply interested in teaching science through Bengali and popularizing science.
Awards and Honours: Chakravarti was a Member/Fellow of Indian Chemical Society, American Chemical Society, Indian Science News Association and Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (Vice-President and Trustee).