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Rare honour for NE scientist - Chemistry professor conferred US society membership

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SEKHAR DATTA   |   Published 08.12.13, 12:00 AM

Agartala, Dec. 7: For the first time in the history of the Northeast, a professor of chemistry has been nominated member of the prestigious American Chemical Society (ACS).

Arijit Das, 36, an assistant professor of inorganic chemistry in the government-run Ramthakur College, was conferred the honour in an official communication from Debora J. Fillinich, ACS assistant director, Membership and Scientific Advancement, this month.

While conferring the honour of membership on Das for his research on and original contribution to the study of chemistry, Fillinich said: “As an author, journal contributor or reviewer, you have added to the advancement of chemical science. The ACS recognises your distinction and is extending this formal invitation to become a member of the society”.

Das who has earned national and international renown by inventing 13 new methods and altogether 28 new formulae for the study of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry over the past three years, had not applied for membership.

“It is a matter of satisfaction that I have been invited for the membership without asking for it; my membership number, as communicated by the ACS authorities, is 3071890, dated December 6, 2013. Besides myself, there is only R.N. Mookherjee, director of Calcutta-based Indian Institute of Scientific and Educational Research (IISER) and former head of department of chemistry in IIT, Kanpur as member of ACS from eastern India,” Das said.

Born and brought up in Kailasahar town, headquarters of Unakoti district, Das, son of a chemistry school teacher who later rose to the rank of school inspector, has all along studied in Kailasahar, MBB College in Agartala and Tripura University.

Having worked as a chemist in state forensic laboratory Das had joined government-run Dharmanagar College as assistant professor in 2010. From the very beginning of his career as a teacher, he was besotted with the idea of making chemistry easier for students.

“My deep reflections on the subject started yielding results since late 2010; by early last year I had devised seven new methodologies with 15 formulae for easier study of organic and inorganic chemistry for students at school and college levels. Since early last year, I invented six new methodologies and 13 formulae for the study of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. Three of the last six methodologies were published in chemistry journals of the US while three have come out in Indian Journal of Applied Research,” Das said.

His real joy is that after the nomination as an ACS member he has received congratulatory calls and messages from stalwarts of Indian chemistry including R.N. Mookherjee, director IISER, G.N. Mookherjee, head of the department of chemistry, Calcutta University, and V. Jagannathan of Osmania University.

Apart from his research, Das is also a reviewer of internationally acclaimed chemistry journals such as Journal of Chemistry Co-ordination, published from London and Journal of Inorganic Chemistry Co-ordination, published by renowned ELSIVIER group of New York.

“Recently the Qatar-based reputed chemistry journal Q-Science Connect has offered me to be a reviewer and I will accept that,” Das said.

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