Prof M. H. Khundkar | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 04, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 04, 2010

OUR LEADING LIGHTS

Prof M. H. Khundkar

Scientist, scholar and educationist


Mukarram Hussain Khundkar or M.H. Khundkar for short, a renowned scientist and educationist, was born in Faridpur district in 1922. He passed the Matriculation examination from Barisal Zilla School and I.Sc. from Jagannath College. He completed B.Sc (Hons.) and M.Sc in Chemistry from Dhaka University. He did his Ph.D in Chemistry from Durham University. He started his career as a lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at Dhaka University in 1944. He became Reader in 1949 and was awarded professorship in 1960. From 1954 to 1972, he headed the Chemistry Department as well as acted as the Dean of Science Faculty.
He researched in different fields of Chemistry, which include inorganic and analytical Chemistry and especially the Chemistry of cellulose and jute. He discovered newer uses of jute. He also studied the processing of different minerals to find new applications for them. Professor MH Khundkar developed the analytical methods for the determination of metal ion from complex and mutually interacting mixtures and new ion-exchangers from indigenous materials. He published more than one hundred research publications in national and international journals. He was a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (FRIC) of Great Britain and Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), London.
He worked for popularizing science in Bengali Language. He was a member of the sub-committee for Science and Technology of the Bengali Academy (Bangla Academy) and chairman of the Paribhasa Committee for Chemistry of the Central Board for the development of Bengali. He was a 'Raja Kali Narayan' scholar and was awarded the university gold medal of Dhaka University and Independence Day award in 1973 posthumously.
In commemoration of his contribution to science and education Dhaka University introduced 'Professor Khundkar Chair' at the Department of Chemistry and the newly built science building of Dhaka University is named as 'Mukarram Hussain Biggyan Bhaban'. One of the main buildings of the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) Laboratories has also been named as 'Khundkar Smriti Bhaban'. He died in Dhaka on 30th November, 1972.
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The writer is a student of B.Sc (Hons.) at Home Economics College, Dhaka.

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