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Tribhuvandas Kalyandas Gajjar (1863–1920): the pioneering industrial chemist of Western India

Rajesh Kochhar

CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 104, NO. 8, 25 APRIL 2013, pp. 1093-1097

Tribhuvandas Kalyandas Gajjar (1863–1920) whose 150th birth anniversary falls this year was Western India’s first industrial chemist. To him goes the credit for introducing German synthetic dyes into Indian textile engineering, initiating alcohol production on modern
lines and producing synthesis of formal education and industrial chemistry. He is not so well known as his illustrious, Britain- trained, Presidency College Calcutta based contemporary Prafulla Chandra Ray (1861–1944), who built an international reputation for himself and his chemistry school. Just as Ray founded Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Company, Gajjar was the leading light behind Alembic Chemical Works. There is, however, a major difference between the two. While Ray’s was a swim against the tide in Bengal, Gajjar was part of the flow in Western India.

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